Rosary Address to European
During TV Hook-up with Moscow and
Other Key Cities
VATICAN CITY, MARCH 8, 2002 (Zenit.org)
John Paul II prayed the rosary
last Saturday with the university students of Rome in Paul VI Hall and by
television hook-up with students in major European cities. Here is a translation
of the Holy Father's reflections:
Dear Young University Students,
1. I greet you with great joy at
the end of this period of reflection and Marian prayer on the first Saturday of
March. As I thank you who have come in large numbers to the Paul VI Hall, I
think of those who are hooked-up with us in several European cities, thanks to
the radio and television. I greet in particular the university students of
Athens, Moscow, Strasbourg, Budapest, Valencia and Vienna. I thank very much the
choirs and the orchestra for their contribution, and Vatican Radio and the
Television Centre that cooperated in bringing about this important and inspiring
Mary will help you acquire deep
understanding of the mystery of her Son
2. Dear young university students
of Athens and Strasbourg who have prayed the rosary with us, I greet you warmly.
Ask Mary to help you acquire deep understanding of the mystery of her Son, so
that he may be your joy and strength. Remember that by following his example you
will overcome all difficulties and find true happiness! I look forward to seeing
you in Toronto.
3. I warmly greet you, dear
students of the universities of Budapest and Vienna. This moment of common
prayer gives us the joyful experience that our faith crosses boundaries and
unites peoples. Let us be guided on the journey of a true Christian life by
Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mother of the Church! In this way we will be ready
witnesses for God, the Father of all humanity. I am glad that I will be able to
meet many of you on the occasion of the World Youth Day in Toronto.
Promote the dialogue between
faith and culture
4. I cordially greet the
university students gathered in Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Moscow. Dear
friends, I thank you for taking part in this moment of prayer in the name of the
Virgin Mary. Let us remain united in faith and in the service of the Gospel! May
the Lord bless you!
5. In greeting you, dear
university students in Valencia, I think of all the teachers and students of the
famous universities of Spain, especially those who day by day make their
Christian identity concrete day after day in collaboration with the university
delegates and chaplains make their Christian identity concrete. May our prayer
with the Mother of the Lord this afternoon help you continue your task of
evangelization and make shine through your life the Easter life that is Christ.
I wait for you in Toronto!
6. The bond of common faith that
unites young people from various European countries and different cultural
traditions is a comforting reason for hope. So it has always been in the history
of the evangelization of the "old" continent: the Gospel and the
cultures have walked side by side. This is today the undertaking of the Church.
Dear young people, I ask you at your universities to promote the dialogue
between faith and culture, so that the Gospel leaven may stimulate and sustain
the spiritual and moral quality of the research and studies. Best wishes, my
very best wishes and courage!
Lent gives us a new consciousness
of our Baptismal rebirth
The common starting point for
this stimulating mission is Baptism, from which it is always necessary to set
out afresh since it is the source of Christian life. Lent, which we are living,
is the acceptable liturgical season to gain a renewed consciousness of our
baptismal identity. Through Baptism we have been united with the Death and
Resurrection of Christ; through Baptism, the Holy Spirit has made us witnesses
of God's love, architects of communion, brotherhood and peace. In turn, the new
life that flows from the baptismal fount, constantly regenerates human
mentalities and choices, interpersonal and social relations, and human cultures.
7. Only new men and women can
renew history. I expect to see many of you at the next World meeting in Toronto,
and it will help you to understand even more this pressing apostolic challenge:
to be, at the beginning of the third millennium "the salt of the earth and
the light of the world" (Mt 5,13). I also make an appointment with the
young people of Rome in St Peter's Square on Thursday, 21 March, for the
traditional celebration and prayers to prepare for World Youth Day.
Dear young people, this evening
the Blessed Virgin has gathered us from all the corners of Europe. May our eyes
converge on the image of Our Lady of Loreto, the Virgin of silence and
listening, Mother of the Son of God made man. Let us always look to her, asking
her for that same readiness for divine grace. Thus in each one of you the
Almighty will also work great things.
With this wish I embrace you all,
near and far -- but for me, all of you are close! -- as I warmly bless you and
your families, your universities and young people all over the world.
From L’Osservatore Romano
Not posted this week. Expect an update to this section
Return to Top
This section lists all of the current
Marian Events by
Return to Top
Mary in the Secular
The director and editors of Mary Page under the auspices of the International Marian Research
Institute do not necessarily endorse or agree with the events and ideas expressed in this feature.
Our sole purpose is to report on items about Mary gleaned from a myriad of papers representing
the secular press.
Mary in the secular news from March 2 through March 13, 2002
Hundreds of Roman Catholics in Moscow’s Cathedral of the
Immaculate Conception burst into applause and tears March 1 when Pope John Paul
II addressed them by video as part of a prayer service linking believers in six
countries. "In the name of the chaste Virgin Mary, always stay close to one
another, have faith and serve the Gospel. May God bless you," the Pope said
in Russian. Catholics in Athens, Budapest, Strasbourg, Valencia and Vienna also
took part with hymns and testimonials about the richness of Catholic life and
joined the Holy Father in prayer. The inclusion of Russia in the linkup was the
latest step in the pontiff’s efforts to reach out to his flock in the
predominantly Orthodox Christian country. Reported in the Salt Lake City Desert
News March 3 and the Hobart Mercury March 4.
Pope John Paul II’s plan to create Roman Catholicism’s first
Indian saint during a visit in July has opened divisions in the complex mosaic
of Mexico, a country where Indian and European traditions remain
half-reconciled, AP Worldstream wrote on March 11. And if the pope cancels his
trip to Mexico due to poor health, Juan Diego - the Indian who the faithful
believe saw the Virgin Mary in 1531 - will be canonized via satellite from Rome,
church officials said March 11, EFE News Service reported. The pope has recently
cancelled some of his activities due to worsening arthritis pain in his knee.
The Santa Fe New Mexican said on March 10 that a handful of doubters, including
the former abbot of the Basilica of Guadalupe, say the evidence of Juan Diego’s
existence is so flimsy that the Vatican is in danger of canonizing a popular
legend, not a real person.
To a British Christian, the scene inside the Chapel of the
Virgin of Jasna Gora is deeply unfamiliar, writes a Czestochowa visitor in the
London Times on March 2. He describes hundreds of pilgrims kneeling on the cool,
chequered flagstones of Poland’s most famous shrine, pressed tightly together,
heads lowered in prayer or raised intently towards the miraculous icon of the
Virgin Mary. The article tells of the Virgin Mary’s role in helping a small
band of monks and soldiers repel the massed forces of the Swedish Army in 1655,
leading to the expulsion of the Swedes from Poland; describes the icon of the
Virgin - "her face is dark and has a grimace" - and details the events
of the Mass attended by the pilgrims. "I feel as if I have watched the
curtain fall on a remarkable play. I am baffled, thrilled and inspired in equal
parts," the visitor concludes.
The Vatican is discovering the power of miracles, Adam Sage
wrote in the Weekend Australian on March 2. He states there were at least 6
million visitors to Lourdes last year, making Lourdes the second largest tourist
centre in France, after Paris. A decade ago, it was 4 million plus. This surge
follows a rethink by a Catholic Church that wants to move away from its
skeptical approach towards miracles. With its faithful turning to charismatic
movements promising miracles, it needs to highlight its own healing powers - and
that means regenerating the sanctuaries in Lourdes that contain the muddy grotto
where a poor peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous, saw the mother of Christ 144
years ago. Jacques Perrier, appointed Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes in 1998, and
Patrick Theillier, head of the medical bureau of the sanctuaries, encourage
people to tell of their recoveries at Lourdes. They’ve held press conferences,
begun modernization programs at the sanctuaries, installed a web camera at the
grotto, and in 1999, announced the first official recognition of a Lourdes
miracle in a decade.
The Romanesque-style Church of the Assumption of the Blessed
Virgin Mary on the Beautiful River stands as a testimony to the spirituality and
commitment of its members, who were able to fund the building of the large
church at the height of the Great Depression in 1931, the Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette wrote on March 13. Most of the church’s 3,000 families have been
attending for years and their loyalty is showing itself in donations to the
five-year capital campaign, which will fund renovations to the church and nearby
Assumption School. Renovations include restoring stained-glass windows and
replacing their frames, renewing the gold-leaf painting in the sanctuary and
painting the interior. Multiple shades of blue will be used because blue is the
color most often associated with the Virgin Mary, according to the church’s
description of the renovations.
A Los Angeles man was ordered to stand trial for allegedly
beheading a statue of the Virgin Mary at a Culver City church and removing a
statue of Junipero Serra from its pedestal and leaving it at a mosque, City News
Service of Los Angeles said on March 8. The statues from St. Augustine Church
were vandalized October 28.
Any movie that starts off with a Tehcnicolor Virgin Mary winking
at Josh Hartnett while Jesus tosses him a thumbs-up has to be a good flick, the
Massachusetts Daily Collegian said on March 6. "40 Days and 40 Nights"
is a surprisingly hilarious flick that actually offers sincere insights, the
First item in the National Review’s The Week, March 11:
"To all who love jihad, and the murder of Israelis, the Palestinian suicide
bomberess is a heroine, compared, in some quarters, to the Virgin Mary. One
wonders: What do Vatican Arabists make of that?"
A shrine to the Virgin Mary near the front gates of an oil field
in Arauca, Columbia, is barricaded by camouflage oil cans filled with sand, as
dogs sniff cars for explosives and army tanks rumble by, Newsday said on March
4. Protecting the Cano Limon pipeline is important to the U.S. because it means
a reduction in U.S. dependence on oil from the Middle East. The State Department
wants to spend $98 million to train and equip Columbian units to defend the
pipeline, which was closed for two-thirds of 2001 because of leftist guerrilla
There are no images of Christ hanging on the bloodied cross, or
as a babe-in-arms adored by the beatific face of the Virgin Mary. Instead it is
the cheeky cross-cultural work featuring 52 Buddhas sculpted from Easter egg
foil which takes pride of place in the Blake Prize for Religious Art at QUT’s
Art Museum, the Courier Mail said on March 13. The Blake Prize was established
50 years ago by a Jesuit priest who wanted to revitalize artistic works on
display in Australian churches.