11 December 2012

Immaculate Conception

On December 8--the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary--the Pope traditionally leads prayers at the statute of the Immaculate in the Piazza di Spagna.  The statue is in the Piazza of the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See, and so the embassy staff is usually always there.

It is usually a very well attended event, with people lines up and down the streets.  Despite the very cold Roman weather, this year was no different.  Before the Pope's arrival, one of the Bishops leads the people in the Rosary.  The Vatican choir is usually on hand and always sings the Tu es Petrus upon the Pope's arrival.  (It was a bit too cold for them to sing much else this year.)  The Pope then offers prayers, especially for the sick that are gathered, and offers a few words of meditation.  He ended his talk this year saying:
In this time of Advent, Mary Immaculate teaches us to listen to the voice of God who speaks in silence; to receive his grace, which frees us from sin and from all egoism; in order to enjoy the true joy.
Below are some pictures from the event: