Entrustment of the world to Mary for the Millennium on Sunday, October 8, 2000
JOHN PAUL II ENTRUSTS THIRD MILLENNIUM TO MARY
Ceremony Before the Statue of the Virgin of Fatima
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 8, 2000 (ZENIT.org)
In a moving ceremony, and with
1,500 bishops on hand, John Paul II entrusted humanity and the third
millennium to the protection of the Virgin Mary.
LARGEST GATHERING OF BISHOPS SINCE VATICAN II
John Paul II Reminds Shepherds Christ is With His Church
The Pope pronounced the solemn words before the original image of the
Virgin of Fatima, which was brought to St. Peter's Square for the occasion.
In the statue's crown was the bullet that almost ended the Pope's life on
May 13, 1981.
St. Peter's Square was a sea of people. The statue of Fatima was received
with enthusiastic applause, brought in procession and followed by John Paul
II. The Holy Father was visibly moved by the event.
During the homily at the concelebrated Mass, John Paul II described the
scene of faith and prayer unfolding before him as a "great cenacle." He
first addressed the bishops who were celebrating their special Jubilee.
"Given the relativism and subjectivism that contaminate a large part of
contemporary culture, bishops are called to defend and promote the
doctrinal unity of their faithful," the Holy Father said.
"Attentive to every situation where the faith is lost or ignored," he
added, "bishops work with all their strength in favor of evangelization,
preparing priests, religious and laity with this objective in mind."
The most awaited moment came at the end, which Vatican Radio described as
the "zenith" of the Holy Year. At noon, the pontiff pronounced the act of
entrustment of all humanity to the Virgin Mary at the dawn of the third
The Pope spoke on behalf of all the world's pastors when he asked Mary for
her maternal protection, confidently imploring her intercession given the
challenges the future holds.
"Today we wish to entrust to you the future that awaits us, and we ask you
to be with us on our way," he said. "We are the men and women of an
extraordinary time, exhilarating yet full of contradictions.
"Humanity now has instruments of unprecedented power: We can turn this
world into a garden, or reduce it to a pile of rubble. We have devised the
astounding capacity to intervene in the very wellsprings of life: Man can
use this power for good, within the bounds of the moral law, or he can
succumb to the shortsighted pride of a science that accepts no limits, but
tramples on the respect due to every human being.
"Today, as never before in the past, humanity stands at a crossroads. And,
once again, O Virgin Most Holy, salvation lies fully and uniquely in Jesus,
The Holy Father entrusted all humanity to the Mother of God, beginning with
the weakest: "the babies yet unborn, and those born into poverty and
suffering, the young in search of meaning, the unemployed, and those
suffering hunger and disease. We entrust to you all troubled families, the
elderly with no one to help them, and all who are alone and without hope."
"O Mother," he said, "you know the sufferings and hopes of the Church and
the world: Come to the aid of your children in the daily trials that life
brings to each one, and grant that, thanks to the efforts of all, the
darkness will not prevail over the light."
At the end, when the Virgin of Fatima was taken to St. Peter's Basilica,
John Paul II greeted the thousands of waving pilgrims from his
"popemobile." However, the great majority did not leave the square.
Thousands waited as long as was necessary, in some cases for hours, to be
able to see the statue of Our Lady of Fatima before it returns to Portugal
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 8, 2000 (ZENIT.org).- More than 1,500 Catholic bishops
-- a third of the world's total -- gathered at the Vatican with John Paul
II to celebrate the first Jubilee of Bishops in history.
ALL CONTINENTS PARTICIPATE IN WORLD ROSARY
Pope Leads Prayer in St. Peter's Square
No meeting like this had taken place since the Second Vatican Council, 35
The Pontiff himself referred to the days of that ecumenical council in
which, as Archbishop Karol Wojtyla, he played an active role.
"Our meeting today," he told bishops gathered Saturday morning in the
general-audience auditorium, "takes me back in thought to those years of
grace, in which the stirring presence of the Spirit of God was forcefully
experienced> as a new Pentecost."
Attendance at this Jubilee event surpassed all expectations. Organizers had
estimated a maximum of 1,200 participants.
The new prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Archbishop Giovanni
Battista Re, told ZENIT that the meeting was a call for the interior
conversion of bishops, who suffer frailties like all other human beings
(see "Pilgrim Bishops Come to Rome as Sign of Conversion," Oct. 6, in the
ZENIT archives at http://www.zenit.org/english/).
John Paul II took advantage of his meeting with the bishops to outline
their ministry at present.
"Dear brothers in the episcopate," he said, "as persons sacramentally
configured to Christ, pastor and spouse of the Church, we are called to
live again in our thoughts, feelings and decisions the love and total
self-giving of Jesus Christ for His Church."
Emphasizing that every pastoral activity of the bishop has as its ultimate
objective the sanctification of the faithful, John Paul II said that it is
necessary to rediscover what Vatican II teaches specifically on the
universal vocation to sanctity.
"It was not accidental that, above all, the council addressed the bishops,
reminding them that they must fulfill their own ministry with sanctity and
energy, humility and fortitude, because if they live it this way, they will
also be an excellent means of sanctification," the Holy Father insisted.
However, to be a bishop today is not easy, John Paul acknowledged. At
times, he noted, it seems as if Christ is asleep, and leaves His ministers
at the mercy of angry waves, as in the Gospel passage of the calming of the
"However," the Pope assured, "we know that He is always ready to intervene
with His omnipotent and saving love. He continues to say to us: 'Have
confidence; I have overcome the world.'"
On Saturday afternoon, the 1,500 bishops met again with the Pope to pray
the World Rosary before the statue of the Virgin of Fatima, which was
brought to Rome for the occasion.
The last mystery of the Rosary was prayed by Sister Lucia dos Santos, one
of the three visionaries of Mary's apparitions in Portugal in 1917.
On Sunday morning, by way of conclusion to their Jubilee, the bishops
joined the Pope in dedicating the third millennium to the Mother of God.
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 8, 2000 (ZENIT.org)
In the presence of the statue of
the Virgin of Fatima, representatives from 150 countries, along with 1,500
bishops, joined the Pope in a special World Rosary in St. Peter's Square.
Representatives from the five continents took turns leading the five
Glorious Mysteries on Saturday.
Representing Europe was Sister Lucia dos Santos, 93, the last survivor the
three young shepherds who saw the apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1917.
Sister Lucia prayed from her Carmelite convent in Coimbra, Portugal, via
In his brief address at the end of the ceremony, the Holy Father said of
the Blessed Virgin: "There has been no century or people to whom she has
not made her presence known, bringing light, hope and consolation to the
faithful, especially to little ones and the poorest."
The World Rosary began in Mexico in 1996, when a group of lay people called
for the world recitation of the rosary as a gift to the Pope on the 50th
anniversary of his priestly ordination.
This World Rosary coincided with the first Jubilee of Bishops in history.
This past weekend, 1,500 bishops and cardinals were in Rome to meet with
the Holy Father.
John Paul II said that the praying of the rosary is in response to the
"message of Fatima," in which the Virgin revealed secrets to three little
Portuguese shepherds, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, whose contents "helps
to reflect on the history of the 20th century."
According to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the message is
an exhortation to prayer as a means for the conversion of souls and a call
to penance and conversion.
The Fatima message is divided into three parts; it was revealed by the
Virgin to the children in apparitions on June 13, July 13, and Oct. 13 of 1917.
The "third secret of Fatima" was revealed this year by the Vatican. It
refers to the attempt on John Paul II's life on May 13, 1981, to the
struggle of atheistic communism against the Church and Christians, and to
the great suffering of 20th-century victims of the faith.
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