Pope Francis on Wednesday reminded the Catholic faithful to listen to people in the peripheries as the Church celebrates the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“The true joy that comes from the Lord always gives space to the voices of the forgotten, so that together with them we can build a better future,” Pope Francis said in a message published September 8.
“Mary, in the beauty of following the Gospel and in her service to the common good of humanity and the planet, always teaches us to listen to these voices, and she herself becomes the voice of the voiceless.”
The pope sent a message to participants in the 25th International Mariological Marian Congress, taking place online on Sept. 8-11.
“The mystery enclosed in the person of Mary is the very mystery of the Word of God incarnate,” he said.
Pope Francis quoted Benedict XVI’s apostolic exhortation Verbum Domini, in which the pope emeritus encouraged scholars to study the relationship between Mariology and the theology of the Word.
“We see how at home Mary is with the Word of God, with ease she moves in and out of it. She speaks and thinks with the Word of God; the Word of God becomes her word, and her word issues from the Word of God. Here we see how her thoughts are attuned to the thoughts of God, how her will is one with the will of God,” he said, quoting Pope Benedict.
“Since Mary is completely imbued with the word of God, she is able to become the Mother of the Word Incarnate.”
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, read the pope’s message aloud at the start of the Marian congress on Sept. 8.
Pope Francis signed the message on Aug. 22, the feast of the Queen of Heaven.
“The Mother of the Lord has her own special presence: she is the Mother of all, regardless of ethnicity or nationality,” the pope said.
“Thus, the figure of Mary becomes a point of reference for a culture capable of overcoming the barriers that can create division. Therefore, on the path of this culture of fraternity, the Spirit calls us to welcome once again the sign of consolation and sure hope that has the name, the face and the heart of Mary: woman, disciple, mother, and friend.”