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Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary 2006

Papa Benedict XVI's words at the Angelus
- in Croatian, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Christian tradition has placed, as we know, in the heart of summer a most ancient and suggestive Marian feast, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Like Jesus, risen from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father, so Mary, having finished the course of her earthly existence, was assumed into Heaven. Today, the liturgy reminds us of this consoling truth of faith, while it sings the praises of she who has been crowned with incomparable glory. We read today in the verse from Apocalypse proposed by the Church for our meditation: "And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (12: 1). In this woman, resplendent with light, the Fathers of the Church have recognized Mary. In her triumph the Christian people, pilgrims in history, catch a glimpse of the fulfilment of its longing and a certain sign of its hope.

Mary is an example and support for all believers: she encourages us not to lose confidence before the difficulties and inevitable problems of every day. She assures us of her help and reminds us that it is essential to seek and think of "the things above, not those of the earth" (cf. Col 3: 2). Caught up in daily activities we risk, in fact, to think that here, in this world in which we are only passing through, is the ultimate goal of human existence. Instead, Paradise is the true goal of our earthly pilgrimage. How different our days would be if they were animated by this perspective! It was this way for the saints. Their lives witnessed to what they lived, with their hearts continually directed to God. Earthly realities are lived properly because the eternal truth of divine love illuminates them.

To the Queen of Peace, whom we contemplate today in heavenly glory, I want to entrust once again the anxieties of humanity in every violence-torn part of the world. We unite with our brothers and sisters who in this very hour are gathered in the Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon at Harissa for a Eucharistic celebration presided over by Cardinal Roger Etchegaray. He has gone to Lebanon as my Special Envoy to bring comfort and concrete solidarity to all the victims of the conflict and to pray for the great intention of peace. We are also in communion with the Pastors and faithful of the Church in the Holy Land who are gathered in the Basilica of the Annunciation at Nazareth with the Pontifical Representative to Israel and Palestine, Archbishop Antonio Franco, in order to pray for the same intention. My thoughts go also to the dear Nation of Sri Lanka, threatened by the deterioration of the ethnic conflict; to Iraq, where the terrible daily bloodshed delays the dawn of reconciliation and rebuilding. May Mary obtain for all sentiments of comprehension, the will to understand and the desire for harmony!"

After the Angelus:

"Chers pèlerins de langue française, je vous salue cordialement. En cette fête de l’Assomption de la Vierge Marie, patronne de la France, je vous invite à vous tourner avec confiance vers celle qui est entrée pour toujours dans la gloire de Dieu. Qu’elle vous aide à trouver, comme elle, dans une fidélité généreuse à la volonté du Seigneur, la source de votre joie! Avec la Bénédiction apostolique!

I am happy to greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for this Angelus. Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven. May the example of her life of obedience to the will of God, recognised by her exaltation into glory, be for all Christians a source of hope and inspiration! I wish you a blessed feast day, and a pleasant time in Castel Gandolfo and Rome!

Einen frohen Gruß richte ich an alle Pilger und Besucher deutscher Sprache. Das Hochfest „Mariä Himmelfahrt", das wir heute feiern, zeigt uns die jungfräuliche Gottesmutter Maria, die ganz Erlöste, von ihrem Ursprung her bis hinein in die unverlierbare Gemeinschaft mit dem Auferstandenen. In ihrem „Ja" zu Gottes Willen ist sie das Vorbild des Glaubens schlechthin; sie ist zugleich unsere mütterliche Fürsprecherin, der wir uns und unsere Sorgen stets anvertrauen dürfen. Der Schutz Mariens begleite euch auf allen Wegen.

En esta solemnidad de la Asunción de la Virgen María, doy la cordial bienvenida a los peregrinos de lengua española. De modo especial saludo a los fieles de las parroquias Asunción de Nuestra Señora, de Lliria, y de San Francisco Javier, de Murcia, así como al grupo de la Obra de la Iglesia. A todos os encomiendo bajo la constante protección de nuestra Madre celestial y os imparto con afecto mi Bendición.

A Virgem Maria percorreu, na fé, todo o caminho do Redentor; tendo partilhado a sorte do Seu Filho, Ela não podia deixar de acompanhá-Lo na Sua glória final. E assim a Igreja confessa que Nossa Senhora foi elevada ao Céu em corpo e alma. Com amizade e alegria, dou as boas-vindas aos peregrinos de língua portuguesa, encorajando-vos a levantar o vosso olhar para a Virgem Mãe, sinal de esperança segura e de consolação. Que Ela guie e proteja a vossa peregrinação até à Casa do Pai!

Pozdrawiam wszystkich Polaków. Obchodzimy dziś uroczystość Wniebowzięcia Najświętszej Maryi Panny. Jej opiece zawierzam cały Kościół w Polsce. Niech Ta, która zasiada u boku zmartwychwstałego Syna, wyprasza duchowieństwu i wiernym obfitość darów, a szczególnie łaskę wzajemnego zaufania w duchu troski o wzrost Królestwa Bożego. Przez Jej ręce niech Bóg wam błogosławi!

Saluto con affetto i pellegrini italiani, in particolare i fedeli della Parrocchia S. Bernardino in Semonte, S. Giuseppe Lavoratore in Latiano, il gruppo da Modena, i giovani del Movimento FAC e i Gen del Movimento dei Focolari provenienti da 27 Paesi. A tutti e a ciascuno auguro di trascorrere nella gioia questa solenne e popolare festa mariana. Buona festa a voi tutti, è venuto il sole, grazie a Dio!"

BXVI - Tuesday, 15 August 2006- Courtyard of the Papal Summer Residence, Castel Gandolfo - © Copyright 2006 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana