Address to the Cardinals

Today Pope Francis met with the Cardinals and delivered an address.  In it, he equated old age with being a seat of wisdom, a title commonly associated with Mary.  This reference to the seat of wisdom was not related to the Virgin Mary. 

He closed his address with a beautiful tribute to the Virgin Mary hailing her as our Mother and of the Church. 

To the powerful intercession of Mary, our Mother, Mother of the Church, I entrust my ministry and your ministry. Under her motherly gaze, may each of us walk joyfully, obedient to the voice of her divine Son, strengthening unity, persevering together in prayer and witnessing to genuine faith in the continuous presence of the Lord. With these sentiments – they are real! – with these sentiments, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing, which I extend to your collaborators and to the persons entrusted to your pastoral care. 

Inferred by Pope Francis’s visit to St. Mary Major yesterday, today he clearly states that he entrusts not only his papal ministry, but the ministry of the bishops to Mary’s intercession.  It seems that Mary will have a central and prominent role in his papacy.  He uses the beautiful phrase, “motherly gaze”.  We all know the gaze of a mother as she looks at her child, amazed with wonder.  Furthermore, Pope Francis states that it is under this motherly gaze that we will walk and listen obediently to the voice of Christ, who will strengthen our unity, persevere in our prayer, and witness the faith; all qualities that the Mother of God exhibited during her life.  Notice that these traits he lists: walking, unity, prayer, and witnessing, all are reminiscent of his homily to the cardinals on movement: walking, building, and witnessing.  We walk joyfully obeying Christ; we build up the Church in unity and prayer, and we witness to genuine faith. 

Read the Pope’s full address here.

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