Pope entrusts 'the anguishes and torments of those who suffer' and the people of Genoa to Mary on Feast of Assumption

At the Angelus, Pope Francis recites a Hail Mary with the pilgrims for the Genoa tragedy victims and their loved ones . The Assumption of Mary means that "God wants to save all of mankind, body and soul". The resurrection of the flesh "is an element proper to Christian revelation, a cornerstone of our faith". "We are called to serve and glorify God with all our being, body and soul".


Vatican City (AsiaNews) - On today's solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, Pope Francis entrusted to Our Lady "the anguishes and torments of those who, in so many parts of the world, suffer in body and spirit", recalling in particular the population of Genoa, where yesterday a highway  bridge (the Morandi bridge) collapsed leaving dozens of victims and injured.

After asking that "our heavenly Mother" obtain "comfort, courage and serenity for all", addressing the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square for the recitation of the Angelus, the pontiff added: "I think especially of those who are tried by tragedy occurred yesterday in Genoa, which caused victims and loss in the population. While I entrust people who have lost their lives to the mercy of God, I express my spiritual closeness to their families, the wounded, the displaced and all those who suffer because of this dramatic event ".

He then invited everyone to recite an Hail Mary together "for the victims and their loved ones".

Before the Marian prayer, Francis explained the meaning of the feast, in which "the holy people of God" venerate Mary "in the common liturgy and also with a thousand different forms of piety".

"The assumption into heaven, body and soul, is a divine privilege granted to the Holy Mother of God for her particular union with Jesus. It is a bodily and spiritual union, initiated by the Annunciation and matured throughout Mary's life through her singular participation in the mystery of the Son. Mary always followed Jesus. This is why we say that she is the first disciple. Our Lady lived like an ordinary  woman of her time: she prayed, ran the family and the house, attended the synagogue ... But every daily action was always performed by her in total union with Jesus. At Calvary this union has reached its peak, in love, in compassion and in the suffering of the heart. This is why God has given her a full participation also in the resurrection of Jesus. The body of the Holy Mother of God was preserved from corruption, like that of the Son ".

Today's feast, he continued, shows that "God wants to save all of the human , that is, to save body and soul. Jesus rose with the body he had taken from Mary; and he ascended to the Father with his transfigured humanity ... The assumption of Mary, human creature, gives us the confirmation of what our glorious destiny will be. The Greek philosophers had already understood that the soul of man is destined for happiness after death. However, they despised the body - considered a prison of the soul - and did not conceive that God had arranged for the body of man to be united to the soul in heavenly bliss. Our transfigured body will be there. This - the "resurrection of the flesh" - is an element proper to Christian revelation, a cornerstone of our faith ".

"The wonderful reality of the Assumption of Mary manifests and confirms the unity of the human person and reminds us that we are called to serve and glorify God with all our being, body and soul. Serving God only with the body would be a slave action; serving it only with the soul would be in contrast with our human nature. A great father of the Church, around 220, St. Irenaeus, affirms that "the glory of God is the living man, and the life of man consists in the vision of God" (Against heresies, IV, 20, 7) . If we have lived this way, in the joyous service to God, which is expressed also in a generous service to our brothers and sisters, our destiny, on the day of the Resurrection, will be similar to that of our heavenly Mother. We will then be given the opportunity to fully realize the exhortation of the apostle Paul: "Glorify God in your body!" (1Cor 6,20), and we will glorify Him forever in heaven".