The Virgin Mary’s docility to the will of God should remind everybody that the Lord has a plan for each of us, Pope Benedict XVI said at the conclusion of a Rosary vigil to mark the end of May.
“The Magnificat is the hymn of praise that rises from humanity redeemed by Divine Mercy, rises from all the people of God; at the same time, it is a hymn which denounces the illusion of those who believe they are lords of history, arbiters of their destiny,” he said May 31 at the Shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens.
“In contrast, Mary has God at the center of her life; she abandoned herself, confident in his will, in an attitude of humble obedience to his loving plan.” Mary was chosen “to be the temple that carries the Word, God made man,” the Pope said, because of her “poverty of spirit and humility of heart.”
Pope Benedict was joined by several thousand pilgrims who had made their way to the grotto in a candlelit procession while reciting the Rosary and singing Marian hymns. The annual vigil is a rare opportunity for the public to walk relatively free through the Vatican Gardens. The final destination of the pilgrimage was the Vatican’s replica of the Grotto at Lourdes in France.
“Dear friends, this evening we wish to turn our gaze to Mary with renewed filial affection,” the Pope told the pilgrims as the sun set over the grotto. “We all need to learn from our heavenly Mother: Her faith invites us to look beyond appearances and to believe that daily difficulties prepare the way for a springtime that has already begun in the risen Christ,” he said.
With his butler being charged last week for stealing confidential papal documents, the Pope also prayed that Mary’s intercession may bring “spiritual joy” to “those families that here in the Vatican serve the universal Church.”
“It was the most beautiful thing this evening to pray to Our Lady at this difficult moment in time for the Holy Father, and I pray this brings him great comfort,” Alessandra Brambilla, a 28-year-old pilgrim from Rome, told EWTN News.
“It is amazing to conclude the month of May with the Holy Father,” said her friend and fellow Roman 29-year-old Luca Pezzi, “and what he said about Mary was beautiful, too.”