On the Spiritual Maternity of Mary

"This Heart Has Always Followed the Work of Her Son"

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 9, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address John Paul II gave today before praying the midday Regina Caeli with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square. The address was in Italian.



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1. During the month of May, the People of God feel the need to intensify their devotion toward Mary, whose maternal presence is a support to Christians and to the whole world.

From the moment the young girl of Nazareth pronounced her fiat, "under the special influence of the Holy Spirit, this heart, the heart of both a virgin and a mother, has always followed the work of her Son and has gone out to all those whom Christ has embraced and continues to embrace with inexhaustible love" (encyclical "Redemptor Hominis," No. 22). And, if God's mercy is inextinguishable, the immaculate heart of his mother is also "maternally inextinguishable" (see ibid.).

2. On the cross, Jesus wished to offer, in a manner accessible to all, the spiritual maternity of Mary, giving her to his beloved disciple as son (see John 19:26). Since then, generations upon generations of believers have invoked her and taken recourse to her with love and hope. And the Virgin expresses her maternity "in its exceptional closeness to man and all that happens to him" ("Redemptor Hominis," 22).

If human beings were aware of this extraordinary gift! They would feel themselves brothers much more easily, rejecting hatred and violence to open their hearts to forgiveness of offenses received and to respect without reservations of the dignity of every person.

3. In a few days, on May 13, we shall recall the apparition of the Virgin in Fatima and her call to conversion. Let us pray, dear brothers and sisters, so that human beings of our time will also accept her urgent invitation, who with love watches over the Church and the World.

[Translation by ZENIT]