Mary's message is one of hope for all the men and women of our day, whatever their country of origin. I like to invoke Mary as the Star of Hope (Spe Salvi, 50). On the paths of our lives, so often shrouded in darkness, she is a beacon of hope that enlightens us and gives direction to our journey. Through her "yes," through the generous gift of herself, she has opened up to God the gates of our world and our history. And she invites us to live like her in invincible hope, refusing to believe those who claim that we are trapped in the fatal power of destiny. She accompanies us with her maternal presence amid the events of our personal lives, our family lives, and our national lives. Happy are those men and women who place their trust in him who, at the very moment when he was offering his life for our salvation, gave us his Mother to be our own!