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    » 05/18/2008, 00.00

    VATICAN - ITALY

    Pope: Mary, Star of the Sea for Genoa and the young



    Benedict XVI recites the Angelus with the young people of the city, and recalls the universal vocation of Genoa, the point of departure for many missionaries and emigrants all over the world. An appeal against cluster bombs, used also in the war of 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah.

    Genoa (AsiaNews) - Today the pope recited a truly special Angelus: in Italian (not in Latin), together with the young people of Genoa, where the pontiff arrived yesterday for his pastoral visit to the Church directed by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, head of the Italian bishops' conference.

    Earlier, Benedict XVI had met with the thousands of young people, who listened to him beneath an unseasonable rain.  The pope, expressing his solidarity with them, recalled that rain is a gift from God "for the fecundity of the earth", and a symbol of the fecundity of the Spirit for "the desert places of the soul".

    The pope had begun the day with a visit to the shrine of the Virgin of the Guard, located in the mountains overlooking Genoa.  He recalled that his predecessor Benedict XV, who was from Genoa, was so devoted to the Virgin of the Guard that he had a statue of the Virgin placed in the Vatican gardens (see photo).  "I myself", the pope said, "pray every day in front of that statue".

    Benedict XVI recalled the words of Mary in her apparition to a farmer, Benedetto Pareto, urging him to build the shrine without fearing the difficulties: "Trust in me! You will not be without the means to do so.  With my help, everything will be easy for you.  Only keep your will firm".

    The pope continued: "'Trust in me!' Mary repeats these words to us today.  An ancient prayer, deeply rooted in the popular tradition, has us address to Her these trustful words, which today we make our own: 'Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided'.  It is with this certainty that we invoke the maternal assistance of the Virgin of the Guard over your diocesan community, over your pastors, consecrated persons, lay faithful: the young, the families, the elderly.  We asked her to watch, in a special way, over the sick and all the suffering, and to make fruitful the missionary initiatives that are in preparation to bring to all the proclamation of the Gospel.  Together we entrust to Mary the entire city, with its varied population, its cultural, social, and economic activities; the problems and challenges of our times, and the efforts of those who are working for the common good".

    Benedict XVI emphasised the universal vocation of the city: "Liguria, and in particular Genoa, has always been a land open to the Mediterranean and to the entire world: how many missionaries have gone out from this port for the Americas, and for other faraway lands! How many people have emigrated from here for other countries, perhaps poor in material resources, but rich in faith and human and spiritual values, which they then transplanted in the places of their arrival!".

    Before the Marian prayer, he invoked the protection of Mary "Star of the Sea" over the city and above all over the young people, "that they may follow, with her help, the correct route through the often stormy sea of life".

    After the Angelus, Benedict XVI wanted to recall the diplomatic conference on cluster bombs, which begins tomorrow in Dublin (Ireland), and should lead to the ban of their use.  Cluster bombs have been used since the second world war, and even in the war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006.  They are used not to strike precise targets, but entire areas, and for this reason they can also claim many civilian victims.  "I hope", the pontiff concluded, "that thanks to the responsibility of all the participants, a strong and credible international agreement may be reached: it is necessary, in fact, to remedy the errors of the past and avoid repeating them in the future.  I accompany with my prayer the victims of cluster bombs and their families, as well as those taking part in the conference, expressing my best wishes for success".

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    See also

    07/09/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: laypeople needed to evangelize the world of work, the economy, politics
    On a pastoral visit to Sardinia for the hundredth anniversary of the shrine of Our Lady of Bonaria, on the eve of the feast of the birth of Mary, Benedict XVI stresses her role in the divine plan of Redemption. May Mary give "suppport, comfort, hope" to all the mothers of the world.

    19/10/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: in Pompeii to entrust the synod and missionaries to the Virgin Mary
    On pilgrimage to the shrine dedicated to the Virgin of the Rosary, Benedict XVI speaks of "the role of Mary," who "personifies the people chosen by him to spread his blessing to the entire human family." Recalling the life of Blessed Bartolo Longo, the pope stresses that anti-clericalism and superstition are not lacking in our day.

    19/06/2011 VATICAN-ITALY
    Pope: provide security and shelter to refugees
    Today’s hedonistic culture tends to propose models that "darken the mind and threaten to cancel all morality. The temptation has crept in to believe that the wealth of man is not the faith, but his personal and social power, his intelligence, his culture and his ability to manipulate scientific, technological and social realities. "

    13/04/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: prayer for missionary vocations, and for his visit to the United States
    On the Sunday of the Good Shepherd, Benedict XVI asks for prayers so that vocations dedicated to life and mission may increase. In all the languages of his greetings, he entrusts himself to the prayers of the Church for his "apostolic pilgrimage" to the United States from April 15-20.

    06/11/2011 VATICAN
    Use your life to do works for which you will be judged, says Pope
    At the Angelus, Benedict XVI launches an appeal for an end to violence in Nigeria, where attacks against Christians have caused over 150 deaths. If we remove God, "the world will fall back into the void and darkness. And this is also reflected in the expressions of contemporary nihilism, an often subconscious nihilism that unfortunately plagues many young people. " Invitation to prayer for the victims of the flood in Genoa.



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