During his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI always looked forward to the New Year by entrusting it to Mary, frequently using her title of “Star of Hope.” He believed she provided a “key” to unlocking a peace-filled year.
He ended his homily in 2007 praying, “Dear brothers and sisters of the Church of Rome, let us ask the Lord to make each one of us authentic leaven of hope in our various milieus, so that it will be possible to build a better future for the whole city. This is my wish for everyone on the eve of a New Year, a wish that I entrust to the motherly intercession of Mary, Mother of God and Star of Hope. Amen!”
Then in 2008 Pope Benedict reiterated how we should entrust our New Year to the Blessed Virgin Mary, especially during times of crisis.
In our times, marked by uncertainty and concern for the future, it is necessary to experience the living presence of Christ. It is Mary, Star of Hope, who leads us to him ….This evening the motherly presence of Mary assures us that God never abandons us if we entrust ourselves to him and follow his teachings.
Therefore, while we take our leave of 2008 and prepare to welcome 2009, let us present to Mary our expectations and hopes, as well as our fears and the difficulties that dwell in our hearts, with filial affection and trust. She, the Virgin Mother, offers us the Child who lies in the manger as our sure hope. Full of trust, we shall then be able to sing at the end of the Te Deum: “In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum — In you, Lord, is our hope: and we shall never hope in vain.” Yes, Lord, in you we hope, today and for ever; you are our hope. Amen!
Again in 2009 Pope Benedict looked to the Virgin Mary for her loving protection over the coming year.
As we take our leave of the year that is ending and set out towards the new one, today’s Liturgy ushers us into the Solemnity of Mary Most Holy, Mother of God. The Blessed Virgin is Mother of the Church and Mother of each one of her members, that is, Mother of each of us, in Christ. Let us ask her to accompany us with her caring protection, today and for ever, so that Christ may one day welcome into his glory, into the assembly of the Saints: Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari. Alleluia! Amen!
The Church begins the calendar year on January 1 with a special feast in honor of Mary, the Mother of God, and so openly urges us to turn to her in our time of need and ask for her intercession.
Let us look forward to the New Year with hope, entrusting it to Mary, a “star” who can lead us through the darkness of our lives and into the light of life.
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