Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 16 September |
Saint of the Day: Sts Cornelius and Cyprian
home iconChurch
line break icon

On her feast day, the pope asks the Virgin to “rob us” of pride

AFP / VINCENZO PINTO

VATICAN: Pope Francis brings a white rose to the Virgin Mary during his weekly general audience at St Peter's square at the Vatican. Photo by Vincenzo Pinto

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 12/08/17

And to have the Word of God in our heart as she did, he suggests we should read a passage of the Gospel each day.

For the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary today, Pope Francis visited three Marian sites in Rome. In addition to the traditional prayer at Piazza di Spagna next to the Spanish Steps, the pontiff went to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, then to the church of Sant’ Andrea delle Fratte, the only site of an approved Marian apparition in the Eternal City.

On the afternoon of December 8, a holiday in Italy, the pope first went to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, where there is a tradition of venerating the icon of Mary ‘Salus populi romani’—salvation of the Roman people.

Then, for the fifth year in a row, he laid a wreath of white roses at the feet of the statue of the Virgin Mary near the Spanish Steps. He then pronounced a prayer that he had written, and greeted sick and disabled people. The mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, was present.

A Gospel passage every day

In his prayer, Peter’s Successor asked Mary to help us develop “antibodies” against the “viruses of our times”: indifference, incivility, fear of what is different and of foreigners, conformism “disguised as transgression,” and resignation in the face of environmental and ethical degradation. He also recommended that everyone read a passage of the Gospel every day, like the Virgin Mary, who “kept the Word in her heart.”

Lastly, Pope Francis talked about how, 175 years ago, in the church of Sant’ Andrea delle Fratte, Alphonse Ratisbonne—an “atheist and enemy of the Church”—became a Christian. Like him, he pleaded, “strip us of all proud arrogance,” so we can recognize “what we really are: small and poor sinners, but always your children.”


Read more:
Alphonse Ratisbonne: How a radical atheist became a Catholic priest

In this church near the Spanish Steps, where Pope Francis then went on foot, the Church recognizes that the Virgin Mary appeared to Alphonse Ratisbonne, a Jew from Strasbourg, in 1842. Ratisbonne converted and became a priest. Together with his brother Theodore, also a convert, he founded the congregation of Our Lady of Sion.

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception consists in recognizing that Mary was preserved from original sin from the moment of her conception, in order to be able to receive Christ. This mystery was recognized as a dogma by Pope Pius IX in 1854.




Read more:
The surprising day when the devil himself praised Mary’s Immaculate Conception

Tags:
Pope FrancisVirgin Mary

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
CELEBRITIES
Cerith Gardiner
Our favorite stories of celebrities who inspire us in daily life
2
communion
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
3
As irmãs biológicas que se tornaram freiras no instituto Iesu Communio
Francisco Veneto
The 5 biological sisters who joined the religious life in just tw...
4
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
5
Mychal Judge
John Burger
The priests of 9/11
6
CROSS
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
7
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.