Let us honor Mary during this month dedicated to her and pray for the Holy Father’s Mission Intention—that Mary, Queen of the World and Star of Evangelization, may accompany all missionaries in proclaiming her Son Jesus—as we use a prayer that Pope Benedict offered when he visited Fatima two years ago. Our Lady, Mother of all men and women, I come before you as a son visiting his Mother, and I do so in company with a multitude of brothers and sisters. As the Successor of Peter, to whom was entrusted the mission of presiding in the service of charity in the Church of Christ and of confirming all in faith and in hope, I wish to present to your Immaculate Heart the joys and hopes as well as the problems and sufferings of each one of these sons and daughters of yours. Mother most gentle, you know each one by name, you know each one’s face and personal history, and you love them all with maternal benevolence that wells up from the very heart of Divine Love. I entrust and consecrate them all to you, Mary Most Holy, Mother of God and our Mother.
The Venerable Pope John Paul II, who visited you three times here in Fatima and thanked the “unseen hand” that rescued him from death in the assassination attempt on May 13, 1981, wanted to offer to the Shrine of Fatima a bullet which gravely wounded him and was placed in the crown of the Queen of Peace. It is a profound consolation to know that you are crowned not only with the silver and gold of our joys and hopes, but also with the “bullet” of our anxieties and sufferings. I thank you, beloved Mother, for the prayers and sacrifices that the shepherd-children of Fatima offered for the Pope, led by the sentiments that you inspired in them in the apparitions. I also thank all those who, every day, pray for the Successor of Peter and for his intentions, that the Pope may be strong in faith, bold in hope and zealous in love.