04/30/2006, 00.00
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Pope entrusts to Mary world "marked by shadows"

Before the Regina Caeli, Benedict XVI upheld the historic truth of the Resurrection, countering those who seek to deny it, "as many have tried, and still try, to do in various ways". Benedict XVI also recalled today's beatification, in Ramapuram, Kerala, in India, of Fr Augustine Kunjachan Thevarparampil, apostle of the Dalits.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - At the start of the month of May, dedicated to Mary, Benedict XVI entrusted to her "the needs of the Church and the whole world, especially at this time, when it is marked by not inconsiderable shadows". He was addressing more than 30,000 people who turned up in St Peter's Square for the recital of the Regina Caeli that, he recalled, will be prayed instead of the Angelus until Pentecost. The pope reiterated the "truth" of the Resurrection to counter those who, in the past as well as the present, would deny it. "The resurrection of Christ is the central fact of Christianity. It is a fundamental truth to be upheld vigorously at all times, since denying it in various ways, as some have tried to do, and continue to do, or seeking to transform it into a purely spiritual event, is to negate our very faith. 'If Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain.' (I Cor. 14:15)" Some saw his words as an indirect reference to the "Da Vinci Code".

"In the days following the resurrection of the Lord, the Apostles stayed gathered together, comforted by the presence of Mary, and after the Ascension, they persevered with her in prayerful anticipation of Pentecost. Our Lady was, for them, like a mother and teacher, a role she continues to undertake with Christians of all times. Every year, at Easter time, we relive this experience more intensely and perhaps this is why popular tradition consecrated the month of May to Mary, as it normally falls between Easter and Pentecost. This month, starting tomorrow, is useful for us to rediscover the maternal function she has in our life, so that we will be ever more meek disciples and courageous witnesses of the Risen Lord. To Mary we entrust the needs of the Church and the whole world, especially at this time when it is marked by not inconsiderable shadows. Invoking also the intercession of St Joseph, whom we remember in a special way tomorrow when we focus on the world of work, we turn to Her in the Regina Caeli prayer, which allows us to savour the comforting joy of the presence of the Risen Lord."

Benedict XVI also drew attention to today's beatification, in Ramapuram in Kerala, India, of Fr Augustine Kunjachan Thevarparampil, the apostle of the Dalits. In his English greeting, after recital of the Marian prayer, he called for prayers for family reconciliation, in line with one of the main commitments of the new Blessed.

Finally, he had a greeting for the Polish, reminding them of his imminent trip to their country.

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