March 2012



Mar. 4 - On Preparing for the Passion: "We all have need of interior light to overcome life's trials" – Translated conclusion of the Angelus address (Mar. 5, 2012,

…Let us ask the Virgin Mary, our guide in the journey of faith, to help us to live this experience in the time of Lent, finding every day some moment for silent prayer and for listening to the Word of God.

Mar. 4 - Benedict XVI's Homily from Visit to Roman Parish: "We are in the heart of God; this is our great confidence" – Translated conclusion (Mar, 5, 2012,

… Let us entrust our Lenten journey and that of the whole Church to the Virgin Mary. May she who followed her Son Jesus to the cross, help us to be faithful disciples of Christ, mature Christians, to be able to participate together with her in the fullness of Easter joy.

Mar. 7 - On the Silence of Jesus: An Attentive, Silent, Open Heart Is More Important Than Many Words – translated extract of the General Audience (Mar. 7, 2012,

…Faced with this silence of the cross, St. Maximus the Confessor places upon the lips of the Mother of God this touching phrase: "Wordless is the Word of the Father, who made every creature which speaks; lifeless are the eyes of the one at whose word and whose nod all living things move". (The Life of Mary, no. 89: Marian texts of the first millennium, 2, Rome 1989, p. 253)...

…in the already mentioned Exhortation Verbum Domini, I recalled .. “… Only in silence can the word of God find a home in us, as it did in Mary, woman of the word and, inseparably, woman of silence” (n. 21).

(Greetings to the Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church)

… I entrust the Armenian Synod to the maternal intercession of the most holy Mother of God…

Mar. 9 - Benedict XVI's Address to US Bishops: "There is an urgent need for the entire Christian community to recover an appreciation of the virtue of chastity" – Conclusion (Mar. 9, 2012,

…I now commend you and your brother Bishops, with the flock entrusted to your pastoral care, to the loving intercession of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Mar. 11 – Violence Is Contrary to the Kingdom of God – Translated conclusion of the Angelus address (Mar. 11, 2012, VIS.)

"The Holy Spirit began to build this temple in the Virgin's womb. Through her intercession let us pray that each Christian may become a living stone in this spiritual building".

Mar. 9 – Papal Address on Sacrament of Confession: "The new evangelization, thus, also begins in the confessional!" - Translated conclusion (Mar. 12, 2012,

…May Mary, Mother of Mercy, Refuge of us sinners and Star of the new evangelization accompany your journey….

Mar. 14 – On the Praying Presence of Mary: "Mary prays in and with the Church at every decisive moment of salvation history" – Translated extracts of the General audience (Mar. 14, 2012,

. ..In both of these books [St. Luke’s Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles], one of the recurring elements is prayer, from that of Jesus to that of Mary, the disciples, the women and the Christian community...

Within this context of expectancy -- between the Ascension and Pentecost -- St. Luke mentions for the last time Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and His brethren (verse 14). He had dedicated the beginning of his Gospel to Mary, from the announcement of the Angel to the birth and infancy of the Son of God made man. With Mary the earthly life of Jesus begins, and with Mary the Church's first steps are also taken; in both instances, the atmosphere is one of listening to God and of recollection. Today, therefore, I would like to consider this praying presence of the Virgin in the midst of the disciples who would become the first nascent Church.

To read the entire article visit: On the Praying Presence of Mary

Mar. 15 - Papal Message for Palm Sunday World Youth Day 2012: "Joy is at the heart of Christian experience" – Extracts (Mar. 27, 2012,

…When the Archangel Gabriel tells the Virgin Mary that she is to be the mother of the Saviour, his first word is “Rejoice!” (Lk 1:28) …

… May the Blessed Virgin Mary accompany you on this journey. She welcomed the Lord within herself and proclaimed this in a song of praise and joy, the Magnificat: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour” (Lk 1:46-47). Mary responded fully to God’s love by devoting her life to him in humble and complete service. She is invoked as “Cause of our Joy” because she gave us Jesus. May she lead you to that joy which no one will ever be able to take away from you!

Mar. 18 – On Journeying with Jesus Through the Desert – conclusion of translated Angelus address (Mar. 19, 2012,

…We entrust it [the apostolic voyage to Mexico and Cuba] to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so loved and venerated in these two countries that I am preparing to visit.

Mar. 22 - Pope's Message to Prisoners for Way of the Cross: "Three times Jesus got back up and continued on the way to Calvary" – Translated extract (Apr. 2, 2012,

…And Mary is with us too, his and our mother. She remains faithful, at the foot of our own cross also, and she prays for our resurrection, that we might firmly believe that, even in the blackest night, the light of God’s love is the last word.…

Mar. 23 – Press Conference on the Plane to Mexico: "We must try not to lose the heart, but to link heart and reason" – Translated extract of his last answer (Mar. 26, 2012,

…Our Lady of Guadalupe is known and loved by all, because they understand that she is a Mother for all and has been present from the beginning in this new Latin America, after the arrival of the Europeans. And also in Cuba we have Our Lady of Cobre, who touches hearts and all know intuitively that it is true, that this Our Lady helps us, that she exists, that she loves and helps us.…

Mar. 23 –Benedict XVI's Speech at Welcome Ceremony in Mexico: "I come as a pilgrim of faith, of hope, and of love" – translated extracts (Mar.23, 2012,

…During these celebrations, as in the Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Most Holy Mary was invoked fervently, she who gently showed how the Lord loves all people and gave himself for them without distinction. Our Heavenly Mother has kept vigil over the faith of her children in the formation of these nations and she continues to do so today as new challenges present themselves.…

Mister President, my dear friends: in these days I will pray to the Lord and to Our Lady of Guadalupe for all of you so that you may be true to the faith which you have received and to its best traditions. …

Mar. 24 - Pope's Address Saturday to Children: "God wants us to be happy always" – Translated conclusion from address in Guanajuato, Mexico (Mar. 25, 2012,

… May the Virgin accompany you.

Mar. 25 – Pontiff's Homily at Open-air Mass: "For God to dwell in us, we need to listen to Him; we must allow his Word to challenge us every day" – Translated extracts from the Pope’s Mass in Guanajuato, Mexico (Mar. 25, 2012,

…This was how Our Lady of Guadalupe showed her divine Son to Saint Juan Diego, not as a powerful legendary hero but as the very God of the living, by whom all live, the Creator of persons, of closeness and immediacy, of heaven and earth (cf. Nican Mopohua, v.33). At that moment she did what she had done previously at the wedding feast of Cana. Faced with the embarrassment caused by the lack of wine, she told the servants clearly that the path to follow was her Son: "Do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2:5).…

Let us ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to assist us in purifying our hearts, especially in view of the coming Easter celebrations, that we may enter more deeply the salvific mystery of her Son, as she made it known in this land. And let us also ask her to continue accompanying and protecting her Mexican and Latin American children, that Christ may reign in their lives and help them boldly to promote peace, harmony, justice and solidarity.

Mar. 25 – On Our Lady of Guadalupe: "True devotion to the Virgin Mary always takes us to Jesus” – Translated extract of the Angelus address in Guanajuato, Mexico (Mar. 25, 2012,

…Today we invoke Mary Most Holy and we ask her: "show Jesus to us".

As we now pray the Angelus and remember the Annunciation of the Lord, our eyes too turn spiritually towards the hill of Tepeyac, to the place where the Mother of God, under the title of "the Ever-Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe" has been fervently honoured for centuries as a sign of reconciliation and of God’s infinite goodness towards the world.

To read the entire article visit: On Our Lady of Guadalupe

Mar. 25 –Pontiff's Homily at Vespers With Latin American Bishops: "The Church cannot separate the praise of God from service to others" – Translated beginning and conclusion from the homily in Guanajuato, Mexico (Mar. 25, 2012,

…It gives me great joy to be able to pray with all of you in this Basilica-Cathedral of León, dedicated to our Lady of Light. In the lovely painting venerated in this basilica, the Blessed Virgin holds her Son in one hand with immense tenderness while extending her other hand to succour sinners. This is how the Church in every age sees Mary. We praise her for giving us the Redeemer and we put our trust in her as the Mother whom her divine Son bequeathed to us from the Cross. For this reason, we invoke her frequently as "our hope" because she has shown us Jesus and passed down to us the great things which God constantly does for humanity. She does so simply, as a mother teaches her children at home.…

…May the Mother of God, invoked as Our Lady of Light, dispel the darkness of our world and illumine our path, so that we can confirm the faith of the people of Latin America amid their struggles and aspirations, with integrity, valour and firm faith in the One who can do all things and loves all men and women to the fullest.

Mar. 26 - Pope's 'Adios' to Mexico: "Remain with God! Yes, 'Adios!'" – Translated extracts (Mar. 25, 2012,

…Recognizing the faith in Jesus Christ which I have felt resounding in your hearts, and your affectionate devotion to his Mother, invoked here with beautiful titles like Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of Light, a light I have seen reflected in your faces, I wish to reiterate clearly and with vigour a plea to the Mexican people to remain faithful to yourselves, not to let yourselves be intimidated by the powers of evil, but to be valiant and to work to ensure that the sap of your Christian roots may nourish your present and your future.…

…May the Lord bless you and may Mary Most Holy protect you!

Mar. 26 – Pope's Address upon Arrival in Cuba: "Many areas remain in which greater progress can and ought to be made" – Translated extracts from Santiago, Cuba (Mar. 27, 2012,

… I am pleased to share your joy as you celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of the holy statue of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre. Since the beginning she has been very much present in the personal lives of Cubans as well as in the great events of the nation, especially since independence, for she is honoured by all as the true mother of the Cuban people. Devotion to the Virgen Mambisa has sustained the faith and inspired the defence and promotion of all that gives dignity to the human condition and its fundamental rights, and continues to do so today with ever greater strength, giving visible witness to the fruitfulness of the preaching of the Gospel in these lands, and to the profound Christian roots which shape the deepest identity of the Cuban soul. Following in the footsteps of countless pilgrims down the centuries, I too wish to go to El Cobre to kneel at the feet of the Mother of God, to thank her for her concern for all her Cuban children, and to ask her to guide the future of this beloved nation in the ways of justice, peace, freedom and reconciliation.…

… At the same time, I pray that, through the intercession of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, he will grant to all a future of hope, solidarity and harmony.

Mar. 26- Pope's Homily at Mass for 400th Anniversary of Our Lady of Charity: "When God is put aside, the world becomes an inhospitable place for man" – Translated extracts of the homily given in Santiago, Cuba (Mar. 27, 2012,

… This first Holy Mass which I have the joy of celebrating during my pastoral visit to this country, takes place in the context of the Marian Jubilee Year called to honour and to venerate Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, Patroness of Cuba, in this fourth centenary of the discovery and presence of her venerable statue in this blessed land. … I was deeply touched to hear of the fervour with which Mary has been welcomed and invoked by so many Cubans during her journey to every corner of the island.

To read the entire article visit: Pope's Homily at Mass for 400th Anniversary of Our Lady of Charity

Mar. 27 - Pontiff's Visit to Our Lady of Charity: "I have entrusted to the Mother of God the future of your country" – Translated address given at Santiago, Cuba (Mar. 27, 2012,

… I have come as a pilgrim to the house of the blessed statue of Our Lady of Charity, la Mambisa as you call upon her with affection. Her presence in this town of El Cobre is a gift from heaven for all Cubans.

… Let all those you meet know, whether near or far, that I have entrusted to the Mother of God the future of your country, advancing along the ways of renewal and hope, for the greater good of all Cubans. I have also prayed to the Virgin for the needs of those who suffer, of those who are deprived of freedom, those who are separated from their loved ones or who are undergoing times of difficulty. I have placed in her Immaculate Heart your young people, that they may be authentic friends of Christ and not succumb to things which bring sadness in their wake. Before Mary of Charity, I remember in a particular way Cubans who are the descendents of those who arrived here from Africa, and the nearby people of Haiti, who still suffer the consequences of the earthquake of two years ago.…

… Following the example of the Most Holy Virgin, I encourage all the sons and daughters of this dear country to continue to build their lives on the firm rock which is Jesus Christ, to work for justice, to be servants of charity and to persevere in the midst of trials.…

Mar. 28 - Papal Homily at Havana Mass: "Anyone who acts irrationally cannot become a disciple of Jesus" – Translated extracts from homily given in Havana, Cuba (Mar. 28, 2012,

…I feel great joy in being here with you today to celebrate Holy Mass during this Jubilee Year devoted to Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre.…

…Invoking the maternal protection of Mary Most Holy, let us ask that each time we participate in the Eucharist we will also become witnesses to that charity which responds to evil with good (cf. Rom 12:51), offering ourselves as a living sacrifice to the One who lovingly gave Himself up for our sake.…

Mar. 28 - Pope's Farewell to Cuba: "Cuba, look again to the faith of your elders" – Translated extracts of address given in Havana, Cuba (Mar. 28, 2012,

…I too greatly have wished to come among you as a pilgrim of charity, in order to thank the Virgin Mary for the presence of her venerable statue of the Sanctuary of El Cobre, whence for four centuries she has accompanied the journey of the Church in this nation and given encouragement to all Cubans so that, from the hand of Christ, they might discover the true meaning of the desires and aspirations found in the human heart and gain the strength needed to build a fraternal society in which no one feels excluded.…

…As I bid you a heartfelt adios, I ask our Lady of Charity of El Cobre to protect all Cubans under her mantle, to sustain them in the midst of their trials and to obtain from Almighty God the grace that they most desire. Hasta siempre, Cuba, a land made beautiful by the maternal presence of Mary.…



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