11 February 2009

Pope Benedict Message for Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

Benedict XVI Entrusts Sick to Mary of Lourdes

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 11, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is inviting youth, ill people and newlyweds to entrust their lives to Mary today as the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

At the end of the general audience in Paul VI Hall, the Pope invited the boys and girls among the 8,000 pilgrims to entrust themselves "always to the maternal protection of Mary so that she helps you to conserve a generous heart, available and full of apostolic enthusiasm."

The Church also celebrates today the World Day of the Sick, and the Holy Father addressed the ill to express his hope that "the Virgin of Lourdes, to whose intercession many ill people of body and spirit entrust themselves with trust, may place her gaze of consolation and hope on all of you."

In this way, he continued, the ill can receive support to "carry the daily cross, in intimate union with the redeeming [cross] of Christ."

Finally, with a word to the newlyweds at the audience, the Bishop of Rome said: "May Mary accompany you […] in your path, so that your families become communities of intense spiritual life and concrete Christian testimony."

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