Pope Asks Protection and Prayer for Single Mothers
The Pope prayed for mothers who find themselves alone in the task of educating their children during his pastoral visit to Sardinia.
The Holy Father first recalled the special attention Popes through the years have given to the island, and particularly to Our Lady of Bonaria, its patron. His visit marked the conclusion of the centenary of the proclamation of the Virgin of Bonaria as patroness of Sardinia.
"How many of my predecessors wished to honor [the Virgin] with particular affection," he said, "Blessed Pius IX decreed her crowning; Saint Pius X, some 100 years ago, proclaimed her patroness of the whole of Sardinia; Pius XI conferred on the new church the title of Minor Basilica; Pius XII, 50 years ago, rendered himself spiritually present here with a special message broadcast live by Vatican Radio, and, in 1960, Blessed John XXIII sent a letter for the reopening of the shrine for worship after its restoration.
"The first Pope to return to the Island after 1,650 years was the Servant of God Paul VI, who visited the shrine on April 24, 1970. And, on Oct. 20, 1985, our beloved John Paul II also paused for prayer before the sacred effigy of Our Lady. In the footsteps of the Popes who preceded me, I have also chosen the Shrine of Bonaria to carry out a pastoral visit that ideally intends to embrace the whole of Sardinia."
The Pontiff went on to note the feast of the birth of the Virgin, celebrated September 8.
"[Her birth] constitutes a fundamental stage for the Family of Nazareth, cradle of our redemption, an event that touches all of us, because every gift that God has given her, the Mother, he has given thinking also of each one of us, her children," he said. "Hence, with immense gratitude, we ask Mary, Mother of the incarnate Word and our Mother, to protect every earthly mother: those that, together with their husbands, educate their children in a harmonious family context, and those that, for so many reasons, find themselves alone in facing such an arduous task.
"May all be able to carry out with dedication and fidelity their daily service in the family, the Church, and society. May Our Lady be sustenance, comfort and hope for all."
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