In Rome, "White Monday"
SVILUPPO: In place of the speech given during the rite by prior bishops of Rome, Francis reads out a prayer to the Immaculate written by him for the occasion.
Following is an English translation of the text he delivered today....
O Mary, our mother,-30-
today the People of God feast in hailing you as Immaculate,
preserved forever from the contagion of sin.
Receive the homage I offer you in the name of the Church
that is in Rome and across the whole world.
To know that you, who are our Mother, are totally free from sin
gives us great comfort.
To know that, over you, evil has no power,
renews our hope and strength
in the daily struggle that we must undertake
against the threats of the evil one.
But in this fight we're not alone, we are not orphans, because Jesus,
before dying on the cross,
gave you to us as our Mother.
We, then, while being sinners, are your children,
sons and daughters of the Immaculate one,
called to that holiness which shines in you from the beginning by God's grace.
Enlivened by this hope,
we today seek your motherly protection for us, for our families,
for this city, for the entire world.
May the power of God's love, which preserved you from original sin,
through your intercession, free all humanity from every spiritual and material slavery,
and make victorious, in our hearts and in events,
the design of the salvation of God.
Make it so for us, your children, that grace might prevail over pride
and that we might become merciful
as our heavenly Father is merciful.
In this time that leads us to the feast of the Birthday of Jesus,
teach us to go against the current:
to strip ourselves, to lower ourselves, to give of ourselves;
to listen, to be quiet, to focus away from ourselves,
so to make space for the beauty of God, the source of true joy.
O our Immaculate Mother, pray for us!