Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 25 July |
The Feast of Saint James the Great
home iconChurch
line break icon

Be freed from discouragement with this beautiful prayer Pope Francis offered to Mary

POPE FRANCIS Piazza di spagna

VATICAN MEDIA / AFP

Aleteia - published on 12/09/19

In a traditional visit to the monument to the Immaculate Conception, pope praises Virgin because "we are sinners, but we are no longer slaves to sin!"

During his address before leading the midday Sunday Angelus in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis announced he would be visiting Piazza di Spagna for “the traditional act of homage at the foot of the monument to the Immaculate Conception.”

This statue of Our Lady stands above a 40-foot ancient Roman column. It was placed there on September 8, 1857, the feast of Mary’s birthday, and commemorates Pope Pius IX’s proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

The column and statue were originally erected with the help of 220 firemen, which is why the floral tributes always include a garland of flowers placed in Our Lady’s arms by a member of Rome’s fire department. The tradition of offering flowers to her image here on this feast day was begun by Pope Pius XII.

Pope Francis’ prayer

When he arrived in Piazza di Spagna on Sunday afternoon, Pope Francis addressed his own prayer to Our Lady at the foot of the monument. He entrusted to her all those in Rome and throughout the world, who are burdened “by discouragement because of sin; those who think there is no longer hope for them, that their sins are too many and too great, and that God certainly does not have time to waste with them.”

The pope thanked our Immaculate Mother for reminding us that, because of Jesus’ love “we are no longer slaves to sin, but free, free to love, free to love one another, to help one another as brothers and sisters, despite our differences.”

Below please find the unofficial Vatican News translation of the Holy Father’s prayer:

O Mary Immaculate, we gather around you once again. The more we move forward in life the more our gratitude to God increases for giving as a Mother to us who are sinners, you, the Immaculate Conception. Of all human beings, you are the only one preserved from sin, as Mother of Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. But this singular privilege of yours was given to you for the good of us all, your children. In fact, looking at you, we see the victory of Christ, the victory of God’s love over evil: where sin abounded, namely, in the human heart, grace has overflowed all the more, through the gentle power of Jesus’ Blood. You, Mother, remind us that we are sinners, but we are no longer slaves to sin! Through His Sacrifice, your Son has broken the rule of evil, and has overcome the world. This tells all generations about your heart, clear as the sky where the wind has dissipated every cloud. And so you remind us that being sinners and being corrupt is not the same thing: it’s very different. It is one thing to fall, but then, repenting, to get up again with the help of God’s mercy. Something else is hypocritical conspiracy with evil, corruption of the heart, that appears faultless on the outside, but inside, is full of evil intentions and nasty selfishness. Your crystal-clear purity calls us back to sincerity, transparency, simplicity. How much we need to be liberated from corruption of heart, which is the greatest danger! This seems impossible to us, we are so accustomed to it, yet it is within easy reach. It is enough to look up at your Motherly smile, at your unspoiled beauty, to feel once more that we are not meant for evil, but for good, for love, for God! For this reason, O Virgin Mary, today I entrust to you all those who, in this city and throughout the world, are burdened by disillusionment, by discouragement because of sin; those who think there is no longer hope for them, that their sins are too many and too great, and that God certainly does not have time to waste with them. I entrust them to you, because not only are you a Mother and as such, you never stop loving your children, but you are also Immaculate, full of grace, and you can reflect into the darkest gloom a ray of the Risen Christ’s light. He, and He alone, breaks the chains of evil, frees from the most acute dependencies, unties from the most criminal bonds, softens the hardest of hearts. And if this happens within people, how the face of the city changes! In small gestures and big choices, vicious circles gradually become virtuous, the quality of life improves and the social climate becomes more breathable. We thank you, Immaculate Mother, for reminding us that, because of Jesus Christ’s love, we are no longer slaves to sin, but free, free to love, to love one another, to help one another as brothers and sisters, despite our differences — and thank you for the differences between us. Thank you, because with your purity, you encourage us not to be ashamed of good, but of evil; you help us to keep at a distance the evil one, who deceives us and draws us to himself, into coils of death; you grant us the gentle reminder that we are children of God, Father of immense goodness, eternal source of life, beauty and love. Amen.


THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Read more:
What I learned as a convert about the Immaculate Conception

Tags:
Pope FrancisPrayers for a Particular NeedVirgin 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
morning
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
2
nightbirde
Cerith Gardiner
8 Powerful quotes from Nightbirde that will fill you with hope
3
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
4
ŁACINA
Philip Kosloski
Why is Latin the official language of the Church, instead of Aram...
5
MACHAERUS
Daniel Esparza
3 Legendary pilgrimages off the beaten path
6
WEB2-Benjamin_West_-_Joshua_passing_the_River_Jordan_with_the_Ark_of_the_Covenant_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg
Daniel Esparza
Who are the cherubim in the Bible?
7
Tefillin
Zelda Caldwell
Did Jesus wear “tefillin” as some observant Jews do t...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.