Oh Mary's Immaculate Heart, for this day of joy all dedicated to You, we looked for the most pressing matters our hearts had to tell You and the precious things our hands had to offer You.

But we found our hearts and hands were burdened with sorrow, tears and sins while the calamities of the struggle are growing in our beloved Town, and our soul is broken by the pressure of deep sorrow.

Then we thought of offering You the symbolic keys of this "Queen of the Sea" and the names of our families consecrated to You, to obtain the longed-for safety for ourselves and for all our belongings; but we found we were not worth and we looked for the pure hands of our children so that they could lay down our vows and our prayers on Your Altar.

These children will tell You of the sufferings of the other children, of the orphans, of the widows, of the old, of the sick, of the wounded, of the breaking of our houses and of our churches in ruins, of the martyrdom of our beloved country and of the nameless spasm.

And here are the children, a faithful portrait of the Angels, here they are praying and approaching Your feet to give You the sweet secrets of our love and of our hopes; here they are, oh Mother, open Your very pure and powerful Heart to them, accept their homage, grant them your motherly commitment and hear their prayers.

Genoa, with tears in its heart, confidently waits for Your Heavenly embrace and Your patronage. Amen!

Father Bonaventura Raschi