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Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary 2009

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

"Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In the heart of the month of August, a holiday period for many families and also for me, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. This is a privileged opportunity to meditate on the ultimate meaning of our existence, helped by today's Liturgy which invites us to live in this world oriented to eternal happiness in order to share in the same glory as Mary, the same joy as our Mother (cf Opening Prayer). Let us, therefore, turn our gaze to Our Lady, Star of Hope, who illumines us on our earthly journey, and follow the example of the Saints who turned to her in every circumstance. You know that we are celebrating the Year for Priests in remembrance of the Holy Curé d'Ars, and I would like to draw from the thoughts and testimonies of this holy country parish priest some ideas for reflection that will be able to help all of us especially us priests to strengthen our love and veneration for the Most Holy Virgin.

His biographers claim that St John Mary Vianney spoke to Our Lady with devotion and, at the same time, with trust and spontaneity. "The Blessed Virgin", he used to say, "is immaculate and adorned with all the virtues that make her so beautiful and pleasing to the Blessed Trinity" (B. Nodet, Il pensiero e l'anima del Curato d'Ars, Turin 1967, p. 303). And further: "The heart of this good Mother is nothing but love and mercy, all she wants is to see us happy. To be heard, it suffices to address oneself to her" (ibid., p. 307). The priest's zeal shines through these words. Motivated by apostolic longing, he rejoiced in speaking to his faithful of Mary and never tired of doing so. He could even present a difficult mystery like today's, that of the Assumption, with effective images, such as, for example: "Man was created for Heaven. The devil broke the ladder that led to it. Our Lord, with his Passion, made another.... The Virgin Most Holy stands at the top of the ladder and holds it steady with both hands" (ibid.).

The Holy Curé d'Ars was attracted above all by Mary's beauty, a beauty that coincides with her being Immaculate, the only creature to have been conceived without a shadow of sin. "The Blessed Virgin", he said, "is that beautiful Creature who never displeased the good Lord" (ibid. p. 306). As a good and faithful pastor, he first of all set an example also in this filial love for the Mother of Jesus by whom he felt drawn toward Heaven. "Were I not to go to Heaven", he exclaimed, "how sorry I should be! I should never see the Blessed Virgin, this most beautiful creature!" (ibid., p. 309). Moreover, on several occasions he consecrated his parish to Our Lady, recommending that mothers in particular do the same, every morning, with their children. Dear brothers and sisters, let us make our own the sentiments of the Holy Curé d'Ars. And with his same faith let us turn to Mary, taken up into Heaven, in a special way entrusting to her the priests of the whole world."

After the Angelus:

"En ce jour de l’Assomption, j’accueille avec joie les pèlerins de langue française venus à Castel Gangolfo pour la prière de l’Angélus. Au cœur de ce mois d’août, qui pour beaucoup est un temps de repos, l’Église nous donne de célébrer la gloire sans pareille de la Vierge Marie. Humble servante du Seigneur elle a été associée dans son corps à la résurrection de son fils Jésus, devenant pour toute l’humanité un gage d’espérance. En contemplant Marie, je vous invite à vous ouvrir comme elle à la confiance et à vous abandonner à la tendresse et à la fidélité de Dieu. Que la Vierge Marie veille sur l’Église et sur toutes les familles !

I am happy to greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors gathered here at Castel Gandolfo and also in Saint Peter’s Square. As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, we are invited to raise our eyes to heaven and contemplate Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother. She who on earth believed in God’s word is now glorified in body and soul. May Mary’s intercession and example guide you always and renew your hearts in faith and hope. May God grant you and your families abundant blessings of peace and joy!

Zum Hochfest Mariä Himmelfahrt heiße ich ganz herzlich die Pilger und Besucher deutscher Sprache willkommen. Die Kirche stellt uns Maria als den Menschen vor Augen, der ganz offen ist für den göttlichen Ruf, vorbehaltlos Ja sagt zu Gottes Willen und deshalb Heil und Segen für die Menschen wird. Die Kunst stellt uns Maria oft als die Betende vor, die in der Zwiesprache mit Gott die Botschaft des Engels annimmt. Eine solche Haltung sollte auch unser Gebet auszeichnen, nämlich die Offenheit für die Gegenwart des lebendigen Herrn, um das Geschenk seiner Güte zu empfangen und weiterzugeben. Euch allen wünsche ich einen gesegneten Festtag!

Saludo con afecto a los peregrinos de lengua española. La Iglesia celebra hoy la Solemnidad de la Asunción de la Virgen María. Con esta fiesta los cristianos reconocemos agradecidos la especial complacencia que Dios tiene hacia la Madre de su Hijo, que en este día la vemos coronada de gloria y esplendor. Pidamos, por la poderosa intercesión de la Santísima Virgen, poder vivir en todo momento apoyados en la gracia y alcanzar como ella el premio de la gloria celeste. Muchas gracias.

Saúdo os peregrinos de língua portuguesa, a quem agradeço a presença e a união na oração do “Angelus”, neste dia de Nossa Senhora da Assunção. Ela aponta-nos a meta do Céu, ensinando-nos que o destino do homem não se esgota no tempo, mas completa-se na Vida Eterna, junto de Deus. Esta mensagem encha os vossos corações de alegria e de esperança que vos desejo com a minha Bênção Apostólica.

Witam obecnych tu w Castel Gandolfo Polaków. Szczególnie pozdrawiam wiernych zgromadzonych na Jasnej Górze i w sanktuariach maryjnych w Polsce. Uroczystość Wniebowzięcia Matki Bożej przypomina nam, że niebo jest naszą ojczyzną. Tam jest cel naszej ziemskiej wędrówki. Niech ta Uroczystość będzie dla was okazją, by w duchu wiary Ojców raz jeszcze odnowić swoje osobiste zawierzenie, jak również rodzin i całego Narodu, Niepokalanej Matce.

Saluto, infine, i pellegrini italiani. In particolare i fedeli della parrocchia di San Martino, in Cenate Sotto e quelli della parrocchia dei Santi Giovanni Battista ed Irene, in Veglie. Saluto altresì i rappresentanti dell’Opera di Nazaret. A tutti auguro una buona festa dell’Assunta!"

BXVI - Saturday, 15 August 2009- Courtyard of the Papal Summer Residence, Castel Gandolfo - © Copyright 2009 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana