SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
ACT OF VENERATION TO THE IMMACULATE IN PIAZZA DI SPAGNA
PRAYER OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
IN IMMACULATE MARY
Piazza di Spagna
Saturday, December 8th 2018
on the day of your feast, so dear to the Christian people,
I come to pay you homage in the heart of Rome.
In my heart I bring the faithful of this Church
and all those who live in this city, especially the sick
and how many for different situations are more difficult to move forward.
First of all we want to thank you
for the maternal care with which we accompany our journey:
how many times we hear with tears in our eyes
from those who have experienced your intercession,
the graces that you ask for us for your Son Jesus!
I also think of an ordinary grace you give to the people who live in Rome:
that of facing the inconveniences of daily life with patience.
But for this we ask you the strength not to resign, indeed,
to do each day their own part to improve things,
because the care of everyone makes Rome more beautiful and livable for everyone;
because the duty well done by everyone assures everyone's rights.
And thinking of the common good of this city,
we pray for those who hold roles of greater responsibility:
get for them wisdom, foresight, spirit of service and collaboration.
I would like to entrust you especially to the priests of this Diocese:
the parish priests, the vice-priests, the elderly priests who with the heart of shepherds
continue to work for the people of God,
the many priests students from all over the world who collaborate in the parishes.
For all of them I ask you the sweet joy of evangelizing
and the gift of being fathers, close to the people, merciful.
To you, a woman consecrated to God, I entrust consecrated women in religious life and in secular life,
that thanks to God in Rome there are many, more than in any other city in the world,
and they form a beautiful mosaic of nationalities and cultures.
I ask you for the joy of being, like you, spouses and mothers,
fruitful in prayer, in charity, in compassion.
O Mother of Jesus,
one last thing I ask you, in this Advent time,
thinking of the days when you and Joseph were anxious
for the imminent birth of your child,
worried because there was a census and you also had to leave your country, Nazareth, and go to Bethlehem ...
You know, Mother, what it means to bring life into the womb
and feeling around indifference, rejection, sometimes contempt.
This is why I ask you to stay close to families today
in Rome, in Italy, there are similar situations in the whole world,
because they are not abandoned to themselves, but protected in their rights,
human rights that come before any legitimate need.
O Mary Immaculate,
dawn of hope on the horizon of humanity,
watch over this city,
on homes, schools, offices, shops,
on factories, hospitals, prisons;
nowhere is it lacking what Rome has most precious,
and which preserves the testament of Jesus for the whole world:
"Love one another as I have loved you" (cf. Jn 13:34).