Vatican City, 8 December 2015 (VIS) – After the opening of the Holy Door, Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception that Holy Father recalled that Mary is our sister in suffering, but not in evil or in sin, which were defeated in her befor they even touched her, since God had filled her with grace.
“The Immaculate Conception means that Mary was the first to have been saved by the Father's infinite mercy, as a preview of the salvation that God intended for every man and woman in Christ. Therefore Mary Immaculate has become the sublime icon of divine mercy that defeats sin, and in her we are invited to recognise the dawn of a new world, transformed by the salvific work of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. The dawn of a new creation put into effect by divine mercy”.
“Celebrating this feast day means two things”, he continued. “Firstly, it means fully welcoming God and His merciful grace in our life; secondly, it means in turn becoming makers of mercy through the path of the Gospel. The feast of the Immaculate Conception becomes a feast for all of us if, by our daily 'yes', we manage to vanquish our selfishness and make the lives of our brothers and sisters happier, bringing them hope, drying their tears and giving them joy. In imitation of Mary, we are called upon to become bearers of Christ and witnesses of His love, looking first to those who are privileged in Jesus' eyes”.
The feast of the Immaculate Conception also bears a specific message for us: it reminds us that our life is a gift, that all is mercy. “May the Holy Virgin, first among the saved, model of the Church, holy and immaculate bride, beloved of the Lord, help us increasingly rediscover divine mercy as the distinctive sign of the Christian!” exclaimed Francis. “It is impossible to conceive of a true Christian who is not merciful, just as it is impossible to understand God without His mercy. It is the key word of the Gospel: mercy. It is the fundamental feature of Christ's face: that face we recognise in the various aspects of its existence: when He goes towards the people, when He heals the sick, when He sits at the table with sinners, and above all, when nailed on the Cross, He forgives. There we see the face of divine mercy. Let us not be afraid: let us be embraced by the mercy of God, Who awaits and forgives all. Nothing is sweeter than His mercy”.