VATICAN CITY – Mary is not only an "advocate," helping Christians in need, she also is a "facilitator," who helps them recognize that as her children, they are all brothers and sisters, Pope Francis said.
"Mary is a facilitator when conflicts and problems arise, such as the lack of wine at the wedding" feast in Cana, the Pope said Oct. 7, the feast of the Holy Rosary. "She helps us to 'untie the knots' that can be created in us and between us."
"In other words, Mary also paves the way for friendship between peoples, inviting us to turn our gaze to the origin and goal of our existence, which is Jesus Christ, and encourages us to follow his example, walking the paths of peace, kindness, listening and patient and trusting dialogue," the Pope told members of the Spanish Confraternity of Our Lady of Montserrat.
Pope Francis set a sculpture of gold roses in front of a copy of the statue of Our Lady of Montserrat brought to the San Damaso Courtyard of the Apostolic Palace for the audience, which marked the 800th anniversary of the confraternity's foundation.
The statue is of Mary, seated with Jesus in her lap and holding a globe in her hand.
"Our Lady of Montserrat, with the world in her hands, invites us to live that universal brotherhood, without frontiers, without exclusions, which dispels the shadows of a closed environment," the Pope said.
"She cares not only for Jesus but also for the rest of her children," he continued. "In the power of the risen Lord, she wants to give birth to a new world, where all of us are brothers and sisters, where there is room for all those whom our cities discard, where justice and peace are resplendent."
Mary is particularly "the mother of the rejected," the Pope said. While people are ready to cast others aside, she welcomes everyone.
Mary also listens to everyone, he said. "Because she is our mother, she knows how to listen to so many things, so many requests, even when they come from a duplicitous heart, from a heart that is not coherent with itself, an unjust heart that does harm. She listens, she listens even to the criminal son."
Those devoted to Mary, the Pope said, are called to imitate her joy at sharing Christ with the world.