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Without Mary the Church does not exist

· At the General Audience the Pope talks about the Blessed Virgin's prayer ·

“It is impossible to talk about the Church unless Mary, Mother of the Lord is present”. This comment of Cromatius of Aquileia on the Acts of the Apostles was taken up by the Pope in his Catechesis at the General Audience of Wednesday, 14 March, in St Peter's Square.

Speaking of the “Virgin's prayerful presence” in the earthly life of Jesus and at the moments when “the Church was taking her first steps”, the Pontiff pointed out that the stages on this journey – from the house of Nazareth to that of Jerusalem, passing through the experience of the Cross – “were marked by her capacity for preserving a persevering atmosphere of recollection in order to meditate on every event before God in the silence of her heart”.

In the Upper Room in particular where she gathered with the Eleven after the Ascension, Mary shares the gift of the Spirit with the Apostles. “If there is no Church without Pentecost”, Benedict XVI noted in this regard, “there is no Pentecost without the Mother of Jesus, because she experienced uniquely what the Church experiences every day under the action of the Holy Spirit”.

This bond, more specifically emphasized by the Second Vatican Council, testifies that “the privileged place of Mary is the Church”. Venerating her, therefore, means “learning from her to be a prayerful community”: not only in situations of hardship or need”, the Pope explained, “but always “in a unanimous, persevering and faithful manner”, with “one heart and soul”.

“Let us entrust to her”, was Benedict XVI's final invitation, “every phase we pass through in our personal and ecclesial existence, and not the last that of our final transit. Mary teaches us the need for prayer and points out to us that it is only through a constant, intimate and loving bond with her Son that we can come out of ourselves to reach the the frontiers of the world and proclaim the Lord everywhere”.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 20, 2019

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