Vatican City (AsiaNews) – "By celebrating the Mary Most Holy Assumed in Heaven, we would like Her, once again, to bring to us, our families, our communities, that immense gift, that unique grace that we must always ask first and above all the other graces that are close to our heart: the grace that is Jesus Christ!" said Pope Francis in front of the pilgrims assembled in St Peter's Square for the Angelus prayer on the solemnity of the Assumption of Mary.
In the meditation that preceded the Marian prayer, the pontiff emphasised the mystery of Jesus's presence in Mary's womb, taking his inspiration from today’s Gospel (Lk 1:39-56) about Mary's visit to her cousin Elisabetta.
"When she arrived," he explained, "Mary heard from her [Elizabeth’s] mouth the words that have come to form the prayer of the Blessed Virgin Mary: 'Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb’ (Lk 1:42). In fact, the greatest gift Mary brought to Elizabeth – and to the whole world – is Jesus, who already lived in her, and lived not only for the faith and the wait, as in so many Old Testament women: from the Virgin Jesus took human flesh for his mission of salvation."
"In Elizabeth’s and her husband Zechariah’s home, where sadness reigned before for the lack of children, there was now the joy of a coming child: a child who would become the great John the Baptist, the precursor of the Messiah. When Mary arrived, the joy overflowed and burst out of the hearts, because the invisible but real presence of Jesus filled everything with meaning: life, the family, the salvation of the people . . . Everything! This full joy expressed itself through Mary's voice in the wonderful prayer that the Gospel of Luke has transmitted to us and which, from the first Latin word, is called Magnificat. It is a song of praise to God who works great things through humble people, unknown to the world, like Mary herself, and her husband Joseph, as well as the place where they live, Nazareth.
“The Magnificat sings the merciful and faithful God who accomplishes his plan of salvation with the marginalised and the poor, with those who have faith in him, who trust his Word, as Mary does. Here is the exclamation of Elizabeth: ‘Blessed are you who believed" (Lk 1:45). In that house, the coming of Jesus through Mary created not only a climate of joy and fraternal communion but also a climate of faith that leads to hope, prayer, and praise. "
"We would like to have all this happen today in our homes. By celebrating the Mary Most Holy Assumed in Heaven, we would like Her, once again, to bring to us, our families, our communities, that immense gift, that unique grace that we must always ask first and above all the other graces that are close to our heart: the grace that is Jesus Christ!
“By carrying Jesus, Our Lady also brought to us a new joy full of meaning; she brought us a new ability to pass faithfully through the most painful and difficult moments; she brought us the capacity of mercy, to forgive us, to understand us, to support each other. "
"Mary is a model of virtue and faith. By contemplating her today assumed in heaven, in the final fulfillment of her earthly journey, we thank her for always preceding us in the pilgrimage of life and faith. We ask her to protect us and support us, that we may have a strong, joyful and merciful faith, that she may help us be holy, to meet her, in Heaven, one day."
After the Angelus Francis entrusted to Mary, Queen of Peace, "the anxieties and sorrows of the populations who suffer in many parts of the world from natural calamities, social tensions or conflicts."
He concluded saying "May our Heavenly Mother, obtain for us everyone the consolation and a future of serenity and concord!”