Referential image. Pope Francis in prayer before the Virgin. Photo: Andrea Gagliarduci / ACI Press


In the general audience this Wednesday, March 24, Pope Francis invited the Virgin Mary to come, who "defends us in danger and cares for us."

“Like and more than any good mother, Mary defends us in danger, she cares for us, even when we are trapped by our things and lose our way, and endanger not only our health but our salvation. Mary is there, praying for us, praying for whom she does not pray, praying with us. Because she is our Mother,” the Pope said.

In his catechesis, dedicated to prayer in communion with Mary, the Holy Father explained that Jesus entrusted the Virgin Mary to all of us "as a mother, not as a goddess, not as a co-redeemer, but as a mother."

“We know that the main path of Christian prayer is the humanity of Jesus. In fact, the trust typical of Christian prayer would have no meaning if the Word had not become incarnate, giving us in the Spirit his filial relationship with the Father”, the Pope stressed.

For this reason, the Pontiff cited the Catechism of the Catholic Church that describes that "Christ is the Mediator, the bridge we cross to address the Father" and warned that Jesus is "the only redeemer, there are no co-redeemers with Christ, he is the only , the mediator par excellence, the mediator”.

“Each prayer that we raise to God is for Christ, with Christ and in Christ and is realized thanks to his intercession. The Holy Spirit extends the mediation of Christ to all times and all places: there is no other name by which we can be saved. Jesus Christ the only mediator between God and men”, he affirmed.

Along these lines, the Holy Father acknowledged that it is true that Christian piety always gives the Virgin Mary "beautiful titles, like a son to a mother, how many things a son says to a mother who loves her..." but he recommended being vigilant. because “the beautiful things that the Church, the saints, say to Mary do not take anything away from the redemptive uniqueness of Christ, He is the only redeemer, they are expressions of love like that of a son to his mother, sometimes exaggerated, but love , we know, that makes us do exaggerated things, but of love”.

“From the sole mediation of Christ, the other references that Christianity finds for its prayer and devotion, first of all, to the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus, take meaning and value. She occupies a privileged place in life and therefore also in the prayer of the Christian, because she is the Mother of Jesus”, she added.

In this sense, the Pope mentioned the biblical passage of the wedding at Cana in which Mary, pointing to Jesus, advises people to "do what He says" and added that "in the Churches of the East they have often represented her as the Hodegetria, the one who 'indicates the way', that is, the Son Jesus Christ”.

“Her hands, her eyes, her attitude are a living 'catechism' and always point to the foundation, the center: Jesus. Mary is totally directed to Him, to such an extent that we can say that she is more of a disciple than a mother. She always points to Christ, she is the first disciple, ”she stressed.

Likewise, the Holy Father recalled that “Jesus extended the motherhood of Mary to the entire Church when he entrusted her to her beloved disciple, shortly before dying on the cross. From that time on, all of us are placed under her mantle, as seen in certain medieval frescoes and paintings”.

“In the Hail Mary prayer, the title 'Theotokos', 'Mother of God' would soon arrive, ratified by the Council of Ephesus. And, similarly and as it happens in the Our Father, after the praise we add the supplication: we ask the Mother to pray for us sinners, so that she intercede with her tenderness, 'now and at the hour of our death'. Now, in the concrete situations of life, and in the final moment, so that she may accompany us as a Mother, as the first disciple in the passage to eternal life”, the Pope explained.

In this way, the Holy Father highlighted that “Mary has been present in the days of the pandemic, close to the people who have unfortunately concluded their earthly journey in a condition of isolation, without the consolation of the closeness of their loved ones. Maria is always there, with her maternal tenderness”.

So he concluded that “the prayers addressed to her are not in vain. Woman of the 'yes', who has promptly accepted the Angel's invitation, also responds to our prayers, listens to our voices, even those that remain closed in the heart, that do not have the strength to go out but that God knows better than ourselves . She listens to them as a mother.” BV