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Pope cites three lessons from Mary: Be joyful, help others, never give up

Pope Francis

Pope Francis: On the eve of the feast of the Nativity of Mary, the Pope said Mary taught people to experience the joy of Christ and share it with others; to never let adversity beat you down; and always help those in need with love and mercy.
Photo: CNS/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters

MARY has three very important lessons for today’s Christians, Pope Francis said in a written message to Cuban bishops marking September 8 as the feast of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, patroness of Cuba.

He said Mary taught people to experience the joy of Christ and share it with others; to never let adversity beat you down; and always help those in need with love and mercy.

The Pope said people should imitate how Mary responded to God’s call with her same joy, haste and perseverance.

“Every time I read sacred Scripture, in the verses that talk about Our Lady, three verbs catch my attention,” he said.

The three kinds of action – be joyful, help without hesitation and persevere – should be “put into practice” by all Catholics, he said.

Whoever discovered Jesus would be “filled with an inner joy so great that nothing and no one can take it away”, the Pope said.

With Christ in their lives, people found the strength and hope “not to be sad and discouraged, thinking problems have no solution”.

For the second action, people should always rise “in haste”, just like Mary, to help others in need, the Pope said.

“Victory is to those who repeatedly rise up, without getting discouraged. If we imitate Mary, we cannot sit with our arms crossed, just complaining or perhaps avoiding any effort so that others do what is our responsibility,” he said.

Making a difference and helping others did not have to be done on a grand scale, he said, but entailed doing everyday things “with tenderness and mercy”.

“The third verb is to persevere,” the Pope said.

Mary relied on God and his goodness for the strength and courage needed to stay by Christ’s side no matter what and to encourage his disciples to do the same.

“In this world in which long-lasting values are rejected and everything is changing, in which the disposable triumphs, in which it seems people are afraid of life’s commitments, the Virgin encourages us to be men and women who are constant in their good works, who keep their word, who are always faithful,” Pope Francis said.

Cuban bishops visited the Vatican in late August for the installation of their gift, a replica of the statue of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, which was placed in the Vatican Gardens.

The Pope, after praying the Angelus with people gathered in St Peter’s Square on September 7, the eve of the liturgical feast of the Nativity of Mary, asked people to say “a Hail Mary from the heart” and to not forget to tell her “Happy Birthday!”

CNS

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