Mary is the “best of Mothers” who faithfully keeps the candle of hope burning in the darkness, Pope Francis said today, as he invited Christians to pray as he journeys to Fatima to “entrust to Our Lady the temporal and eternal fate of mankind.” Continuing his series on Christian hope, at the Wednesday general audience, the pope turned to Mary, Mother of Hope.

Our Lady’s experience of motherhood models that of so many mothers in our world, the pope told an estimated 15,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square. Hers is a witness of courage in accepting her vocation and welcoming the new life entrusted to her. “Still in the flower of youth … she responds with courage, even though she did not know the fate that awaited her,” he said. Hers is also a witness of quiet yet trusting obedience to God’s will amid the trials of life. “Mary appears in the Gospels as a silent woman,  READ MORE