"It is my earnest wish that this Shrine, which houses the ancient statue of Our Lady of Europe, should again give special attention to the spiritual needs of seafarers, visitors and immigrants as it has done in the past.  I am particularly keen that it should become a power house for spiritual renewal, both diocesan and European, and that it should foster ecumenical activities.  And I hope that people from all over Europe will come and visit it."

Bishop Edward Rapallo - Homily on the Consecration of the Shrine
Without exception, all successive Bishops in Gibraltar have taken upon themselves this important and rewarding aim for the Shrine.  Bishop Rapallo highlighted this endeavour most appropriately.  The following generations have adopted the same as the necessary aim for the Shrine.  No further amendments have since been reckoned to be necessary; sometimes the original message is the strongest!

The "spiritual activities" of the Shrine should be lovingly directed to those who live by the sea, those who seek Our Lady's aid by visiting the Shrine and those who are far from home.  These activities take the form of Church liturgy and personal/community prayer.

The words: "...power house for spiritual renewal..."  emphasize the magnitude of the task and the much required divine grace to bring it about.  They summarize the teaching of Jesus within the 'Beatitudes'.  They proffer a message of hope amidst suffering, tribulation and persecution.  They indicate that the Shrine needs to replenish the spiritual strength of its people with faith, hope, love and charity.  It should do this at a local and European level.

Despite the enormity of these aims and the subsequent responsibilities that they imply, it means that those who serve Jesus and Our Lady accept a grand challenge with the Cross of Christ as its example and strength.  Many are the obstacles that daily make these aims more difficult.  But with such a magnificent Patroness, our resolution is unimpaired.

From this small part of the world, to so many unknown, this little house of Mary aims to assist the whole Church in its proclamation of Jesus as Saviour!  Great are the mercies and blessings which Our most loving God sheds so generously upon all His children.

With this aim, who could feel small or insignificant?





Easterly (rear) view of the Shine of Our Lady of Europe.