On Marian Devotion

"Mary Is the Model of the Christian Life"

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PALERMO, Italy, OCT. 4, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave Sunday after celebrating an outdoor Mass in Palermo's Foro Italico Umberto I, and before praying the midday angelus.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters!

In this moment of profound communion with Christ, present and alive among us and in us, it is a beautiful thing for us as an ecclesial family to turn in prayer to his and our Mother, Mary, most holy and immaculate. Sicily has many Marian sanctuaries and in this place I feel spiritually at the center of this "network" of devotion, which joins all of the cities and villages of the island.

To the Virgin Mary I wish to entrust all of the people of God who live in this beloved land. May she sustain the families in love and in educational commitment; may she fructify the seeds of vocation that God liberally sows among the young people; may she instill courage in trials, hope in difficulties, renewed strength in doing the good. May the Madonna comfort the sick and all those who are suffering, and help the Christian communities so that no one in them be forgotten or in need, but that each one, especially the little and the weak, feel welcomed and valued.

Mary is the model of the Christian life. I ask her above all to quicken your footsteps and fill you with joy on the path to holiness, following the many luminous witnesses to Christ, children of Sicily. In this context I would like to recall that today, in Parma, Anna Maria Adorni is being beatified. In 19th century she was an exemplary wife and mother and then, having become a widow, she dedicated herself to charitable work among women in prison and in difficulty, for whose service she founded two religious institutes. Mother Adorni, because of her constant prayer, was called the "Living Rosary." I am glad to mention her at the beginning of the month of the rosary. May the daily meditation on the mysteries of Christ in union with Mary, the prayerful Virgin, strengthen us in faith, in hope and in charity.

[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]

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