Valencia, Spain, May 15, 2012 / 04:05 pm (CNA).- A top Vatican official called the Virgin Mary the “greatest source of hope” during the economic crisis now facing Spain and most of the countries of Europe.
Cardinal Antonio Canizares, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, made his remarks during the traditional “Missa d’Infants” (Children’s Mass) in Valencia.
The outdoor Mass at Virgin Mary Square is the largest celebration in honor of the Blessed Mother under the patronage of “Our Lady of Abandoned Children.” Dozens of children’s choirs participate in the Mass each year.
During his homily, the cardinal said devotion to Mary is especially important “during the difficult times of our life, amidst the great difficulties we are experiencing” and as society faces a “critical hour” in history.
He went on to say that at the root of the massive crisis facing the country, and the real problem facing mankind, “is the breakdown of humanity, the lack of a true vision of man, who is inseparable from God.”
Citing the words of Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Canizares stressed that when God disappears, “man is unable to achieve greatness.”
“He loses his dignity and becomes the mere product of blind evolution, to be used and abused.” Only in God and with God, who loves man unconditionally, “as we feel in Mary, will the change that the earth needs come to pass,” he said.
The cardinal’s homily was met with a standing ovation by the thousands of people gathered for the Mass.
At the conclusion of the Mass, Archbishop Carlos Osoro of Valencia thanked the cardinal for his words and asked him to convey to Pope Benedict XVI “our sincere affection and communion and the prayer of all the Christians of the pilgrim Church of Valencia.”