April 2011



On the Sacrament of Reconciliation: "How Many Conversions ... Began in a Confessional" - Address to participants in a course on the internal forum organized by the Apostolic Penitentiary, March 25, 2011.

… I entrust to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mater misericordiae and Refugium peccatorum, the fruits of your Course on the Internal Forum and the ministry of all Confessors, as I bless you all with great affection.

On Laetare Sunday: "Let Us Revive in Ourselves the Gift Received in Baptism" - Angelus Address, April 3, 2011

… We entrust the Lenten journey to the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, that all may encounter Christ, the Savior of the World.

On St. Thérèse of Lisieux: This Love Has a Face, It Has a Name, It Is Jesus - General Audience, April 6, 2011

… "Trust and Love" are therefore the final period of the account of her life, two words that like beacons, illumined the whole of her path of sanctity, to be able to lead others on her same "little way of trust and love" of spiritual childhood (cf. Ms C, 2v-3r; LT 226). Trust like that of the child who abandons himself into the hands of God, inseparably because of the strong, radical commitment of true love, which is the total gift of self, forever, as the saint said contemplating Mary: "To love is to give everything, and to give oneself" (Perche ti amo, O Maria, P 54/22). Thus Thérèse indicates to all of us that Christian life consists in living fully the grace of baptism in the total gift of self to the Love of the Father, to live like Christ, in the fire of the Holy Spirit, his very love for others.

Faith Must Be the Main Source of Popular Piety - Address to Latin America Commission, April 8, 2011

… To carry out the new evangelization in Latin America, in a process that permeates the whole being and work of the Christian, the many demonstrations of popular piety cannot be put to one side. All of them, well channeled and duly supported, propitiate a fruitful encounter with God, an intense veneration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, a profound devotion to the Virgin Mary, a cultivation of affection for the Successor of Peter and an awareness of belonging to the Church.

… Profoundly united to Jesus is also the devotion of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean to the Most Holy Virgin Mary. She, from the dawn of evangelization, accompanies the children of that continent and is for them inexhaustible source of hope. That is why, they take recourse to her as Mother of the Savior, to feel constantly her loving protection under different names.

… On concluding this joyful meeting, while I invoke the sweet name of Mary Most Holy, perfect disciple and pedagogue of evangelization, I impart to you from my heart the apostolic blessing, pledge of the divine benevolence.

On the Resurrection of Lazarus: It Is a Reality That Goes Beyond the Limits of Our Reason – Angelus Address, April 10, 2011

… Dear Brothers, let us turn to the Virgin Mary, who already participates in this Resurrection, that she might help us to declare with faith: "Yes, O Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God," (John 11:27) to discover truly that he is our salvation.

"You Have an Immense Mission … to Announce the Good News" - Address to Maronite Patriarch Béchara Boutros Raï, 71, April 14, 2011

… While I address to all the Lebanese people my warm greetings, I entrust you in an altogether special way to the intercession of Our Lady of Lebanon, given that Your Beatitude is a son of the Maronite Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and also of St. Maron and of all the Lebanese saints and blessed. And I give you my big-hearted apostolic blessing, as well as to the bishops and priests, to the men and women religious and to all the faithful of your patriarchate.

Mary's "Heart, Like That of the Son, Was Ready for Sacrifice" - Angelus Address, April 17, 2011

… And now we turn in prayer to Mary, asking her to help us to Holy Week with intense faith. Understanding the prophecies, Mary too exulted in the spirit when Jesus entered Jerusalem in royal procession; but her heart, like that of the Son, was ready for sacrifice. Let us learn from her, the faithful Virgin, to follow the Lord even when his way leads to the cross. Angelus Domini ...

"At His Final Meal, More Than Anything Else, Jesus Prayed" - Homily at Last Supper Mass, April 21, 2011

… Every human being, save Mary, has constant need of conversion. …

"We Cannot Be Christians Alone, Following a Christianity Based on Our Own Ideas" - Transcript of Pope's Appearance on Italian TV program titled A Sua Immagine [In His Image] of the Italian channel RAI, April 22, 2011

Q. Holy Father, the last question is about Mary. At the cross we witness a poignant dialogue between Jesus and his mother in which Jesus says to Mary: "Behold your son," and to John, "Behold your mother."  In your latest book, Jesus of Nazareth, you define it as "Jesus' final provision."  How are we to understand these words?  What meaning did they have at that moment and what do they mean today?  And, on the subject of entrusting, do you intend to renew a consecration to the Virgin at the beginning of this new millennium?

A. These words of Jesus are, above all, a very human act. We see Jesus as a true man who makes a human act, an act of love for His mother, entrusting the mother to the young John so that she might be safe. A woman living alone in the East at that time was an impossible situation. He entrusts his mother to this young man and to this young man he gives his mother, therefore Jesus actually acts as a human with a deeply human sentiment. This seems very beautiful to me, very important, that before any theology we see in this act the true humanity of Jesus, his true humanism. Naturally, however, this has several dimensions, not just about this moment but regarding all of history.

In John, Jesus entrusts all of us, the whole Church, all future disciples, to His mother and His mother to us.  In this, the course of history is fulfilled.  More and more, humanity and Christians have understood that the mother of Jesus is their mother and more and more they have entrusted themselves to the Mother.  Think of the great sanctuaries, think of this devotion for Mary in which more and more people feel "This is your mother."  And even some who have difficulty reaching Jesus in his greatness, the Son of God, entrust themselves without difficulty to the Mother.  Someone said, "But this doesn't have any Biblical foundation!"  To this I reply, with St. Gregory the Great: "In reading," he says, "grow the words of Scripture."  That is, they develop in lived reality.  They grow and more and more in history as this Word develops.  We see how we can all be grateful because there is truly a Mother; we have all been given a mother.  We can also go to this Mother with great confidence because she is also the Mother of every Christian.  However, it is also true that this Mother expresses the Church.  We cannot be Christians alone, following a Christianity based on our own ideas.  The Mother is the image of the Church, the Mother Church, and entrusting ourselves to Mary means we must also entrust ourselves to the Church, live the Church, be the Church with Mary.

And so we arrive at the meaning of entrusting ourselves: the Popes—-whether it was Pius XII, or Paul VI, or John Paul II—-have made a great act of entrusting the world to the Madonna and it seems to me, as a gesture before humankind, before Mary herself, that it was a very important gesture. I believe that now it is important to internalize this act, to let ourselves be penetrated, and to bear it out in ourselves. In this sense I have gone to some of the great Marian sanctuaries of the world: Lourdes, Fatima, Czestochowa, Altötting…, always with this sense of making real, of interiorizing this act of entrustment, so that it might truly become our act. I think that the great, public act has been made. Perhaps one day it will be necessary to repeat it again, but at the moment it seems more important to me to live it, to make it real, to enter into this entrusting so that it might truly be our own.

For example, at Fatima I saw how the thousands of persons present truly entered into this entrustment. In themselves, for themselves they entrusted themselves to her; they made this trust real within them. It thus becomes a reality in the living Church and thus also the Church grows. The common entrustment to Mary, letting ourselves be penetrated by this presence, creating and entering into communion with Mary makes the Church, make us together with Mary, truly the Bride of Christ. Thus, at the moment, I do not intend to make a new act of public entrustment, but I would rather invite you to enter into this entrustment that has already been made, so that we might truly live it every day, and thus that a truly Marian Church might grow, a Church that is Mother, Bride, and Daughter of Jesus.

"Tonight We Have Relived, Deep Within Our Hearts, the Drama of Jesus" - At the Conclusion of Good Friday Via Crucis at the Colosseum, April 22, 2011

… We have heard the cries of the crowd, the words of condemnation, the insults of the soldiers, the lamentation of the Virgin Mary and of the women. Now we are immersed in the silence of this night, in the silence of the cross, the silence of death. It is a silence pregnant with the burden of pain borne by a man rejected, oppressed, downtrodden, the burden of sin that mars his face, the burden of evil.

"In Our Hearts There Is Joy and Sorrow, on Our Faces There Are Smiles and Tears" - Urbi et Orbi Message, April 24, 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Rome and across the world, Easter morning brings us news that is ancient yet ever new: Christ is risen! The echo of this event, which issued forth from Jerusalem twenty centuries ago, continues to resound in the Church, deep in whose heart lives the vibrant faith of Mary, Mother of Jesus, the faith of Mary Magdalene and the other women who first discovered the empty tomb, and the faith of Peter and the other Apostles.

"The Lord’s Resurrection Marks the Renewal of Our Human Condition" – Regina Caeli Address, April 25, 2011

… Let us now invoke the Virgin Mary, so that she may help us faithfully and joyfully carry out the mission which the Risen Lord entrusts to each one. …

[In English he said:]

… Let us pray fervently that the joy and peace of Our Lady, Mary of Magdala and the Apostles will be our own as we welcome the Risen Lord into our hearts and lives. …



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