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Pope's Address at Rosary Meeting

5/14/2007 - 6:15 AM PST

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"Remain in the School of Mary"

APARECIDA, Brazil, MAY 14, 2007 (Zenit) - Here is a Vatican translation of the address Benedict XVI gave Saturday evening at the Shrine of Our Lady of ConceiÁ„o Aparecida, after praying the rosary with priests, religious, seminarians and deacons of Brazil and the delegates of the 5th General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean.

* * *

My Venerable Brothers in the College of Cardinals, in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,

Beloved Religious and all of you who have lovingly followed Christ in response to sound of his voice,

Dear Seminarians, preparing for the priestly ministry,

Dear Members of Ecclesial Movements and all you lay people who bring the power of the Gospel into the world of work and culture, in the heart of your families and your parishes!

1. Just as the Apostles, together with Mary, "went up to the upper room" and there, "with one accord devoted themselves to prayer" (Acts 1:13-14), so too we are gathered here today at the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, which at this time is our "upper room" where Mary, Mother of the Lord, is in our midst. Today it is she who leads our meditation; it is she who teaches us to pray. It is she who shows us the way to open our minds and hearts to the power of the Holy Spirit, who comes to fill the whole world.

We have just prayed the rosary. Through these sequences of meditations, the divine Comforter seeks to initiate us in the knowledge of Christ that issues forth from the clear source of the Gospel text. For her part, the Church of the third millennium proposes to offer Christians the capacity for "knowledge -- according to the words of Saint Paul -- of God's mystery, of Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:2-3). Mary Most Holy, the pure and immaculate Virgin, is for us a school of faith destined to guide us and give us strength on the path that leads us to the Creator of Heaven and Earth. The Pope has come to Aparecida with great joy so as to say to you first of all: "Remain in the school of Mary." Take inspiration from her teachings, seek to welcome and to preserve in your hearts the enlightenment that she, by divine mandate, sends you from on high.

How beautiful it is to be gathered here in the name of Christ, in faith, in fraternity, in joy, in peace and in prayer, together with "Mary, the mother of Jesus" (Acts 1:14). How beautiful it is, my dear Priests, Deacons, Consecrated men and women, Seminarians and Christian families, to be here in the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, which is God's Dwelling-place, the House of Mary and the House of the Brothers; and in the coming days it is also to serve as the setting for the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean. How beautiful it is to be here in this Marian Basilica, towards which, at this time, the gaze and the hopes of the Christian world are turned, especially for the Christians of Latin America and the Caribbean!

2. I am glad to be here with you, in your midst! The Pope loves you! The Pope greets you affectionately! He is praying for you! And he implores the Lord's choicest blessings upon the Movements, Associations and new ecclesial realities, a living expression of the perennial youth of the Church! Be truly blessed! From here I address my truly affectionate greeting to the families who are gathered here to represent all the dearly beloved Christian families present throughout the world. I rejoice especially with you and I offer you an embrace of peace.

I am grateful for the welcome and the hospitality of the Brazilian people. Ever since my arrival I have been received with great affection! The various manifestations of appreciation and the greetings show how much you love, esteem and respect the Successor of the Apostle Peter. My Predecessor, the Servant of God John Paul II, mentioned on numerous occasions your affability and your spirit of fraternal welcome. He was completely right!

3. I greet the dear priests who are present, and I keep in my thoughts and prayers all the priests spread throughout the world, especially those in Latin America and the Caribbean, including the Fidei donum priests. What great challenges, what difficult situations you have to face, with such generosity, self-denial, sacrifices and renunciations! Your faithfulness in the exercise of the ministry and the life of prayer, your search for holiness, your total self-giving to God at the service of your brothers and sisters, as you expend your lives and energy in order to promote justice, fraternity, solidarity and sharing -- all this speaks powerfully to my pastoral heart. The witness of a priestly life well lived brings nobility to the Church, calls forth admiration among the faithful, and is a source of blessings for the community; ...

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