PRAYER OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
ON THE SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Piazza di Spagna, 8 December 2001
1. Immaculate Mother, on this solemn day, brightened by the splendour of your Immaculate Conception, behold us at your feet, in this historic square, at the heart of Christian Rome.
Each year we come to offer our traditional floral tribute of the 8 December, and with this gesture we wish to express the filial love of our City, that holds so many signs of your presence as our Mother. We come on humble pilgrimage, and in the name of the faithful, we call upon you with confidence:
"Show yourself a Mother [Monstra Te esse matrem]...
Show yourself our mother,
he will hear your pleading,
whom your womb has sheltered,
and whose hand brings healing" (from the hymn Ave Maris Stella).
2. "Show yourself a Mother!"
Show yourself to be a Mother to us, as we stand before the historic image and give thanks to God with joyful hearts for the gift of your Immaculate Conception. You are the all Beautiful One, whom the Almighty has clothed by means of his power. You are the All Holy One whom God prepared to be the unsullied habitation of his glory. Hail, hidden Temple of God, hail full of grace, intercede for us!
Prayer for peace
3. "Show yourself a Mother!"
We ask you to present our prayer to the Father who clothed you with grace, withdrawing you from every shadow of sin. Dark clouds are gathering on the horizon of the world. The human race who greeted the dawn of the third millennium with hope, now feels overwhelmed by the threat of new and disconcerting conflicts. Peace in the world is endangered. This is why we come to You, Immaculate Virgin, to ask You to obtain, as our understanding and strong Mother, that souls freed from the smoke of hatred may be open to mutual pardon, to constructive solidarity and to peace.
Prayer for the whole Church and the Diocese of Rome
4. "Show yourself a Mother!"
O Mary, watch over the great ecclesial family, so that all believers, as true disciples of your Son, may walk in the light of your presence. Continue to watch over the Church of Rome, that on 8 December 1995, at your feet and with great trust in you, launched the evangelization of the city to prepare for the Great Jubilee. It was a fruitful mission, that helped to spread the Gospel of hope to every corner of the City, mobilizing priests, men and women religious and the laity for a vast and profound spiritual renewal. It was a dynamic and courageous activity that, with the grace of the Jubilee, reawakened families, communities and parishes to the missionary mandate that urges them to put to good use each one's charisms.
Prayer for spiritual renewal of the city and for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life
5. "Show yourself a Mother!"
Star of the new evangelization, inspire us and be with us on the way of an untiringly missionary pastoral care with one distinguishing goal: to proclaim Christ, Redeemer of the human person. May every believer, in the circumstances of daily life, become a witness and may the Christian face of Rome be renewed so that all may see clearly that fidelity to Christ changes one's personal life and shapes a future of peace, a better future for everyone. Immaculate Mother, who make the Church fruitful in her children, support our constant appeal for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. May the Roman convention on vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life, to be held by the diocese next June, encourage young people and their families to respond with generous hearts to the call of the Lord.
6. "Show yourself a Mother!"
Be for us a rock of courage and fidelity, humble handmaid of Nazareth, glorious Queen of the world. Offer our prayer to the Incarnate Word of God, who, becoming your Son, became our brother. Thanks to your powerful intercession, may the People of God and the beloved Church of Rome "put out into the deep" towards the holiness that is the decisive requirement of every fruitful apostolate. Mother of mercy and peace, Immaculate Mother of God, pray for us!
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