Rome, June 6, 1987. In the square in front of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the pope opened the “Marian Year” with the recital of the Rosary. There, at one of the most important sanctuaries devoted to Mary, he repeatedly pronounced the words of the Ave Maria (Hail Mary), the prayer that, according to a Catholic daily, is said “perhaps more often than Our Father.”
The voices of thousands of the faithful, linked by satellite with 16 other Marian sanctuaries, joined with the pope in prayer. Thanks to no fewer than 18 intercontinental satellites, scores of television cameras, and 95 television networks, one and a half billion viewers followed the event.
But what does Mary, the mother of Jesus, mean to you? Is a return to Mary the solution to the world’s problems?