Pope Francis says "To her Immaculate Heart we have entrusted our petition, and we are sure that the Mother has welcomed her and intercedes for peace, because she is the Queen of Peace."



Paul VI Hall
Saturday, 23 April 2022

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning and welcome!

I thank the parish priest for his words and I warmly reciprocate your Archbishop's greeting. Thanks for coming in large numbers! Many! Maybe she stayed at home ... who? Madonna!

Our Lady of Tears . It is not the only Shrine with this title. The one in Syracuse immediately comes to mind; but yours is much older, five hundred years are celebrated. Then the weeping of the Virgin in the apparition in La Salette is famous.

Mary's tears are a reflection of Jesus' tears. Jesus wept, the Gospel reports two episodes: at the tomb of his friend Lazarus (cf. Jn 11:35) and in front of Jerusalem (cf. Lk 19:41). In both cases they were tears of pain. But we can imagine that Jesus also wept with joy, for example when he saw the little ones, the humble of the people, enthusiastically welcoming the Gospel.

Mary, the Mother, is the first disciple. She is more disciple than Mother. She followed the Son in everything, even in the sanctity of feelings, emotions, even in laughter and tears. Surely tears of joy fell from her eyes when she gave birth to Jesus in the stable of Bethlehem, and when she saw the shepherds and the Magi prostrating themselves before Him. the cross. The crying Madonna.

Mary's tears were transformed by the grace of Christ, as her whole life, her whole being, everything in Mary is transfigured in perfect union with the Son, with his mystery of salvation. Therefore when Mary cries, her tears are a sign of God's compassion. God has compassion for us, always; and God wants to forgive us. And I remind you one thing: God always forgives! All time! We are the ones who tire of asking for forgiveness. And for this reason Our Lady's tears are a sign of the compassion of God, who always forgives us with this compassion; they are a sign of Christ's pain for our sins, for the evil that afflicts humanity, especially the little ones and the innocent, who are those who suffer.

As you, Don Norberto, rightly said, Mary's tears are also a sign of God's weeping for the victims of the war that is destroying not only Ukraine; let's be brave and let's tell the truth: you are destroying all the peoples involved in the war. All. Because war not only destroys the defeated people, no, it also destroys the victor; it also destroys those who look at it with superficial news to see who is the winner, who is the loser. War destroys everyone. Beware of this. To her Immaculate Heart we have entrusted our petition, and we are sure that the Mother has welcomed her and intercedes for peace, because she is the Queen of Peace. She is the Mother of Peace. And tomorrow will be the Sunday of Mercy. She is the Mother of Mercy. He knows what mercy means, because he "took it away" from God.

For five centuries your land has been watered by Mary's tears; from generation to generation your people are accompanied by her maternal tenderness. She, the Mother, teaches you not to be ashamed of tears. No, we must not be ashamed of crying, on the contrary, the saints teach us that tears are a gift, sometimes a grace, a repentance, a liberation of the heart. Crying means opening up, breaking the shell of an ego closed in on itself and opening up to the Love that embraces us, that always awaits us to forgive us. So is the heart of God. God is waiting. Waiting for what? Of forgiveness, of forgiving us. He is restless, he is incorrigible: he wants to forgive, to forgive ... Only he asks that we ask him for forgiveness. To open oneself to the good Father and also to open oneself to the brothers. Let yourself be moved, letting ourselves be moved by the wounds of those we meet along the way; knowing how to share, knowing how to welcome, knowing how to rejoice with those who rejoice and cry with those who cry.

I believe that we, our time - I speak in general -, have lost the habit of crying "well". Maybe we cry when something happens that touches us or when we cut the onion. But the weeping that comes from the heart, the real weeping like that of Peter when he repented, like that of Our Lady ... Our civilization, our times, have lost the sense of weeping. And we must ask for the grace to cry in front of the things we see, in front of the use that is made of humanity, not only wars - I have spoken about it - but the waste, the old discarded, the children discarded even before they are born ... So many discarded dramas: that poor man who has no living is discarded; the squares, the streets full of homeless people ... The miseries of our time should make us cry and we need to cry. There is a Mass in the Catholic Liturgy to ask for the gift of tears. But you, who have Our Lady "in hand", ask for this gift. And the prayer of that Mass says like this: "O Lord, You who made water come out of the rock, let tears gush out of the rock of my heart". The heart of stone that has forgotten how to cry. Please, let us ask for the grace to cry. All.

And for this, Mary's tears help us. It is important that our self is not closed, that it is open to others, especially to the Father who forgives and to brothers. We must allow ourselves to be moved, moved by the wounds of those we meet along the way, know how to share, know how to welcome, know how to rejoice with those who rejoice and cry with those who cry.

Your community bears this name: "Our Lady of Tears". This is beautiful! In this title there is a whole pastoral care: a pastoral care of tenderness, compassion, closeness. Tenderness, compassion and closeness. This is God's style. There is a pastoral style that concerns everyone: priests, deacons, lay faithful, consecrated persons… All close, compassionate and tender. And all ages, all seasons of life. We must all always learn from Mary to follow Jesus, to let his Spirit mold our feelings, our desires, our plans and our actions according to the heart of God. in us our sentiment, but the action of his Holy Spirit ».

Dear friends, thank you for your visit! Thank you for bringing us back to meditate on our Mother's tears. We need it so much! We need to cry so badly. I cordially bless all of you, your families and your community. Please don't forget to pray for me. Thanks!

Source: Vatican.va