LITURGY OF THE WORD
FOR THE CONCLUSION OF THE MONTH OF MARY
MESSAGE OF JOHN PAUL II
READ BY H.E. MSGR. LEONARDO SANDRI
Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens
Monday, 31 May 2004
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. I would like to join you in spirit as you take part in the traditional Marian meeting for the conclusion of the month of May in the Vatican. I address a cordial greeting to the Cardinals and Prelates, priests, men and women religious and all those present. I thank everyone who has helped to organize this evocative moment of prayer.
2. The month of May ends with the liturgical feast of the Visitation: the second joyful mystery which instils in hearts an ever new breath of hope. The meeting between Mary and Elizabeth is brought about by the Holy Spirit who fills the mothers with joy and causes the unborn prophet to leap in the womb. Then this year, we are celebrating the Visitation the day after Pentecost; this reminds us of the breath of the Spirit that impels Mary and with her, the Church, to take to the highways of the world to bring Christ, the hope of humanity, to everyone.
3. The flames of the candles you carried during the procession also symbolize the hope that Christ who died and rose has given humanity. Dear brothers and sisters, may you always be bearers of this light. Indeed, as the Lord recommends to his disciples, may you yourselves be light (cf. Mt 5: 14), in your own homes, in every environment and in every circumstance of life. Be so with your faithful Gospel witness, learning every day at the school of Mary, the perfect disciple of her divine Son.
May she herself obtain for you this gift from the Holy Spirit, the Teacher of our inmost being. I ask the Lord to grant this to you as I renew my affectionate greeting to you and cordially bless you all.
From the Vatican, 31 May 2004
JOHN PAUL II
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