Pope, at Marian shrine, entrusts Year of Faith, synod to Mary
The pope was marking the 50th anniversary of Blessed John XXIII’s visit to the Marian shrine, about 175 miles northwest of Rome, when he entrusted to Mary’s care the Second Vatican Council, which began Oct. 11, 1962.
“Fifty years on, having been called by divine providence to succeed that unforgettable pope to the See of Peter, I, too, have come on pilgrimage to entrust to the Mother of God two important ecclesial initiatives: the Year of Faith,” which was to begin Oct. 11 and the Synod of Bishops, which was to open Oct. 7.
About 10,000 people gathered in the square outside the Loreto shrine for the pope’s morning Mass. Most of the pilgrims stood in the shadow of the shrine, protected from the sun shining in a clear blue sky.
At the end of his homily, Pope Benedict turned to Our Lady of Loreto with several petitions.
“I wish to entrust to the Most Holy Mother of God all the difficulties affecting our world as it seeks serenity and peace,” the pope said.
He prayed for Mary’s intercession in responding to the “problems of the many families who look anxiously to the future” and for young people just starting to build their adult lives.
The pope prayed for the poor, lonely and suffering who are “awaiting signs or decisions of solidarity and love.”
And, finally, he returned to the Year of Faith and the synod on new evangelization, saying, “I also wish to place in the hands of the Mother of God this special time of grace for the church, now opening up before us.” [More]