Delivered by John Paul in St. Peter's Square

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 8, 2000 ( - Here is a translation of the
prayer that Pope John Paul II used to entrust the world and the millennium
to Mary.

1. "Woman, behold your Son!" (John 19:26). As we near the end of this
Jubilee Year, when you, O Mother, have offered us Jesus anew, the blessed
fruit of your womb most pure, the Word made flesh, the world's Redeemer, we
hear more clearly the sweet echo of his words entrusting us to you, making
you our Mother: "Woman, behold your Son!"

When he entrusted to you the Apostle John, and with him the children of the
Church and all people, Christ did not diminish but affirmed anew the role
which is his alone as the Savior of the world. You are the splendor which
in no way dims the light of Christ, for you exist in him and through him.

Everything in you is fiat: you are the Immaculate One, through you there
shines the fullness of grace. Here, then, are your children, gathered
before you at the dawn of the new millennium.

The Church today, through the voice of the Successor of Peter, in union
with so many Pastors assembled here from every corner of the world, seeks
refuge in your motherly protection and trustingly begs your intercession as
she faces the challenges which lie hidden in the future.

2. In this year of grace, countless people have known the overflowing joy
of the mercy which the Father has given us in Christ. In the particular
Churches throughout the world, and still more in this center of
Christianity, the widest array of people have accepted this gift.

Here the enthusiasm of the young rang out, here the sick have lifted up
their prayer.

Here have gathered priests and religious, artists and journalists, workers
and people of learning, children and adults, and all have acknowledged in
your beloved Son the Word of God made flesh in your womb.

O Mother, intercede for us, that the fruits of this Year will not be lost
and that the seeds of grace will grow to the full measure of the holiness
to which we are all called.

3. Today we wish to entrust to you the future that awaits us, and we ask
you to be with us on our way.

We are the men and women of an extraordinary time, exhilarating yet full of

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
well-springs 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
which 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, your Son.

4. Therefore, O Mother, like the Apostle John, we wish to take you into our
home (cf. John 19:27), that we may learn from you to become like your Son.

"Woman, behold your children!"

Here we stand before you to entrust to your maternal care ourselves, the
Church, the entire world.

Plead for us with your beloved Son that he may give us in abundance the
Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth which is the fountain of life.

Receive the Spirit for us and with us, as happened in the first community
gathered round you in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (cf. Acts 1:14).

May the Spirit open our hearts to justice and love, and guide people and
nations to mutual understanding and a firm desire for peace.

We entrust to you all people, 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.

5. O Mother, you know the sufferings and hopes of the Church and the world:
Come to the aid of your children in the daily trials
which life brings to each one, and grant that, thanks to the efforts of
all, the darkness will not prevail over the light.

To you, Dawn of Salvation, we commit our journey through the new
so that with you as guide all people may know Christ, the light
of the world and its only Savior, who reigns with the Father and the Holy
Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.
[Original text: Italian]

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