Pope Francis on Mother’s Day: Let us pray also for mothers in heaven

Pope Francis leads the Regina Caeli prayer from his window at the Vatican, May 12, 2024. (Vatican Media/­Handout via Reuters)

VATICAN— On Mother’s Day, Pope Francis entrusted all mothers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, asking everyone to remember to also pray for all the mothers who have gone to heaven.

Speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace on May 12, Pope Francis asked the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square for a round of applause to celebrate all mothers.

“Mother’s Day is celebrated in many countries today. We reflect with gratitude on all mothers, and let us also pray for mothers who have gone to heaven. We entrust mothers to the protection of Mary, our heavenly mother,” the pope said.

Pope Francis also asked for the Virgin Mary’s intercession to help in life’s journey towards heaven.

“May Mary, she who has already arrived at the destination, help us to walk together with joy towards the glory of Heaven,” he said.

The pope noted that Italy and many other countries celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension on Sunday. He said that Jesus shows us the way to heaven “step by step,” like a mountaineer ascending a summit, in the Gospels and through the Sacraments.

“What are these steps that must be taken?” he asked. “Today’s Gospel says: ‘preach the Gospel, baptize, cast out demons, pick up serpents, lay hands on the sick’ (cf. Mk 16:16-18).”

“In summary, perform the works of love: to give life, bring hope, steer away from any form of wickedness and meanness, respond to evil with good, be close to those who suffer.”

Pope Francis added that the more we do these “works of love,” the more “we let ourselves be transformed by His Spirit.”

“It is He who awakens us and communicates to us, with His Word and with the grace of the Sacraments, the beauty of the Homeland towards which we are headed,” the pope said.

After praying the Regina Caeli prayer in Latin, the pope asked people to pray for peace in Palestine, Israel, Myanmar, and Ukraine.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters, As we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord who sets us free and wants us to be free, I renew my appeal for a general exchange of all prisoners between Russia and Ukraine,” he said.

Pope Francis added that he wanted to assure “the Holy See’s readiness to facilitate every effort in this regard, especially for those seriously wounded and ill.”

The pope extended greetings to pilgrims visiting Rome from Hungary, Malta, Portugal, Austria, and Germany. Pope Francis also gave thanks to a band from Germany who performed in St. Peter’s Square as a tribute to the late Pope Benedict XVI.

The entirety of today’s Regina Coeli reflection by Pope Francis can be viewed below.