Thought of the day
Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God - Solemnity

Day of Motherhood, day of peace

Saint John-Paul II, Pope from 1978 to 2005 
Homily for the 1st January 1979 (trans. © copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana)
Day of Motherhood, day of peace

Today the church particularly venerates the Motherhood of Mary.  This is, as it were, a last message of the octave of Christmas. Birth always speaks of the mother, of her who gives life, of her who gives man to the world. The first day of the New Year is the day of the Mother: we see her then—as in so many pictures and sculptures—with the Child in her arms, with the Child at her breast…  There is no image that is better known and that speaks in a more simple way of the mystery of the Lord's birth than that of the Mother with Jesus in her arms. Is not this image, perhaps, the source of our extraordinary confidence?... 

But there is yet another image of the Mother with her Son in her arms. It is in this basilica: it is "la Pietà": Mary holding Jesus who has been taken from the Cross… and who after death returns to those arms on which he was offered as Saviour of the world at Bethlehem.

I would like, then, to unite our prayer for peace with this double image.., with this Motherhood, which the Church venerates particularly in the octave of Christmas. Therefore I say:

"Mother,
you who know what it means
to clasp in your arms the dead body of your Son,
of him to whom you gave birth,
spare all mothers on this earth
the death of their sons,
the torments, the slavery, the destruction of war,
the persecutions, the concentration camps,
the prisons!
Keep for them the joy of birth,
of sustenance, of the development of man
and of his life.
In the name of this life,
in the name of the birth of the Lord,
implore with us peace,
and justice in the world!
Mother of Peace,
in all the beauty and majesty of your motherhood,
which the Church exalts and the world admires,
we pray to you:
Be with us at every moment!
Let this New Year be a year of peace,
in virtue of the birth and the death of your Son! '"
Amen.

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