The Pope evoked the sorrow of mothers and women all over the world before the Immaculate Conception
Act of veneration of the Immaculate Conception
This afternoon, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, after two weeks of reduced activity due to flu and lung inflammation, the Holy Father Francis went to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore where he paused in prayer before the image of the Salus Populi Romani offering as a gift a Golden Rose, symbol of papal blessing. In his prayer, the Holy Father evoked the pain of mothers and women all over the world, as well as that of the people tried by the war in Ukraine, Palestine, and Israel.
Immediately afterward, the Pope went to the Spanish Steps for the traditional Act of Veneration of the Immaculate Virgin Mary.
We publish below the prayer that the Holy Father recited during the Act of Veneration of the Immaculate Conception in the Spanish Steps:
Prayer of the Holy Father
We come to you with our hearts divided between hope and anguish.
We need you, our Mother!
But first, we want to thank you
because in silence, as is your style, you watch over this city
which today wraps you in flowers to tell you of its love.
In silence, day and night, you watch over us:
on families, with their joys and worries – you know it well -;
on places of study and work; on institutions and public offices;
on hospitals and nursing homes; on prisons; on those living on the streets;
on the parishes and all the communities of the Church of Rome.
Thank you for your discreet and constant presence,
which gives us comfort and hope.
You know, we need you, Mother,
because you are the Immaculate Conception.
Your person, the very fact that you exist
reminds us that evil has neither the first nor the last word;
that our destiny is not death but life,
it is not hatred but fraternity, it is not conflict but harmony,
it is not war but peace.
Looking to you, we feel confirmed in this faith
that events sometimes put to the test.
And you, Mother, turn your eyes of mercy
upon all peoples oppressed by injustice and poverty,
tried by war: Mother, look to the tormented people of Ukraine,
to the Palestinian people and the Israeli people,
plunged back into the spiral of violence.
Today, Holy Mother, we bring here, under your gaze
so many mothers who, like you, are grieving.
Mothers who mourn their children killed by war and terrorism.
The mothers who see them leave on journeys of desperate hope.
And also the mothers who try to untie them from the bonds of addiction,
and those who watch them through a long and hard illness.
Today, Maria, we need you as a woman,
to entrust to you all women who have suffered violence
and those who are still victims of it,
in this city, in Italy, and every part of the world.
You know them one by one, you know their faces.
Dry, we pray, their tears and those of their loved ones.
And help us to make a path of education and purification,
recognising and counteracting the violence lurking
in our hearts and minds
and asking God to deliver us from it.
Show us again, O Mother, the way of conversion,
for there is no peace without forgiveness
and there is no forgiveness without repentance.
The world changes if hearts change;
and each must say: starting with mine.
But only God can change the human heart
with his grace: the grace in which you, Mary,
are immersed from the very first moment.
The grace of Jesus Christ, our Lord,
whom you began in the flesh,
who died and rose again for us, and whom you always point out to us.
He is salvation, for every man and the world.
Come, Lord Jesus!
Thy kingdom of love, justice, and peace come!