Buenos Aires (Agenzia Fides) – For the whole Church, "Mary is the great missionary who continues the mission of the Son and is the missionaries' teacher,” which is why on February 23 the Parish of St. Mary of Bethany in Buenos Aires, celebrated the coronation of the Virgin Mary as "Queen of the Missions." According to information sent to Fides by the Pontifical Mission Societies in Argentina, the church was packed with faithful, and the celebration was presided by Archbishop Adriano Bernardini, Apostolic Nuncio to Argentina, who was accompanied by the National Director of the PMS, Fr. Osvaldo Leon, as well as by other Bishops and priests.
The ceremony began with the arrival of the image of the Virgin, carried by the federal police cadets, followed by the entrance of the flags. The Nuncio's homily was centered on the figure of Mary: "Tonight, we pay tribute to the first missionary," he said. "Her faith in the Annunciation leads Mary to visit Elizabeth, with the announcement of Christ... The event that had taken place deep inside her becomes a message that is 'broadcast' as news." Furthermore, the Archbishop observed that the ultimate goal the meeting was certainly "spiritual and material help for the Churches in mission lands, but after all this is nothing other than the personification of the missionary component inherent in our baptism and especially in our ministerial priesthood, as has often been pointed out by the Second Vatican Council and, more recently, in the Document of Aparecida."
After the homily, Archbishop Adriano Bernardini said a prayer and sprinkled the crown with Holy Water, to proceed with the coronation of the statue of Mary, Queen of the Missions. After the church ceremony, everyone accompanied the image of the Queen of the Missions in a procession to the PMS headquarters, where the work of the four Pontifical Mission Societies is carried out. (CE)