On Solemnity of Assumption
"Paradise Is the Authentic Goal of Our Earthly Pilgrimage"
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 18, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is a translation of Benedict XVI's address on Tuesday, the solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, to the crowds gathered in the courtyard of the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo to pray the midday Angelus.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Christian tradition has placed in the heart of summer one of the most ancient and evocative Marian feasts, the solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Just as Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father, Mary, at the end of the course of her existence on earth, was assumed into heaven.
The liturgy reminds us today of this consoling truth of faith, while singing the praises of her who was crowned with incomparable glory. "And a great portent appeared in heaven," we read in the passage of Revelation proposed today for our meditation, "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 recognized Mary. In her victory, the Christian people, pilgrim in history, perceives the fulfillment of its expectations and the sure sign of its hope.
Mary is an example and support for all believers: She encourages us not to lose confidence in the face of the difficulties and inevitable problems of every day. She assures us of her help and reminds us that what is essential is to seek and aspire for "things that are above, not for things on earth" (cf. Colossians 3:2). Immersed in daily occupations, we run the risk of believing that in this world, in which we are only passing by, is the objective of human existence. However, Paradise is the authentic goal of our earthly pilgrimage. How different our days would be if they were animated by this perspective! It is what happened to saints. Their human existence witnesses that when one lives with one's heart constantly directed to heaven, earthly realities are lived in their just value, as they are illuminated by the eternal truth of divine love.
To the Queen of Peace, whom we contemplate in heavenly glory, I would like to entrust once again the concerns of humanity in every place of the world tormented by violence. We join our brothers and sisters, who in these hours are gathered in the Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa, for a Eucharistic celebration presided over by Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who has traveled to Lebanon as my special envoy, to take consolation 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 in Nazareth, around the papal representative in Israel and Palestine, Archbishop Antonio Franco, to pray for the same intentions.
My thoughts also go to the dear nation of Sri Lanka, threatened by the deterioration of the ethnic conflict; to Iraq, where the terrible and daily trail of blood removes the perspective of reconciliation and reconstruction. May Mary inspire in all sentiments of understanding, a will to understand and desires for concord!
© Copyright 2006 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana
http://www.catholic.org , VA
Pope Benedict XVI - Bishop of Rome, 661 869-1000
Assumption, Solemnity, Pope, Benedict, Virgin, Mary
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