Pope at Angelus on Immaculate Conception; Learn from Mary’s attitudes…

Immaculate Conception

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - JANUARY 16: Pope Francis waves to thousands of followers as he arrives at the Manila Cathedral on January 16, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. Pope Francis will visit venues across Leyte and Manila during his visit to the Philippines from January 15 - 19. The visit is expected to attract crowds in the millions as Filipino Catholics flock to catch a glimpse of the leader of the Catholic Church in the Philippines for the first time since 1995. The Pope will begin the tour in Manila, then travelling to Tacloban to visit areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan before returning to Manila to hold a mass at Rizal Park. The Philippines is the only Catholic majority nation in Asia with around 90 percent of the population professing the faith. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

Addressing the faithful gathered on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis turned to the Gospel of the day, which recounts the Annunciation. In doing so, the Holy Father focused on two of Mary’s attitudes “that help us understand how she would have guarded the unique gift she received – a heart completely free from sin”.

These two attitudes, the Pope said, are “amazement regarding the works of God and fidelity in the simple things”.


Focusing first on amazement, Pope Francis recalled the Angel telling Mary to rejoice, and calling her “full of grace”. Pope Francis noted that Mary was “troubled” at being called full of grace, but then became “amazed” when she understood that means “filled with God’s love”.

This attitude is very important, said the Pope, explaining that we should never take the Lord’s gifts for granted. “It is also important to demonstrate this amazement before others, speaking humbly about God’s gifts, about the good received, and not only about daily problems”, he added.

Fidelity in the simple things

Pope Francis then went on to speak of the second attitude: fidelity in simple things. He noted that there is nothing about Mary in the Gospel before the Annunciation and that she is presented as a simple girl, apparently equal to so many others who were living in her village, Nazareth. A young girl, continued the Pope, who, “specifically because of her simplicity, kept pure that Immaculate Heart with which, by God’s grace, she had been conceived”. This, too, is important, as “to welcome God’s great gifts, it is necessary to know how to treasure those that are more everyday and less noticeable”, said the Pope.

Pope Francis then explained that “it is with her daily fidelity in goodness that Our Lady allowed God’s gift to grow within her”.

Make the small choices necessary

Bringing his catechesis to a close, Pope Francis invited all the faithful following to ask themselves whether they believe in the importance of their fidelity to God, whether they find time to read the Gospel, to pray and participate in the Eucharist, and to perform some tangible act of disinterested service. “These”, the Pope concluded, “are the small choices necessary to welcome the Lord’s presence”.

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