John Paul II Entrusts Peace of World to Virgin
At Open-Air Ceremony
in Piazza di Spagna
VATICAN CITY, DEC. 9, 2001 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II
expressed words of sadness and concern Friday when he entrusted the peace of the
world to the Immaculate Conception.
"Dark clouds gather on the horizon
of the world," the Pope said. "Humanity, which greeted the dawn of the third
millennium with hope, now feels overwhelmed by the threat of new and
The Holy Father's words were part of a prayer
he recited on his knees, before the historic statue of the Immaculate
Conception, in Rome's Piazza di Spagna.
"Peace in the world is
endangered," the Pontiff said, as he prayed to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is
why "we come to you, Immaculate Virgin, to ask you to obtain, as an
understanding and strong Mother, that spirits, freed from the smoke of hatred,
be open to mutual forgiveness, constructive solidarity and peace."
than 10,000 people attended the open-air ceremony, including top city officials.
The Holy Father proposed Christian commitment as a source of hope, given
the current grave situation.
"Every believer, in his own circumstances
of life," must become a sign "so that all will see clearly that fidelity to
Christ changes one's personal life and augurs for a future of peace, a better
future for all," he concluded.