Pope St John Paul II spoke these words on this day in the year 2000: ‘Immaculate Virgin, Mother of the Saviour, the ages tell of your motherly presence supporting the pilgrim people on the paths of history. To you we raise our eyes and ask you to sustain us in the struggle against evil and in the effort to do good. Keep us under your motherly protection, Virgin all fair and all holy! Help us go forward … clothed with that humility which made you beloved above all in the sight of the Most High. … In your hands we place the future that awaits us, invoking your constant protection on the whole world’.

May the Mother of God walk with us through this day and all our days, granting us her motherly protection and guidance, and may her Son bless us specially this day.