TRIBUTE TO THE STATUE OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY IN PIAZZA DI SPAGNA
PRAYER OF JOHN PAUL II
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Monday, 8 December 2003
1. Queen of Peace, pray for us!
On the feast of your Immaculate Conception
I return to venerate you, O Mary,
at the foot of this statue that from Piazza di Spagna allows
your motherly gaze to sweep across the ancient city of Rome,
so dear to me.
I have come here this evening to pay you the homage of my deep devotion. In this act countless Romans
join me on this square;
their love has followed me always, through all the years of my service to the See of Peter.
I am here with them to set out on the journey towards the 150th anniversary of the Dogma
that we celebrate today with filial joy.
2. Queen of Peace, pray for us!
To you we turn our gaze with stronger trepidation,
to you we hasten back with more insistent trust in these times scarred by a multitude of doubts and fears
for the present and future destiny of our planet.
To you, the first-fruits of humanity redeemed by Christ,
set free at last from the slavery of evil and sin,
we raise together our heartfelt, trusting plea:
listen to the cry of pain of the war victims, of the victims of the many forms of violence
that bathe the earth in blood.
Dispel the shadows of sorrow and of loneliness,
of hatred and of revenge.
Open to forgiveness the minds and hearts of all!
3. Queen of Peace, pray for us!
Mother of mercy and of hope
obtain for the men and women of the third millennium the precious gift of peace;
peace in hearts and families, in communities and among peoples;
peace above all for those Nations where people fight and die every day.
Obtain that every human being
of every race and culture
may encounter and accept Jesus,
who came down to earth in the mystery of Christmas
to give "his" peace to us.
O Mary, Queen of Peace,
give us Christ, the world's true Peace!
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