Our Lady of Ta' Pinu Receives a Rose

Pope Confers Papal Honor

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FLORIANA, Malta, APRIL 18, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI gave a Golden Rose to Our Lady of Ta' Pinu today, and invited the Maltese to pray to her as the Queen of the Family.



After presiding at Sunday Mass in the Granaries Square in Floriana, and before praying the Regina Caeli, the Pope affirmed the "particular devotion of the Maltese people to the Mother of God, expressed with great fervour to Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu and so I am pleased to have the opportunity to pray before her image, brought here specially from Gozo for this occasion."

I am pleased to have the opportunity to pray before her image, brought here specially from Gozo for this occasion.

The Holy Father asked that the Maltese pray to Mary "under the title Queen of the Family, a title added to the Litany of Loreto by my beloved predecessor, Pope John Paul II, himself on more than one occasion a visitor to these shores."

"In offering you this tangible memento of my own visit, I thank you for all that I have received from you in return, especially for the warmth of your devotion and the support of your prayers for my ministry as the Successor of Peter," the Pontiff concluded.

The Golden Rose is a papal decoration conferred on prominent Catholic personalities; it has gone through a significant evolution.

Initially, kings and dignitaries received it, later it was conferred almost exclusively on queens and, more recently, on Our Lady. The distinction was created by Pope Leo IX in 1049.

In more recent times, after the Second Vatican Council, the papal decoration has become almost exclusively a gift from popes to Our Lady.

Pope John Paul II gave four Golden Roses during his pontificate: Jasna Góra in Poland, Our Lady of Lourdes in France, Our Lady of Knock in Ireland, and to St. Joseph's Oratory in Canada.

The Golden Rose Benedict XVI gave to Our Lady of Ta' Pinu in Malta was the ninth rose the Pope has given in the five years of his Pontificate.

The other eight were given to Sanctuary of Jasna Góra in Poland (2006), the Basilica of Aparecida in Brazil (2007), the Mariazell Basilica in Austria (2007), the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. (2008), Our Lady of Bonaria in Cagliari, Italy (2008), Our Lady of Pompeii, Italy (2008), Our Lady of Europe in Gibraltar (2009), the "Virgen de la Cabeza" (literally, Virgin of the Head) of the Diocese of Jaen, Spain (2009).

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