Mary teaches people to hope in life's darkest moments, pope says

IMAGE: CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Mary, like many mothers throughout the world, is an
example of strength and courage in accepting new life and in sharing the
suffering of their children, Pope Francis said.

she had no idea of what awaited her when she accepted to bear God’s son,
“Mary in that instant appears to us like one of the many mothers in our
world, courageous to the extreme,” the pope said May 10 at his weekly
general audience.

motherly love and courage is seen again at the foot of the cross, he said,
where “she teaches us the virtue of waiting even when everything appears

Just a
few days before he was to visit Fatima, Portugal, to commemorate the 100th
anniversary of the Marian apparitions there and as people in many countries
were preparing to celebrate Mother’s Day, Pope Francis used his audience talk
to focus on Mary and hope.

“We are not orphans, we have a mother in heaven,”
he said. “In difficult moments, may Mary, the mother that Jesus has given
to us all, always guide our

Gospels portray Mary mostly as a “woman of silence,” but one
who “meditated on every word and every event in her heart,” the pope
said. “She is not a woman who is depressed in front of the uncertainties
of life, especially when nothing seems to be going right. Instead, she is a
woman who listens.”

the 15,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square was a group from the pope’s native
Argentina. Addressing Spanish-speaking pilgrims later, the pope greeted his compatriots
who recently celebrated the feast of the country’s patron, Our Lady of Lujan.

“My heart was in Lujan in these days. May the Lord
bless you all,” he said.

Continuing his series of talks on Christian hope, Pope
Francis reflected on Mary as “the mother of hope.”

“Don’t forget: There is always a great relationship
between hope and listening. And Mary is a woman who listens, who welcomes
existence as it comes to us with its happy days as well as its tragedies, which
we never want to encounter,”
he said.

Mary’s silence
in the Gospel, the pope continued, is particularly evident in Jesus’
final moments where her presence during Christ’s passion is “eclipsed”
until “she reappears at
a crucial moment: when a good number of friends vanished because of fear.”

“Mothers do not betray, and in that instance, at the
foot of the cross, none of us can say which one was the crueler passion: that of the innocent man
who dies on the scaffold of the cross or the agony of a mother who accompanies
her son in his final moments of life,” he said.

Mary, he added, was “there” not just out of
faithfulness to God’s divine plan but also because “of her instinct as a
mother who just suffers”
every time her child does.

– – –

Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at

Original Article