Pope Francis Speaks of Mary to Journalists

Today Pope Francis met with over 6,000 journalists and those working in the media.  In his address he focused on the importance of the media and their efforts.  He also reflected on the ministry of the pope, as Peter, and how Christ is at the center of his ministry.  He also elaborated on why he chose the name Francis, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi.  He shared the cardinal closest to him, upon his election, reminded him to never forget the poor.  Immediately the Holy Father thought of St. Francis of Assisi, a man of poverty, peace, and love of creation.  

Pope Francis even found the occasion to bring Mary into his address by entrusting the journalists to her intercession.  

I wish the best for you, I thank you for everything that you have done. And I think of your work: I wish you to work fruitfully and with serenity and to always know better the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the reality of the Church. I entrust you to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of evangelization. I wish the best for you and your families, for each of your families, and I wholeheartedly impart to all of you the blessing.

It was Paul VI who first hailed Mary as the Star of Evangelizaiton in his apostolic exhortaiton Evangelii Nuntiandi. John Paul II and Benedict XVI continued to use this phrase and it seems that Pope Francis will continue to do so.  In the Apostolic Exhortation, Ecclesia in America, John Paul II referred to Our Lady of Guadalupe as the “Patroness of all America and Star of the first and new evangelization”. A search of the Vatican website yields many results (138) for the search phrase “star of evangelization.”  The inclusion of Mary’s title, “Star of Evangelizaiton” is significant because the media is one form in which we evangelize in the era of the new evangelization.  Mary can be for the journalists an intercessor and friend, but also a star, who will ultimately lead others to Jesus Christ. 

Pope Francis’s inclusion of Mary is interesting, because when invoking his apostolic blessing he acknowledged that some may not share the Catholic or Christian tradition or others may not believe in God.  He stated, “From my heart I impart this blessing, in silence, to each of you, respecting the conscience of each one, but knowing that each of you is a child of God: May God bless you.”  Mary has the potential to aid ecumenical and inter religious dialogue, and as the Star of Evangelization, she can do just that.  

View the full text here.
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