MARY IS THE MOTHER WHO INTERCEDES FOR EVERYONE
Pope John Paul II
Angelus Message in Como, Italy 5 May 1996

The people of the world are wondering where this noise is coming from. I have to say it is coming from Como!

1. Dear young people present in this stadium, and dear brothers and sisters who are listening on radio or television I am pleased today to recite the Marian prayer of Regina Caeli in the land of Como. This ancient Church, whose territory extends between hills and plains lakes and mountains, is strongly marked by Mary's presence.

There are many shrines in the region some of which stand almost like sentinels over the whole breadth of the Alpine chain. From these sacred places, the Blessed Virgin watches over the towns and villages of the Diocese and gives her maternal protection to all who entrust themselves to her.

2. Here I would like to mention some of these churches, starting with the cathedral of Como itself, dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption; the sixth anniversary of the beginning of its construction occurs precisely this year. Then going west as far as the Diocese of Bolzano-Bressanone, we find among others the shrines of Ardena and Drezzo, the smallest of all, both dedicated to Mary's Assumption. The Shrine of Our Lady of Succour in Isola Ossuccio, on the western shores of the lake, is particularly a place of prayer for vocations of special consecration. The shrine of Gallivaggio protects the Valchiavenna as far as the Spluga Pass, the ancient way to Rome and Italy. Our Lady of Sassella watches over the city and territory of Sondrio. The Shrine of the Holy House of Loreto in Tresivio, a monument of art and sincere faith, and that of the Blessed Virgin of Graces in Grosotto are places of devout pilgrimage which rekindle the devotion of the faithful. The diocesan shrine par excellence is located in Tirano. Tradition has it that in this spot the Blessed Virgin appeared to Omodei, asking that a church be built there to honour and invoke her. Believers, encouraged and led by ecclesiastical authority, come here from all parts to request cures and conversions and to express their filial gratitude to Jesus and Mary.

3. I am pleased to recall with you these sacred places which spiritually adorn your Diocese. They witness to a strong tradition of Marian devotion which has survived the centuries.

Sometimes it is objected that devotion to Our Lady, especially popular devotion, risks detracting attention from the centre of the faith, which is Jesus, who died and is risen. But this is not so. Through Mary, we come to her Son more easily. Mary is held up as a model for the believer and for the whole Church called to respond to the Lord with her own "yes". She is the Mother who intercedes for all: for souls thirsting for God and for those who are groping in the darkness of doubt and disbelief for those who are suffering in body or tried in spirit, for those who yield to the attraction of sin and for those who are struggling to escape its clutches. Her motherly concern overlooks no one.

The month of May, traditionally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, has just begun. From her, let us learn the Gospel simplicity of children who entrust themselves to their Mother. May Mary lead us to Christ in joy and in suffering, "now, and at the hour of our death". Amen!


Taken from:
L'Osservatore Romano
Weekly Edition in English
8 May 1996.

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