The Holy Father lit a candle at the statue of Our Lady of Cardigan, or Our Lady of the Taper, which was at St. Paul's side chapel in Westminster Cathedral. Our Lady is honoured under that name in Wales. The statue depicts Mary holding the child Jesus in one arm, and with her other hand she is holding a candle. Local tradition holds that the candle burned for nine years without being consumed. In his greeting to the people of Wales he prayed: "May the light of Christ continue to guide their steps and shape the life and culture of the nation." Expressing his sadness that he is unable to visit the people of Wales he added:
I trust that this beautiful statue, which now returns to the National Shrine of Our Lady in Cardigan, will be a lasting reminder of the Pope’s deep love for the Welsh people, and of his constant closeness, both in prayer and in the communion of the Church.
The Holy Father also blessed a mosaic of St. David which hangs in Westminster. A popular teacher and preacher, this 6th century Bishop founded monasteries in Britain at a time when paganism was widespread. Calling St. David a "founder of the Christian culture which lies at the root of modern Europe," The Holy Father encouraged the faithful of Wales to look to his life for inspiration -- particularly to a popular phrase from him.
... his dying words to his monks were, “Be joyful, keep the faith, and do the little things”. It is the little things that reveal our love for the one who loved us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:19) and that bind people into a community of faith, love and service.
Bishop Edwin Regan, the Bishop of Wrexham in Wales, brought greetings to the Pontiff. He presented him a special gift: a replica of the first book printed on Welsh soil -- an essay from the 1580s on the love of God. It had been secretly printed in a cave.
Read the Holy Father's greeting to the people of Wales here