At midday today, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with thousands of pilgrims gathered below in St. Peter's Square.
The Holy Father explained how the mystery of the Immaculate Conception "is a source of inner light, of hope and comfort. In the midst of the trials of life, and especially the contradictions man experiences within and around himself, Mary the Mother of Christ tells us that Grace is greater than sin, that God's mercy is more powerful than evil and can transform evil into good. Unfortunately we experience evil every day, manifesting itself in many ways in the relationships and events of our lives, but its roots lie in the heart of man, a wounded and sick heart incapable of healing itself.
"Holy Scripture", the Pope added, "shows us that the origin of all evil lies in disobedience to God's will, and that death holds sway because human freedom has succumbed to the temptation of the Evil One. But God does not renounce His plan of love and life. By a long and patient journey of reconciliation He has prepared the new and eternal alliance, sealed with the blood of His Son Who, to offer Himself in atonement, was 'born of a woman'. This woman, the Virgin Mary, benefited in advance from the redemptive death of her Son and, from conception, was preserved from the contagion of sin. Thus ... she says: entrust yourselves to Jesus. He will save you".
The Pope concluded his brief remarks by entrusting "the most pressing needs of the Church and the world", to the Virgin Mary. "May she help us, above all, to have faith in God, to believe in His Word and always to refuse evil and choose good".
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