8-December-2012 -- Vatican Information Service |

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Mary Immaculate: The Certainty That God Does Not Fail

Vatican City, 8 December 2012 (VIS) - In the Angelus of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Benedict XVI emphasised that Mary is Immaculate "by a gratuitous gift of the Grace of God, which she accepted, however, with perfect willingness and cooperation. In this respect she is 'blessed' because she 'believed', because of her firm faith in God".

The Holy Father continued, "Mary represents that 'remnant of Israel', the holy root announced by the prophets. The promises of the Old Covenant are welcomed in her. In Mary the Word of God is listened to, and finds acceptance, a response; the Word finds the 'yes' that allows it to take on flesh and to dwell among us. In Mary humanity and history are truly open to God and accept his Grace, in readiness to serve his will. Mary is the genuine expression of Grace. She is the new Israel that the Scriptures of the Old Testament describe with the symbol of the bride. ... The Fathers of the Church developed this image and so the doctrine of the Immaculate was born, first with reference to the Church as virgin-mother, and then to Mary".

"The light that emanates from the figure of Mary helps us also to understand the true meaning of original sin. Indeed, in Mary the relationship with God, that may be destroyed by sin, is completely alive and active. There is no opposition within her between God and her being; rather, there is full communion, full understanding. There is a reciprocal 'yes', from God to her and from her to God. ... She is full of His Grace and His love.

"In conclusion, the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary expresses the certainty of faith that the promises of God are realised: that His covenant does not fail, but has produced a holy root, from which has grown the Fruit most blessed of all the universe, Jesus the Saviour. Mary Immaculate demonstrates that Grace is able to bring about a response, that God's fidelity can generate a true and good faith".

Following the recitation of the Angelus the Holy Father assured his closeness to the people of the Philippines, recently struck by a violent hurricane. "I pray for the victims, for their families and for the many displaced persons. May faith and charity provide the strength to face this difficult trial".

Finally, the Holy Father greeted the members of the Movement of Christian Workers, and in particular the prayer group of the Dermopathic Institute of the Immaculate (IDI-IRCCS) in Rome, which currently faces significant challenges. "I hope that a solution can be found to the difficulties experienced by many Catholic institutions in the health sector", he concluded.

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