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Second Sunday of Advent, 5 December 2004


1. We are preparing to celebrate with profound joy the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which this year acquires special significance. Indeed, we will be commemorating the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of this important Marian Dogma.

2. We will commemorate this anniversary this coming 8 December with a solemn Eucharistic Celebration in the Vatican Basilica, where my venerable Predecessor, Blessed Pius IX, proclaimed the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854 together with a multitude of Bishops from every part of the world. In this way we will honour the Tota pulchra (All Fair), the One God chose to be the Mother of his only-begotten Son.

3. In the afternoon I will then go to Piazza di Spagna, as I do every year, for the traditional tribute to the Immaculate Virgin.

I invite you all, dear Romans and pilgrims, to join me in this act of filial veneration for our heavenly Mother.

After leading the recitation of the Angelus the Holy Father said: 

I extend a special Advent greeting to the German-speaking pilgrims and visitors. I would like in particular to welcome the group from the Parish of Graz-Sankt Peter. May God's grace go with you!

I greet the Spanish-speaking pilgrims, especially those from "Colegio Claret" in Madrid. May Mary, Mother of Hope, guide your life in this season of Advent. Many thanks!

I greet the Salesian Provincials present  at  the  Angelus  with  their Rector Major. Dear friends, through you my thoughts reach out to the entire Salesian  Family, which  I  cordially bless.

I then greet the Italian-speaking pilgrims and in particular the organizers and animators of the "Days for Italian Cooperation in Development" and the groups of the faithful who have come from Melfi, Lavello and Catanzaro.

I wish you all a good Sunday.



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