#PopeFrancis "You revealed yourself to him as a Mother of grace and mercy. Grant that we too,..may fix our gaze on your..." FULL TEXT Prayer to Mary + Video
Pope Francis left the Vatican on Friday afternoon, headed for Rome’s central Piazza di Spagna in order to honor the Immaculate Conception at her statue.
The Pope’s visit to the memorial column dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, He also provided the traditional blessing of a garland of flowers which Roman firemen placed on the statue of Our Lady.
Pope Francis in the presence of pilgrims, tourists and local Roman residents, recited a specially-composed Prayer to Our Lady
Here is the full translated text of the prayer:
For the fifth time I come to your feet as Bishop of Rome, to pay you homage on behalf of all the inhabitants of this city.
We want to thank you for the constant care with which you accompany us on our journey, the journey of families, parishes, religious communities; the journey of those who daily, and sometimes with difficulty, pass through Rome on their way to work; the journey of the sick, the elderly, the poor, the journey of so many people who immigrated here from places where there is war and hunger.
Thank you, because as soon as we turn our thoughts, or a fleeting glance, towards you, or recite a quick Hail Mary, we feel your maternal presence, tender and strong.
O Mother, help this city develop the "antibodies" it needs to combat some of the viruses of our times: the indifference that says: "It’s not my business"; the unsociable behavior that despises the common good; the fear of the foreigner and those who are different from us; the conformism that disguises itself as transgression; the hypocrisy that accuses others while doing the same things; the resignation to environmental and ethical degradation; the exploitation of so many men and women.
Help us to reject these and other viruses with the antibodies that come from the Gospel. Let us make it a good habit to read a passage from the Gospel every day and, following your example, to keep the Word of God in our hearts, so that, like a good seed, it may fruit in our lives.
175 years ago, not far from here, in the church of Sant'Andrea delle Fratte, you touched the heart of Alphonse Ratisbonne, who at that moment, from being an atheist and enemy of the Church, became a Christian.
You revealed yourself to him as a Mother of grace and mercy. Grant that we too, especially in times of trial and temptation, may fix our gaze on your open hands, hands that allow the Lord's graces to fall upon the earth. Help us to rid ourselves of all pride and arrogance, and to recognize ourselves for what we really are: small and poor sinners, but always your children.
So, let us place our hand in yours And allow ourselves to be led back to Jesus, our Brother and Savior, and to our Heavenly Father, who never tires of waiting for us and forgiving us when we return to Him.
Thank you, Mother, for always listening to us! Bless the Church that is in Rome. Bless this City and the whole world.
Visit to Basilica of Mary Major
On his way to Piazza di Spagna this year, Pope Francis also stopped to visit the Basilica of St Mary Major where he laid a floral wreath below the icon of Salus Populi Romani, depicting Our Lady and the Christ Child. This is the same image the Pope always prays at both before and after his apostolic journeys abroad.
Before returning to the Vatican later in the afternoon, Pope Francis paid a private visit to the Rome Basilica of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte.
It was here, 175 years ago, that a French Jew by the name of Alphonse Ratisbonne, experienced a vision of the Virgin Mary. At that moment, in the words of the Pope, “from being an atheist and enemy of the Church, he became a Christian”.
Even more so, following his conversion, Alphonse became a Jesuit priest and missionary and ended up cofounding his own religious Congregation dedicated to Our Lady of Sion.