1. At the conclusion of the celebration we wish once again to place ourselves spiritually at the foot of the Cross of Christ and receive from him the sublime gift of his Mother, who from that moment also became the Mother of the Church.
1. In exactly a month, on 7 October, I count on going, please God, to the Shrine of Pompei. It will be a particularly significant moment in the Year of the Rosary, inaugurated last 16 October with the signing in St Peter's Square of my Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae. Today I would like to begin a pilgrimage in spirit to that famous Marian shrine, the centre of the spirituality of the Rosary, contemplating with Mary the face of Christ in his joyful, "luminous", sorrowful and glorious mysteries.
1. In the past Sundays, my reflection has focused on Europe and its Christian roots, reviewing the text of the Post-Synodal Apostolic ExhortationEcclesia in Europa. This document ends with an "Entrustment to Mary" of all the men and women of the continent, an entrustment I wish to renew today, so that the Holy Virgin may make Europe a concert of nations committed to building together the civilization of love and peace!
1. The day before yesterday, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Liturgy urged us to turn our gaze towards heaven to contemplate Mary in the new Jerusalem, the Holy City that comes down from God (cf. Apoc 21: 2).
1. In the heart of the month of August, a time of rest and summer vacation for many, the liturgy celebrates with solemnity the Blessed Virgin's Assumption into Heaven. This is a day of hope and of light, because all men and women, pilgrims on the earth, are able to foresee in Mary the "destiny of glory" that awaits them.
1.To serve the Gospel of hope: this is the Church's mission also in Europe. The Church carries out this mission, accompanying the proclamation of hope with concrete charitable initiatives. Throughout the centuries, this has been the case: the duty of evangelization is sustained by effective human promotion. Putting herself at the service of charity, the Church has nourished and is nourishing the culture of solidarity, cooperating to give life once again to the universal values of human coexistence (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Europa, n. 84).
1. Europe is the continent which, in the past 2,000 years, has been marked by Christianity more than any other. From all its regions - in its abbeys, cathedrals and churches - ceaseless praise has been raised to Christ, Lord of time and of history. Baptism and the other Sacraments have consecrated the seasons of life of countless believers. The Eucharist, especially on the Lord's Day, has nourished their faith and love; the Liturgy of the Hours and many other popular forms of prayer have marked the rhythm of their daily life.
1. From the Risen Christ, the Church received the mission to proclaim the Gospel to the very ends of the earth. In these recent Sundays I have had several opportunities to remind the Ecclesial Communities of Europe that they are called to this duty in a particular way. Yes, it is necessary that on this Continent, all believers come to rediscover the evangelical enthusiasm of proclamation and witness.
1. In recent months intense work has been done on the draft of the new European Constitution, whose definitive version will be approved by the Intergovernmental Conference beginning next October. The Church is also prompted to make her own contribution to this important task which involves all the members of European society.