Mary Inspires Believers to Fight Evil, Says Cardinal

Papal Envoy Opens Jubilee Year in Lourdes

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By Marta Lago

LOURDES, France, DEC. 11, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The papal envoy sent to open the jubilee year of the Marian apparitions in Lourdes said that Mary inspires an attitude of "permanent battle" for good against the forces of evil.

Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Evangelization of People, opened the jubilee celebrations in France on Saturday, feast of the Immaculate Conception, the title with which Mary introduced herself when she appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.

The cardinal said that the struggle between the forces of good and evil "began at the beginning of human history, and will continue until the end."

Cardinal Dias said that today "this battle is even bloodier than in Bernadette's time."

"The world finds itself terribly deceived in the spiral of relativism that desires to create a society without God, a relativism that erodes the permanent and unchangeable values of the Gospel; and of religious indifference that remains unconcerned before the higher good of things relating to God and the Church," he added.

But, he said "a mother has bent down from heaven, concerned for her sons who live in sin, far from Christ." The cardinal said Mary enters into world history, which marks "the hostilities between her and the devil, as described in Genesis and Revelation."

"The Virgin is weaving a network of her spiritual sons and daughters in order to launch a strong offensive against the deadly forces and to prepare for the final victory of her divine son Jesus Christ," stressed Cardinal Dias.

The weapons are "conversion of heart, a great devotion to the holy Eucharist, daily recitation of the rosary, constant prayer without hypocrisy, and accepting sufferings for the salvation of the world," he affirmed. "The final victory will be God's."

L'Osservatore Romano noted that for a moment during the celebrations, "around 4:15 p.m. [...] thanks to an international radio connection, everyone prayed to Mary together with the Pope."