BLESSING OF THE NEW STATUE OF ST MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL
ADDRESS OF HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
Friday, 5 July 2013
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and the Priesthood, Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are gathered here in the Vatican Gardens to inaugurate a monument to St Michael the Archangel, Patron of Vatican City State. This initiative was planned long ago with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI, to whom our affection and acknowledgment are ever due, and to whom we would like to express our great joy in having him here with us today. Thank you with all my heart!
I am grateful to the Directors of the Governorate, in particular Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, for his cordial words, to the Boards of Administration and to the workers involved in this achievement. I also thank Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, President emeritus of the Governorate, for his presentation of the work and of the results. A word of appreciation goes to the sculptor, Mr Giuseppe Antonio Lomuscio, and to the benefactor, Mr Claudio Chiais, both present here. Thank you!
In the Vatican Gardens there is a variety of works of art; this one added today, takes a special place, however, both for because of its placement and the meaning it expresses.
In fact, it is not only a celebratory work but also invites reflection and prayer, which fits well into the Year of Faith. Michael — which means: “Who is like God?” — is the champion of the primacy of God, of his transcendence and power. Michael fights to reestablish divine justice; he defends the People of God from their enemies and above all from the arch-enemy par excellence, the devil. And St Michael triumphs because in him it is God who acts. This sculpture reminds us therefore that evil is vanquished, the accuser is unmasked, his head is crushed, because salvation was fulfilled once and for all by the blood of Christ. Even if the devil is always trying to scratch the face of the Archangel and the face of man, God is stronger; his is the victory and his salvation is offered to every human being. On the journey and in the trials of life we are not alone, we are accompanied and sustained by the Angels of God, who offer, so to speak, their wings to help us overcome the many dangers, to be able to fly above those realities that can make our lives difficult or drag us down. In consecrating the Vatican City State to St Michael the Archangel, let us ask him to defend us from the Evil One and cast him out.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us also consecrate Vatican City State also to St Joseph, the guardian of Jesus, of the Holy Family. His presence helps us to be ever stronger and to have the courage to make space for God in our life so that good may always conquer evil. Let us ask him to keep us, care for us, so that the life of Grace may increase every day in each one of us.
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