purity a key element that
disarms and opens all to her
Without frills, in
simplicity and truth entrust everything to her Immaculate Heart
On Sunday morning, 14 September , after
presiding at Holy Mass on the Prairie at Lourdes, for the 150th
anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady, the Holy Father
introduced the Angelus with comments on Mary's freedom and
purity. The following is a translation of the Pope's Reflection,
given in French.
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
Every day, praying the Angelus gives us the
opportunity to meditate for a few moments, in the midst of all
our activities, on the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of
God. At noon, when the first hours of the day are already
beginning to weigh us down with fatigue, our availability and
our generosity are renewed by the contemplation of Mary’s “yes”.
This clear and unreserved “yes” is rooted in the
mystery of Mary’s freedom, a total and entire freedom before
God, completely separated from any complicity with sin, thanks
to the privilege of her Immaculate Conception.
This privilege given to Mary, which sets her
apart from our common condition, does not distance her from us,
but on the contrary, it brings her closer. While sin divides,
separating us from one another, Mary’s purity makes her
infinitely close to our hearts, attentive to each of us and
desirous of our true good.
You see it here in Lourdes, as in all Marian
shrines; immense crowds come thronging to Mary’s feet to entrust
to her their most intimate thoughts, their most heartfelt
wishes. That which many, either because of embarrassment or
modesty, do not confide to their nearest and dearest, they
confide to her who is all pure, to her Immaculate Heart: with
simplicity, without frills, in truth.
Before Mary, by virtue of her very purity, man
does not hesitate to reveal his weakness, to express his
questions and his doubts, to formulate his most secret hopes and
The Virgin Mary’s maternal love disarms all
pride; it renders man capable of seeing himself as he is, and it
inspires in him the desire to be converted so as to give glory
Thus, Mary shows us the right way to come to the
Lord. She teaches us to approach him in truth and simplicity.
Thanks to her, we discover that the Christian faith is not a
burden: it is like a wing which enables us to fly higher, so as
to take refuge in God’s embrace.
The life and faith of believers make it clear
that the grace of the Immaculate Conception given to Mary is not
merely a personal grace, but a grace for all, a grace given to
the entire people of God. In Mary, the Church can already
contemplate what she is called to become. Every believer can
contemplate, here and now, the perfect fulfilment of his or her
May each of you always remain full of
thanksgiving for what the Lord has chosen to reveal of his plan
of salvation through the mystery of Mary: a mystery in which we
are involved most intimately since, from the height of the Cross
which we celebrate and exalt today, it is revealed to us through
the words of Jesus himself that his Mother is our Mother.
Inasmuch as we are sons and daughters of Mary,
we can profit from all the graces given to her; the incomparable
dignity that came to her through her Immaculate Conception
shines brightly over us, her children.
Here, close to the grotto, and in intimate
communion with all the pilgrims present in Marian shrines and
with all the sick in body and soul who are seeking relief, we
bless the Lord for Mary’s presence among her people, and to her
we address our prayer in faith:
“Holy Mary, you showed yourself here one hundred
and fifty years ago to the young Bernadette, you ‘are the true
fount of hope’ (Dante, Paradiso, XXXIII:12).
Faithful pilgrims who have gathered here from
every part of the world, we come once more to draw faith and
comfort, joy and love, security and peace, from the source of
your Immaculate Heart. Monstra Te esse Matrem. Show
yourself a Mother for us all, O Mary! And give us Christ, the
hope of the world! Amen.”
After the Angelus:
I wish to greet all the English-speakers
present. I pray that your participation in our pilgrimage here
to Lourdes, in this anniversary year of the apparitions, will
renew your relationship with Mary Mother of the Church and
assist you to come to understand more fully her trust in God and
her love of the Son. I extend my greetings to the members of
your families at home: may our immaculate Mother continue to
protect us all offering consolation especially to the sick and