Pope Francis' reflections
3 lessons from Mary
Mary has three very important lessons for today's Christians, the pope said in a written message to Cuban bishops marking Sept. 8 as the feast of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, patroness of Cuba. He said Mary teaches 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. People should imitate how Mary responded to God's call with her same joy, haste and perseverance, the pope said. "Every time I read sacred Scripture, in the verses that talk about Our Lady, three verbs catch my attention." The three kinds of action — be joyful, help without hesitation and persevere, should be "put into practice" by all Catholics. The pope asked people to say "a Hail Mary from the heart" and to not forget to tell her "Happy Birthday!" For the second action, people should always rise "in haste," just like Mary, to help others in need, he said. "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.
— Pope Francis waves as he leads his Angelus from the window of his office in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Sept. 7.
Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters, cns