"...fervent common Marian devotion"...of Popes

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Cardinal Bertone retired from his position as Secretary of State on Oct. 15, and after Pope Francis thanked him for his service, the Cardinal gave a very beautiful response. Here is an excerpt:

…The conclusion of my responsibility as Secretary of State has coincided with the pilgrimage to Fatima on the anniversary of the last apparition and on the 60th of the dedication of the Basilica of the Holy Rosary. Someone has said that in that Shrine my mission ended with a golden key.

I had already been to Fatima for the dedication of the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, just over a year from the beginning of my mandate, and it pleases me to think that I have spent these years under the special protection of Mary.

It is difficult to sketch a complete balance of the seven years that have seen me close to Pope Benedict XVI and for a brief but intense period of seven months – seven months! – close to Pope Francis…

And to finish, I cannot but stress two expressions that reinforce this continuity: the gift of spontaneous and inspired counsel, projected to the future but rich in memory and then the fervent common Marian devotion. There is no more beautiful icon of two Popes than the one that photographs each one of them recollected in prayer before the statue of Our Lady, and of Our Lady of Fatima: at Fatima, in the Year for Priests in 2010, Pope Benedict and at Rome before the very same image in the Year of Faith, Pope Francis, to put the whole Church in a state of penance and purification. It seems appropriate that we begin again from Fatima…(Underlining is mine)

To read the entire address of Pope Francis and the Cardinal's response, see [HERE]("http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/retirement-ceremony-of-cardinal-tarcisio-bertone?utm_campaign=dailyhtml&utm_medium=email&utm_source=dispatch")
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