Mariology of the popes
The Mariology of the popes is the theological study of the influence that the popes have had on the development, formulation and transformation of the Roman Catholic Church’s doctrines and devotions relating to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The development of Mariology over the centuries has been influenced by a number of forces and factors, among which papal directives and decisions have often represented key milestones. Examples of papal influences include new Marian feast days, prayers, acceptance of new Marian congregations, indulgences, support for Marian apparitions (e.g. Lourdes and Fatima) and declaration of Marian dogmas.
A number of popes have made Marian themes a key part of their papacy, e.g. Leo XIII issued a record eleven encyclicals on the rosary, Pius XII invoked the first (and to date only) case of ex cathedra papal infallibility to establish a Marian dogma and John Paul II built his personal coat of arms around the Marian Cross.
Popes have also highlighted the key Catholic Mariological theme of the link between the study of Mary and the development of a full Christology, e.g. as in Pius XII's Mystici Corporis Christi and John Paul II's Redemptoris Mater, and Benedict XVI reorientation of the Church based on his position that "It is necessary to go back to Mary if we want to return to that 'truth about Jesus Christ', 'truth about the Church' and 'truth about man'".
- 1 Papal influences on Mariology
- 2 First millennium
- 3 The 13th to the 17th century
- 4 The 18th century
- 5 The 19th century
- 6 The 20th century
- 6.1 Pius X
- 6.2 Benedict XV
- 6.3 Pius XI
- 6.4 Pius XII
- 6.5 Paul VI
- 6.6 Ecumenical orientation of Mariology
- 6.7 Mense Maio
- 6.8 Christi Matri
- 6.9 Role of the Rosary
- 6.10 Pilgrimage to Fatima
- 6.11 John Paul II
- 6.12 Benedict XVI
- 7 List of papal teachings on Mariology
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
Papal influences on Mariology
|A series of articles on|
|Dogmas and doctrines|
|Expressions of devotion|
|Key Marian apparitions|
Popes were highly important for the development of doctrine and the veneration of the Blessed Virgin. They made decisions not only in the area of Marian beliefs (Mariology) but also Marian practices and devotions. Before the twentieth century, Popes promulgated Marian veneration and beliefs by authorizing:
- new Marian feast days,
- Marian prayers and initiatives,
- acceptance and support of Marian congregations,
- indulgences and special privileges
- support for Marian devotions.
An example is the actions of Pope Pius V regarding the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 and his request to the people of Europeans to pray the rosary, followed by his declaration of a feast that became the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, and the papal bull Consueverunt Romani Pontifices which established the form of the devotion to the rosary.
The formal recognition of Marian apparitions (such as more recently in Lourdes and Fatima) has also been influential. Since Pope Leo XIII, Popes promulgated Mariology with encyclicals, Apostolic Letters and with two dogmas (Immaculate Conception and Assumption) the promulgation of Marian years (Pius XII, John Paul II), the visit to Marian shrines (Benedict XVI in 2007) and by actively supporting the fathers of Vatican II as they highlighted the importance of Marian veneration (Pope John XXIII and Paul VI) in Lumen Gentium.
Popes also limited and restricted outgrowth of Marian venerations and teaching. Popular views like the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception developed into Papal teaching over time. In 1674 Pope Clement X (1670–1676) indexed books on Marian piety. After the Council of Trent, Marian fraternities were founded, fostering Marian piety, some of which were outlawed by Popes. Not all Popes viewed Marian belief identically. Louis de Montfort was condemned in a Papal bull by Pope Clement X only to be praised by Pope Clement XI, and canonized by Pope Pius XII.
Leo the Great
Many early mariological concepts developed in the Eastern Church. From the West, Pope Damasus I and others defended Mary against Monophysitism, the teaching that Christ had only a divine nature; meaning that Mary is only the Mother of God, not the mother of the human Jesus. The most significant papal teaching opposing this view begin with Pope Martin I and continue with Pope Leo the Great. To define this issue, an ecumenical council was convoked first at Nicaea but later transferred to Chalcedon in the year 451. Leo the Great defended the teaching that Christ has two natures, one divine and one human.
- The same eternal, only-begotten of the eternal begetter was born of the holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary. His birth in time in no way subtracts from or adds to that divine and eternal birth of his: but its whole purpose is to restore humanity, who had been deceived, so that it might defeat death and, by its power, destroy the devil who held the power of death. Overcoming the originator of sin and death would be beyond us, had not he whom sin could not defile, nor could death hold down, taken up our nature and made it his own. He was conceived from the holy Spirit inside the womb of the virgin mother. Her virginity was as untouched in giving him birth as it was in conceiving him.
- By an unprecedented kind of birth, because it was inviolable virginity which supplied the material flesh without experiencing sexual desire. What was taken from the mother of the Lord was the nature without the guilt. And the fact that the birth was miraculous does not imply that in the lord Jesus Christ, born from the virgin's womb, the nature is different from ours. The same one is true God and true man.
To Leo the Great, Mariology is determined by Christology. If Christ would be divine only, everything about him would be divine. His eating would be symbolism. Only his divinity would have been crucified, buried and resurrected. Mary would only be the mother of God, and Christians would have no hope for their own resurrection. The nucleus of Christianity would be destroyed. He asks for the veneration of the Virgin Mary both at the manger and at the throne of the heavenly father. The most unusual beginning of a truly human life through her was to give birth to Jesus, the Lord and Son of King David.
The 13th to the 17th century
During this period, several popes issued decrees and authorized feasts and processions in honor of Mary.
Pope Clement VIII (1592–1605) considered Marian piety the basis for Church reforms and issued the bull Dominici Gregis (February 3, 1603) to condemn negations of the virginity of Mary. He promulgated Marian congregations and supported the rosary culture with 19 Papal bulls.
Pope Clement X (1670–1676) furthered Marian piety with additional indulgences and privileges to religious orders and cities to celebrate special Marian feasts. He opposed the Marian piety of Louis de Montfort (canonized by Pope Pius XII) with a bull published on December 15, 1673 and outlawed some manifestations of Marian devotions. Several bulls supported the frequent citing of the rosary.
The 18th century
Pope Clement XI (1700–1721) prepared the groundwork for the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. He permitted the title “Immaculate conception” and instructed the Holy Office in 1712 not to persecute anybody, using this title. The Feast of the immaculate conception, which existed only regionally, was prescribed for the whole Church. The Pope recommended the teachings and piety of Louis de Montfort and named him “Apostolic Missionary of France” After the victory over the Turks, Clement extended the rosary feast to the whole Church on October 3, 1716.
Pope Benedict XIII (1724–1730) issued several indulgences in support of the rosary prayer, rosary processions and for praying the rosary on 15 “Marian Tuesdays”. He outlawed the Serafine rosary in 1727. He extended the Marian feasts of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows and Our Lady of Mount Carmel to the whole Church.
Pope Clement XII (1758–1769) banned all Marian litanies except the Litany of Loreto. In 1770 he permitted Spain to have the Immaculata as the main patron of the country and in 1767, he granted Spain the privilege of adding Mater Immaculata to the litany.
Pope Benedict XIV wrote books about the feast days of Christ and Mary - De festis Christi at BMV He supported the Marian congregations for the Sodality of Our Lady with the bull Gloriosae Dominae, issued on September 27, 1748, and increased indulgences for all who pray the rosary.
Pope Clement XIV (1769–1775) had to deal with popular unrest in Southern Italy regarding celebrations and processions of the Immaculate Conception. He granted a privilege to the Franciscans in Palermo, that only they may celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Later he extended the privilege to other orders for private masses only. He outlawed the brotherhood of the immaculate conception but confirmed a knightly order with the same name. Allegedly, he had promised the King of Spain to dogmatize the IC and to canonize María de Ágreda
The 19th century
The Mariology of Pope Pius IX represents a significant development of Roman Catholic theology, since it led to the promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. It also influenced the eventual promulgation of the dogma of the Assumption, as well as having an impact on doctrinal teachings surrounding the notions of Mediatrix and Coredemptrix.
Pope Pius IX (1846–1878) shared a strong devotion to Mary with many of his contemporaries. Catholic theology in the 19th century was dominated by the issue of the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary and the First Vatican Council, convened and for many years carefully prepared by Pius IX. During his pontificate petitions increased requesting the dogmatization of the Immaculate Conception. In 1848 Pius appointed a theological commission to analyze the possibility for a Marian dogma.
In 1848 the Pope had to flee Rome, where a revolutionary movement took over the Papal States and city government. From his exile in Gaeta he issued the encyclical Ubi Primum, seeking the opinions of the bishops on the Immaculate Conception, a novel approach of collegiality in the history of the papacy. This approach was quoted by Pope Pius XII, when in Deiparae Virginis Mariae, he inquired of the bishops about a possible dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Over 90 per cent of the bishops requested the dogmatization. Pius IX moved cautiously, on 10 May 1852 appointing a commission of twenty theologians to prepare a possible text of the dogma. Upon their completion, on 2 December 1852 he asked a commission of cardinals to finalize the text.
1854 proclamation of the Immaculation Conception
It was not until 1854 that Pius IX, with the support of the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholic Bishops, proclaimed the Immaculate Conception. Eight years earlier, in 1846, the Pope had granted the unanimous wish of the bishops from the United States, and declared the Immaculata the patron of the USA. During First Vatican Council, some 108 council fathers requested to add the words "Immaculate Virgin" to the Hail Mary. Some fathers requested the dogma of the Immaculate Conception to be included in the Creed of the Church, which was opposed by Pius IX.
Dogma of Assumption
During the First Vatican Council, nine mariological petitions favored a possible assumption dogma, but this was strongly opposed by some council fathers, especially from Germany. On 8 May the fathers rejected a dogmatization at that time, a rejection shared by Pius IX. Council fathers highlighted the divine motherhood of Mary and called her the mother of all graces.
Pius IX believed in the Assumption of Mary, and recognized the close relation between the Immaculate Conception of Mary and her being taken up into Heaven. He resisted attempts however, to issue a second Marian dogma within two decades. Pius IX taught that Christians receive everything through the Blessed Virgin. He attributed to Mary his narrow escape from Rome to Gaeta in 1848
Leo's predecessor, Pope Pius IX, became known as the Pope of the Immaculate Conception because of the dogmatization in 1854. In his encyclical on the fiftieth anniversary of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, he stresses her role in the redemption of humanity, mentioning Mary as Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix. His emphasis on the path through Mary to Christ has been a key direction in Roman Catholic Mariology, with Mariology viewed as inherent in Christology, and the rosary paving that path.
Pope Leo XIII (1878–1903) issued a record number of encyclicals on the rosary, instituted the Catholic custom of daily rosary prayer during the month of October, and created in 1883 the Feast of Queen of the Holy Rosary. Leo XIII was concerned about attempts to destroy the faith in Christ, and, if possible, to ban him from the face of the earth. The destruction of the ethical order would then lead to disaster and war, so Leo XIII dedicated the human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Leo XIII promulgated Marian devotions via ten encyclicals on the rosary. A centennial after his death, Leo XIII is often quoted, most recently by Pope Benedict XVI and John Paul II.
Impact of Louis de Montfort
Leo XIII recalled Louis de Montfort, whom he beatified on the very day of his own golden jubilee as a priest. He (as did later Pius X) applied the Marian analysis of Montfort to the analysis of the Church as a whole. His mariology was greatly influenced by Thomas Aquinas, especially his view of Mary's role in the Annunciation. Leo actively employed his papal authority to support the veneration of Mary in places of her apparitions. Upon the blessing and opening of the Church of our Lady in Lourdes, he issued an apostolic writing, Parte humanae generi supporting pilgrimages to Lourdes and other Marian shrines.
He declared the Madonna of Monserat to be the patron of Catalonia, and instituted the Feast of the Miraculous Medal in 1894. He condemned heresies about the Immaculate Conception and discussed the relation of Saint Joseph to Mary in an 1889 encyclical.
Leo XIII explained the importance of the rosary as the one road to God, from the father to the Son, to his Mother, and from her to the human race. Therefore there exists only one road for the faithful, to the mother and from her to Christ and through Christ to the father. The rosary is a vital means to participate in the life of Mary and to find the way to Christ.
|No.||Title (Latin)||Title (English translation)||Subject||Date|
|1.||Supremi Apostolatus Officio||The Supreme Apostolic Office||On Devotion to the Rosary||1 September 1883|
|2.||Superiore Anno||Last year||On the Recitation of the Rosary||30 August 1884|
|3.||Vi E Ben Noto||English Translation on Vatican Web Site||On the Rosary and Public Life||20 September 1887|
|4.||Octobri Mense||The Month of October||On the Rosary||22 September 1891|
|5.||Magnae Dei Matris||Of the great Mother of God||On the Rosary||8 September 1892|
|6.||Laetitiae Sanctae||Of holy praise||Commending Devotion to the Rosary||8 September 1893|
|7.||Iucunda Semper Expectatione||English translation on Vatican Web Site||On the Rosary||8 September 1894|
|8.||Adiutricem||Adjutrix||On the Rosary||5 September 1895|
|9.||Fidentem Piumque Animum||English translation on Vatican Web Site||On the Rosary||20 September 1896|
|10.||Augustissimae Virginis Mariae||Of the Most August Virgin Mary||On the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary||12 September 1897|
|11.||Diuturni Temporis||English translation on Vatican Web Site||On the Rosary||5 September 1898|
Leo XIII was the first Pope to fully embrace the concept of Mary as mediatrix. In his rosary encyclicals, he described the Virgin Mary as mediating all graces. In 1883 he wrote that nothing is as salvific and powerful as asking for the support of the Virgin, the mediator of peace with God and of heavenly graces. In his rosary encyclical Octobri Mense, he stated, that Mary is administrator of graces on earth, part of a new salvation order.
In Dei Matris he noted, that Mary is mediator because Christ the Lord is also our brother And, in Jucunda Semper, he stated, that the deepest reason, why Roman Catholics look for the protection of Mary through prayer, is most certainly her office as mediator of divine grace. In Augustissimae Virginis Mariae, he wrote that calling on Mary is the best way to be heard by God, and to find his grace.
From Thomas Aquinas Leo borrows the notion that Mary, in the hour of Annunciation, assumed the role of a helper in the mystery of redemption. Thus all Christians are born through Mary. With Jesus, Mary carried all in her womb. Therefore all Christians are her children.
More than any other pope, Leo XIII, who was himself a member of the Pious Union of Our Lady of Good Counsel, was deeply attached to Our Lady of Good Counsel. The small Scapular of Our Lady of Good Counsel (the White Scapular) was presented by the Hermits of St. Augustine to Leo XIII who, in December 1893, approved it and endowed it with indulgences. On April 22, 1903, Leo XIII included the invocation "Mater boni consilii" in the Litany of Loreto.
The 20th century
Pope Saint Pius X (1903–1914) promoted daily communion. In his 1904 encyclical Ad Diem Illum, he views Mary in context of "restoring everything in Christ". Spiritually we all are her children and she is the mother of us Therefore she must be adored like a mother Christ is the Word made Flesh and the Savior of mankind. He had a physical body like every other man: and as Savior of the human family, he had a spiritual and mystical body, the Church. This, the Pope argues, has consequences for our view of the Blessed Virgin.
She did not conceive the Eternal Son of God merely that He might be made man taking His human nature from her, but also, by giving him her human nature, that He might be the Redeemer of men. Mary, carrying the Savior within her, also carried all those whose life was contained in the life of the Savior. Therefore all the faithful united to Christ, are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones from the womb of Mary like a body united to its head. Though a spiritual and mystical fashion, all are children of Mary, and she is their Mother. Mother, spiritually, but truly Mother of the members of Christ. (S. Aug. L. de S. Virginitate, c. 6).
Pope Benedict XV (1914–1922) was an ardent mariologist, devoted to Marian veneration and open new theological perspectives. He personally addressed in numerous letters the pilgrims at Marian sanctuaries. He named Mary, the Patron of Bavaria and permitted in Mexico the Feast of the IC of Guadaloupe. To underline his support for the mediatrix theology, he authorized the Feast of Mary Mediator of all Graces. He condemned the misuse of Marian statues and pictures, dressed in priestly robes, which he outlawed April 4, 1916.
During World War I, Benedict placed the world under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Roman Catholic) and added the invocation Mary Queen of Peace to the Litany of Loreto. He promoted Marian veneration throughout the world by elevating twenty well known Marian shrines such as Ettal Abbey in Bavaria into Basilica Minor's. He also promoted Marian devotions in the month of May in the spirit of Grignon de Montfort The dogmatic constitution on the Church issued by the Second Vatican Council quotes the Marian theology of Benedict XV.
In his encyclical on Ephraim the Syrian he depicts Ephraim as a model of Marian devotion to our mother who uniquely was predestined by God. Pope Benedict did not issue a Marian encyclical but addressed the issue of Co-Redemptrix in his Apostolic Letter, Inter Soldalica, issued March 22, 1918.
- As the blessed Virgin Mary does not seem to participate in the public life of Jesus Chist, and then, suddenly appears at the stations of his cross, she is not there without divine intention. She suffers with her suffering and dying son, almost as if she would have died herself. For the salvation of mankind, she gave up her rights as the mother of her son and sacrificed him for the reconciliation of divine justice, as far as she was permitted to do. Therefore, one can say, she redeemed with Christ the human race.
Pope Pius XI ruled the Church from 1922 to 1939. During his pontificate, a possible dogma of the assumption was being discussed. He granted France the patron “Our lady assumed into heaven patron” In 1930, he sent a Papal delegate to the celebration of the house of Mary in Loreto, and in 1931, 1500 years after the Council of Ephesus, he issued a call to the separated Orthodox Church to venerate Mary together and to overcome the schism. In several apostolic writings he supported the rosary prayer. In 1931, he instituted the fest of motherhood of Mary. Pope Pius XI liked to quote Bernard of Clairvaux: “We have everything through Mary”
As a young boy and in later life Eugenio Pacelli was an ardent follower of the Virgin Mary and venerated her images. Two pictures in Rome received special veneration of Eugenio, Madonna Della Strada, and Salus Populi Romani. As pope, his pontificate was placed under the protection of the Virgin.
Pope Pius XII dedicated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He prescribed this Feast for the whole Church in 1944 and placed his pontificate under the special patronage of the Virgin, and was called the most Marian pope in Church history. His life and pontificate were clearly marked by his Marian veneration. His mariological views Dogma of the assumption high point but his mariological writings extend beyond that. He introduced a new Marian feast, Queenship of Mary and was the first Pope ever to call for a Marian year, a practice continued by John Paul II in 1998. Many of the saints canonized by Pius XII had strong Marian views. Marian research and the Marianum were strongly supported with the foundation or enlargements of several research centres in Rome in 1950 and 1958.
Pope Pius canonized several persons with a very strong Marian faith and spirituality – and sometimes visions – such as Louis de Montfort, Peter Chanel, Jeanne de Lestonnac, Pope Pius X, Catherine Labouré, Anthony Mary Claret, and Gemma Galgani.
Fatima and Lourdes
When Pope Benedict XV appointed Pacelli as papal nuncio to Bavaria on April 23, 1917, he consecrated him as archbishop in the Sistine Chapel on May 13, 1917, the day Our Lady of Fatima was believed to have first appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. His Secretary of State, Cardinal Luigi Maglione said that the Pope had been deeply moved by the parallel of his episcopal consecration and the apparition in Fatima. Pope Pius said about his episcopal consecration:
- At the same hour when the Lord placed the concern of the whole Church on our shoulders, at the mountain of Fatima appeared for the first time the White Queen of the Holy Rosary, as if the Mother of Mercy wanted to indicate, that in the stormy times of our pontificate, in the midst of the great crisis of human history, we will always have the motherly and vigilant assistance of the great conqueress , who would protect and guide us.
After saying this, one person yelled: Long live the Pope of Fatima; Pius responded yes, I am the Pope of Fatima. Cardinal Tedeschini, who was present at the consecration in 1917, added his view to the coincidence: "The pontificate of Pius XII is focused on Fatima, May 13. It was our Lady of Fatima, who connected with the person and future of Eugenio Pacelli, having him consecrated through the hands of Pope Benedict XV to the fullness of priesthood at the very day and hour, in which the Most Blessed Virgin with her messages first descended to Fatima. May 13 is engraved in all our hearts, how much more in the heart of this Pope.
Benedict XV's remains were buried in the crypt of Saint Peter Basilica on the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, October 13, 1958.
The mariology of Pope Pius XII builds on the 1854 dogma of the Immaculate Conception by Pius IX in Mystici Corporis, which summarizes Pius IX's mariology. According to this, Mary, whose sinless soul was filled with the divine spirit of Jesus Christ above all other created souls, "in the name of the whole human race" gave her consent "for a spiritual marriage between the Son of God and human nature.", thus elevating human nature beyond the realm of the purely material. She who, according to the flesh, was the mother of our Head, became mother of all His members. Through her powerful prayers, she obtained that the spirit of our diviner redeemer should be bestowed on the newly founded Church at Pentecost. She is Most Holy Mother of all the members of Christ, and reigns in heaven with her Son, her body and soul refulgent with heavenly glory.
Pius XII consecrated the human race and later Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He prescribed this Feast for the whole Church in 1944. In 1950 Pius XII infallibly defined the Assumption of Mary as an article of faith for Roman Catholics. This was the first (and as of 2014[update] only) ex cathedra exercise of papal infallibility since Vatican I. In 1950 and in 1958 he authorized institutions for increased academic research into the veneration of Mary (see below). In 1953 Pope Pius ordered a Marian year for 1954, with Marian initiatives in the areas of mariology, cultural events, charity and social gatherings In his encyclical Fulgens Corona and Ad Caeli Reginam he presented a synthesis of the mariology of the Church and warned against excesses, and timid under-representation of the Catholic faith. In several encyclicals and apostolic letters to the people of Poland and other countries behind the Iron curtain, he expressed certainty, that the Blessed Virgin Mary would triumph over her enemies. Pope Pius canonized several persons with a very strong Marian faith and spirituality – and sometimes visions – such as Louis de Montfort, Peter Chanel, Jeanne de Lestonnac, Pope Pius X, Catherine Labouré, Anthony Mary Claret, and Gemma Galgani.
On May 13, 1942, the 25th anniversary of the first apparition and, silver jubilee of the Episcopal consecration of Pope Pius XII, the Vatican published the Message and Secret of Fatima. On October 31, 1942, Pope Pius XII, in a radio address informed the people of Portugal about the apparitions of Fatima, consecrating the human race to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin with specific mention of Russia. (See below) On December 8, 1942, the Pontiff officially and solemnly declared this consecration in a ceremony in Saint Peter Basilica in Rome. On May 13, 1946, Cardinal Masalla, the personal delegate of Pius XII, crowned in his name Our Lady of Fatima, as the Pope issues a second message about Fatima:
- The faithful virgin never disappointed the trust, put on her. She will transform into a fountain of graces, physical and spiritual graces, over all of Portugal, and from there, breaking all frontiers, over the whole Church and the entire world
On May 1, 1948, in Auspicia Quaedam, Pope Pius requested the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of every Catholic family, parish and dioceses.
- “It is our wish, consequently, that wherever the opportunity suggests itself, this consecration be made in the various dioceses as well as in each of the parishes and families.''
On May 18, 1950, the Pope again sent a message to the people of Portugal regarding Fatima: "May Portugal never forget the heavenly message of Fatima, which, before anybody else she was blessed to hear. To keep Fatima in your heart and to translate Fatima into deeds, is the best guarantee for ever more graces” In numerous additional messages, and in his encyclicals Fulgens Corona (1953), and, Ad Caeli Reginam (1954), Pius XII encouraged the veneration of the Virgin in Fatima.
Le Pelerinage de Lourdes, an encyclical which includes warnings against materialism, was issued on the centenary of the apparitions at Lourdes July 2, 1957 The encyclical represents the strongest pronouncement of the papal magisterium on Marian apparitions in the history of the Catholic Church. Pius recalls pleasant memories of the pilgrimage to Lourdes which Pope Pius XII undertook as Papal delegate at the Eucharistic and Marian Celebrations in 1937. The Pope reminds the faithful of France, that every Christian land is a Marian land and that” there is not one nation redeemed in the blood of Christ which does not glory in proclaiming Mary its Mother and Patroness” He then recalls the history of Marian veneration, the history of Lourdes and the contributions of the Popes to her veneration in Lourdes. In the school of Mary one can learn to live, not only to give Christ to the world, but also to await with faith the hour of Jesus, and to remain with Mary at the foot of the cross. Wherever providence has placed a person, there is always more to be done for God's cause. Priests should with supernatural confidence, show the narrow road which leads to life. Consecrated and Religious fight under Mary's banner against inordinate lust for freedom, riches, and pleasures. In response to the Immaculate, they will fight with the weapons of prayer and penance and by triumphs of charity.
Christian families must remain faithful to their vital mission in society, and, consecrate themselves in this jubilee year to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. For married couples this consecration will be a valuable aid in their conjugal duties of chastity and faithfulness and keep pure the atmosphere in which children grow up. Families inspired by devotion to Mary, are living centers of social rebirth and apostolic influence.
Professional and civic affairs offer a vast field of Marian action. Gathered at the Virgin's feet, and open to her teachings, self- searching will uproot any false judgments and selfish impulses. Christians of every class and every nation will try to be of one mind in truth and charity, and to banish misunderstanding and suspicion. The quest for social and political peace among men is, above all, a moral problem, because no reform can bear fruit, no agreement lasting without a conversion and cleansing of heart. In this jubilee year the Virgin of Lourdes reminds all men of this truth
Pius XII teaches, that Mary looks upon some of her children with a special affection, the lowly, the poor, and the afflicted whom Jesus loved so much.
- Go to her, you who are crushed by material misery, defenseless against the hardships of life and the indifference of men. Go to her, you who are assailed by sorrows and moral trials. Go to her, beloved invalids and infirm, you who are sincerely welcomed and honored at Lourdes as the suffering members of our Lord. Go to her and receive peace of heart, strength for your daily duties, joy for the sacrifice you offer.
The Pontiff states, that the Immaculate Virgin knows the secret ways by which grace operates in souls. She also knows also the great price which God attaches to sufferings, united to those of the Savior. These sufferings can greatly contribute. The encyclical closes with a quote of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux:
- Amid dangers, difficulties, and doubts, think of Mary, invoke Mary's aid.... If you follow her, you will not stray; if you entreat her, you will not lose hope; if you reflect upon her, you will not err; if she supports you, you will not fall; if she protects you, you will not fear; if she leads you, you will not grow weary; if she is propitious, you will reach your goal,.
Consecration to the Immaculate Heart
The Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary took place on October 31, 1942 just before major turning points in World War Two. Pope Pius consecrated to Mary not only the Church but the whole human race, as “Father of Christianity” as representative of Christ, who has all power in heaven and on earth” The solemn consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was pronounced at a critical phase of on October 31. At that time, German troops under General Rommel had conquered strategic parts of North Africa and were advancing towards the Suez Canal. In the Pacific, following Pearl Harbor, the Imperial Japanese forces occupied ever increasing territories, and in Russia experienced an ever expanding German invasion. In this situation, Pope Pius XII, like his predecessors, put his trust in prayer. On October 31, 1942, he called for a prayer crusade to the Queen of Peace, and dedicated the whole human race and especially Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Mariology of Pius XII
The 1854 dogma of the Immaculate Conception by Pius IX defined the Virgin conceived without sin, as the mother of God and our mother. Pope Pius XII built on this in Mystici Corporis, which summarizes his mariology: Maria, whose sinless soul was filled with the divine spirit of Jesus Christ above all other created souls, "in the name of the whole human race" gave her consent "for a spiritual marriage between the Son of God and human nature.", thus elevating human nature beyond the realm of the purely material. She who, according to the flesh, was the mother of our Head, became mother of all His members. Through her powerful prayers, she obtained that the spirit of our Divine Redeemer, should be bestowed on the newly founded Church at Pentecost. She is Most Holy Mother of all the members of Christ, and reigns in heaven with her Son, her body and soul refulgent with heavenly glory.
Dogma of the assumption
On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII defined the dogma of the assumption:
- "By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory."
The dogma of the bodily assumption of the Virgin Mary, is the crowning of the theology of Pope Pius XII. In 1950 Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary as being an article of faith for Roman Catholics. This was the first (and to date only) ex cathedra exercise of papal infallibility since Vatican I. It was preceded by the 1946 encyclical Deiparae Virginis Mariae, which requested all Catholic bishops to express their opinion on a possible dogmatization. In this dogmatic statement, the phrase "having completed the course of her earthly life, " leaves open the question of whether the Virgin Mary died before her Assumption, or, whether she was assumed before death; both possibilities are allowed. Mary's Assumption was a divine gift to Mary as Mother of God. As Mary completed her race as a shining example to the human race, the perspective of the gift of assumption is offered to the whole human race.
On September 8, 1953, the encyclical Fulgens corona announced a Marian year for 1954, the centennial of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception . Pope Pius XII left open the Mediatrix question, the role of the Virgin in the salvation acts of her son Jesus Christ. In the encyclical Ad caeli reginam he promulgated the feast, Queenship of Mary. Pius XII, who was consecrated on May 13, 1917, the very day, Our Lady of Fatima is believed to have first appeared, consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1942, in accordance with the second "secret" of Our Lady of Fatima. (His remains were to be buried in the crypt of Saint Peter Basilica on the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, October 13, 1958)
In 1950 and in 1958 he authorized institutions for increased academic research into the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary (see below). In 1953, Pope Pius ordered a Marian year for 1954, the first in Church history. The year was filled with Marian initiatives, in the areas of mariology, cultural events, charity and social gatherings In his encyclical Fulgens Corona and Ad Caeli Reginam he presented a synthesis of the mariology of the Church and warned against excesses and timid under-representation of the Catholic faith.
New Marian Feast
In 1953, Pope Pius introduced the feast day Queenship of Mary In several encyclicals and apostolic letters to the people of Poland and other countries behind the Iron curtain, he expresses certainty, that the Blessed Virgin Mary will triumph over her enemies.
Assumed into heaven, so Pope Pius, Mary is with Jesus Christ, her divine son. Mary should be called Queen, not only because of her Divine Motherhood of Jesus Christ, her only son, but also because God has willed her to have an exceptional role in the work of our eternal salvation. The encyclical argues, that Christ, because He redeemed us, is our Lord and king by a special title, so the Blessed Virgin also (is our queen), on account of the unique manner in which she assisted in our redemption, by giving of her own substance, by freely offering Him for us, by her singular desire and petition for, and active interest in, our salvation."
Pope Pius supported or rewarded Mariological research of scholars like Gabriel Roschini, Raimondo Spiazzi, Otto Faller and Sebastian Tromp. Roschini was named head of the Marianum, Spiazzi and Tromp were asked to participate in his encyclicals, Faller received a papal medal for his work. He also promulgated mariology …..within the circles associated with the Holy See took a major step forward between during the Holy Year in 1950 and in 1958 based on the actions of Pope Pius XII who authorized institutions for increased academic research into the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
- Academia Mariana Salesiana He granted the foundation of the Academia Mariana Salesiana which is a part of a papal university. The Academy supports Salesian studies with the aim of furthering the veneration of the Blessed Virgin in the tradition of Saint John Bosco.
- Centro Mariano Montfortano Also in 1950, the Centro Mariano Montfortano was moved from Bergamo to Rome. The Centro promulgates the teachings of Saint Louis de Montfort, who was earlier canonized by Pius XII. It publishes the monthly Madre e Regina which promulgates the Marian orientation of Montfort.
- Marianum was created in 1950 and entrusted to the Order of Servites. It is authorized to grant all academic degrees including a doctorate in theology. Since 1976, every two years the Marianum organizes international conferences to find modern formulations which approximate the mystery of Mary.
- Collegamento Mariano Nazionale (1958) was the last Marian initiative of Pope Pius XII. It coordinates activities of Marian centres in Italy, organizes Marian pilgrimages and Marian study weeks for priests. In addition it started Marian youth gatherings and publishes the Journal “Madonna”.
Of these organizations, the Marianum is the most active marilogical centre in Rome. This Pontifical Catholic institute was founded by Father Gabriel Roschini (who then directed it for several years) under the direction of Pope Pius XII in 1950. At the Marianum, one can get a Master's degree in Mariology (2-year academic program) and one can also get a doctorate in Mariology. This Mariological facility has a library with more than 85,000 volumes on Mariology and a number of magazines and journals of theological and Mariological concern. Marianum is also the name of the prestigious journal of Marian theology, previously founded by Father Roschini in 1939.
Pope Paul VI (1963–1978) made extensive contributions to mariology (theological teaching and devotions) during his pontificate. He attempted to present the Marian teachings of the Church in view of her new ecumenical orientation. In his inaugural encyclical Ecclesiam Suam (section below), the Pope called Mary the ideal of Christian perfection. He regards “devotion to the Mother of God as of paramount importance in living the life of the Gospel.” In 1965, he writes that the Queen of Heaven is entrusted by God, as administrator of his compassion In his 1965 encyclical Mense Maio he described Mary as the way to Christ, the person who encounters Mary cannot help but encounter Christ likewise.
- Nothing seems more appropriate and valuable than to have the prayers of the whole Christian family rise to the Mother of God, who is invoked as the Queen of Peace, begging her to pour forth abundant gifts of her maternal goodness in midst of so many great trials and hardships. We want constant and devout prayers to be offered to her whom We declared Mother of the Church, its spiritual parent, during the celebration of the Second Vatican Council,
Paul VI taught that the rosary is a summary of gospel teachings. His new Missal includes all new Marian prayers. And in his 1974 exhortation Marialis Cultus, he again promotes Marian devotions, highlighting the Angelus and Rosary prayers. Mary deserves the devotions because she is the mother of graces and because of her unique role in redemption.
On the fiftieth anniversary of the apparition in Fatima, Paul VI made a pilgrimage there, the first ever by a Pope. There, he linked the veneration of Mary to her role in the salvation of the human race Pope Paul VI was an engaged and engaging devotee of the Virgin Mary
The Mariology of Pope Paul VI made extensive contributions to mariological teaching and devotions during his pontificate.
Ecumenical orientation of Mariology
He attempted to present the Marian teachings of the Church in view of her new ecumenical orientation. In his inaugural encyclical Ecclesiam Suam (section below), the Pope called Mary the ideal of Christian perfection. He regards “devotion to the Mother of God as of paramount importance in living the life of the Gospel.”
The encyclical Mense Maio from 29 April 1965) focused on the Virgin Mary, to whom traditionally the month of May is dedicated as the Mother of God. Paul VI writes that Mary is rightly to be regarded as the way by which people are led to Christ. Therefore, the person who encounters Mary cannot help but encounter Christ.
In 1965, he writes that the Queen of Heaven is entrusted by God, as administrator of his compassion In his 1965 encyclical Mense Maio, he described Mary as the way to Christ, the person who encounters Mary cannot help but encounter Christ likewise.
Nothing seems more appropriate and valuable than to have the prayers of the whole Christian family rise to the Mother of God, who is invoked as the Queen of Peace, begging her to pour forth abundant gifts of her maternal goodness in midst of so many great trials and hardships. We want constant and devout prayers to be offered to her whom We declared Mother of the Church, its spiritual parent, during the celebration of the Second Vatican Council,
Role of the Rosary
The rosary is a summary of gospel teaching. His new Missal includes all new Marian prayers. And in his 1974 exhortation Marialis Cultus, he again promotes Marian devotions, highlighting the Angelus and Rosary prayers. Mary deserves the devotions because she is the mother of graces and because of her unique role in redemption.
Pilgrimage to Fatima
On the fiftieth anniversary of the apparition in Fatima, Paul VI made a pilgrimage there, the first ever by a Pope. There, he linked the veneration of Mary to her role in the salvation of the human race Pope Paul VI was a engaged and engaging devotee of the Virgin Mary
John Paul II
The ancient title Mary Mother of the Church was proclaimed then by Pope Paul VI at the Second Vatican Council. In 1987, Pope John Paul II repeated this title Mother of the Church in his encyclical Redemptoris Mater and at a general audience on September 17, 1997. The encyclical is a long and eloquent summary of modern Mariology, making some novel points: According to John Paul, the Mother of the Redeemer, has a precise place in the plan of salvation.
- The Church teaches that Mary appeared on the horizon of salvation history before Christ.
- If the greeting and the name "full of grace" say all this, in the context of the angel's announcement they refer first of all to the election of Mary as Mother of the Son of God. But at the same time the "fullness of grace" indicates all the supernatural munificence from which Mary benefits by being chosen and destined to be the Mother of Christ. If this election is fundamental for the accomplishment of God's salvific designs for humanity, and if the eternal choice in Christ and the vocation to the dignity of adopted children is the destiny of everyone, then the election of Mary is wholly exceptional and unique. Hence also the singularity and uniqueness of her place in the mystery of Christ.
The 2002 Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae of Pope John Paul II on the Holy Rosary further communicated his Marian focus as he explained how his personal motto "Totus Tuus" was inspired by St. Louis de Montfort's doctrine on the excellence of Marian devotion and total consecration. The Pope truly venerated the Virgin Mary, as expressed in this motto Totus Tuus.
- “Our entire perfection consists in being conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus Christ. Hence the most perfect of all devotions is undoubtedly that which conforms, unites and consecrates us most perfectly to Jesus Christ.
- Now, since Mary is of all creatures the one most conformed to Jesus Christ, it follows that among all devotions that which most consecrates and conforms a soul to our Lord is devotion to Mary, his Holy Mother, and that the more a soul is consecrated to her the more will it be consecrated to Jesus Christ." As the pontiff observed, Saint Louis de Montfort's approach to Mariology as presented in God Alone presents the logic of how an initially Christ centric view leads to total consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The direction of the Catholic Church during the last part of the 20th century was dominated by the views of Pope John Paul II, whose perspective had a very strong Marian emphasis. He advocated "Total Consecration to Mary" more than any of his predecessors. And he deliberately reflected his Marian views within the design of his coat of arms by using a Marian Cross. According to the L’Osservatore Romano, the use of the Marian Cross on his coat of arms was a departure from traditional heraldry models and was intended to emphasize the presence of the Virgin Mary under the Cross in Calvary and her special participation in the process of redemption. Pope John Paul II issued a number of Marian encyclicals that shaped the Catholic views on Mary during the 20th century.
Pope Benedict XVI continued the program of Pope John Paul II for a redirection of the whole Church to ensure an authentic approach to Christology via a return to the "whole truth about Mary". As Cardinal Ratzinger, he wrote:
It is necessary to go back to Mary if we want to return to that "truth about Jesus Christ," "truth about the Church" and "truth about man".
List of papal teachings on Mariology
- Ad Caeli Reginam 1954 by Pius XII on Queenship of Mary
- Auspicia Quaedam 1948 Pius XII on Marian prayers for peace
- Bis Saeculari 1948 Pius XII on Sodality of Our Lady
- Deiparae Virginis Mariae 1948 Pius XII on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin
- Fulgens Corona 1953 by Pius XII on centenary of the dogma of Immaculate Conception
- Mystici Corporis Christi
- Redemptoris Mater
- Marian papal encyclicals and Apostolic Letters
- Marian doctrines of the Catholic Church
- Mariology (Roman Catholic)
- Pontifical Marian International Academy
- History of Roman Catholic Mariology
- Mariology of the saints
- Protestant views of Mary
- Hatch, Alden and Walshe, Seamus. Crown of glory: the life of Pope Pius XII, 1957, Hawthorn Books, ASIN B0000CJUBC p. 33
- Smit, Jan Olav. Angelic shepherd: the life of Pope Pius XII, 1950 Dodd, Mead Publishers, ASIN B0007E1QT8 p. 12
- "Munificentissimus Deus - Defining the Dogma of the Assumption", par. 44. Vatican, November 1, 1950
- Fundamentals of Catholicism by Kenneth Baker 1983 ISBN 0-89870-019-1 page 383
- Msgr. Charles Mangan in Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, seminarians, and Consecrated Persons ISBN 1-57918-355-7, 2008 edited by M. Miravalle, pages 530-540
- Mary for Time and Eternity by William M. McLoughlin and Jill Pinnock 2007 ISBN 0-85244-651-9 pages 65-67
- Burke, Raymond L.; et al. (2008). Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons ISBN 978-1-57918-355-4 page xxi
- Butler's Lives Of The Saints (April) by Alban Butler (1999) ISBN 0-86012-253-0 page 222
- such as Avvisi salutary della virgine ai suoi devoti indiscreti
- often on occupational lines (bakers, butchers etc)
- Acta conciliorum Oecumenicorum, Vol. II,2,1,Nr.5 PL 54
- PL 54, 221, C 226
- Sermons, 9,PL54, 227,CF,and 205 BC
- Otto Stegmüller Clemens IV in Marienkunde, 1159
- Baumann, Clemens VII in Marienkunde, 1162
- Baumann, in Marienkunde, 1163
- R Lauretin, L’action du Saint siege par rapport au probleme de I’Immaculetee Conception in Marienkunde 1163
- Baumann in Marienkunde 1163
- Baumann in Marienkunde, 672
- Opera Omnia Roma, 1747, 51
- Baumann, Marienkunde, 672
- F Masson, Le Cardinal de Bernis depuis son minister Paris, 1884, 156, 164
- Bäumer 245
- The Holy Spirit Assists the Roman Pontiff
- Pius IX in Bäumer, 245
- and to add the Immaculata to the Litany of Loreto.
- Bauer, p. 566.
- Bäumer 566
- Bäumer, 245
- As the loving Mother of the Redeemer, she was the first to experience it: "To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator"! Pope John Paul II, in Redemptoris Mater, 51
- See Pius XII Mystici corporis Christi; John Henry Newman: Mariology is always christocentric, in Michael Testa, Mary: The Virgin Mary in the Life and Writings of John Henry Newman 2001; Mariology Is Christology in Vittorio Messori, "The Mary Hypothesis" Rome, 2005
- Annum Sacrum 1899 at the Vatican website 
- Remigius Baumer, 1988, Marienlexikon, St. Ottilien, pp.41
- J M Höcht, Fatima und Pius XII, 1956
- Köster 54
- Bäumer, IV, 97
- Bäumer, IV 97
- Encyclical Jucunda Semper 8.9.1894 quoted in Marienlexikon,Eos St. Ottilien, 1988 42
- Univ of Dayton
- This Saint's for You by Thomas J. Craughwell 2007 ISBN 1-59474-184-0 page 172
- Suprimi apostolatus Rudolf Graber, Die marianischen Weltrundschreiben der Päpste der letzten 100 Jahre, Würzburg; 1954 , p 30.
- Encyclical Octobri Mense Graber 48
- Graber 62
- Graber, 83
- Graber 115
- Bäumer, 96
- Ann Ball, 2003 Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices ISBN 0-87973-910-X page 515
- Ad diem illum 10
- (Ephes. v., 30),
- Ad diem illum laetissimum 10
- AAS 1921, 345
- AAS 1916 146 Baumann in Marienkunde; 673
- Schmidlin 179-339
- C VII, §50
- AAS, 1918, 181
- on March 22. 1922
- Bäumer, Marienlexikon 246
- Relics by Joan Carroll Cruz 1984 ISBN 0-87973-701-8 page 96
- The Church at Prayer by Irénée Henri Dalmais, Aimé Georges Martimort, Pierre Jounel 1985 ISBN 0-8146-1366-7 page 135
- Munificentissimus Deus 42
- Bäumer, Marienlexikon:Pope Pius XII
- L Barthas, Il etait trios petit enfantes, Paris, 1945, in German, Freiburg, 1945
- Johannes M Höcht, Papst Pius XII und Fatima, Wien 1956, 58
- Höcht, 58
- Höcht 317
- Bäumer, Marienlexikon
- Office for Holy Week
- Pius XII, Enc. Mystici Corporis Christi, 110
- Bäumer 534
- add encyclicals
- AAS, 1942, 313
- AAS 1946 246.
- Auspicia quadam 21
- AAS 148, 171
- AAS 1951, 780
- Le Pelerinage de Lourdes 5
- Le Pelerinage de Lourdes 54
- Le Pelerinage de Lourdes 55
- Le Pelerinage de Lourdes 57
- Second Homily on the Missus est: PL CLXXXIII
- Le Pelerinage de Lourdes 70-71
- World War Two
- AAS 1950, 753
- AAS 1953, 577
- AAS 1954, 625
- Ad caeli reginam, 37
- Bäumer, Marienlexikon, 534
- Bäumer, Marienlexikon, 535
- at Viale 30 Aprile- 6, 00153, Rome
- Ecclesiam Suam 58
- Mense Majo, 1965, 2
- Mense Majo, 2
- Vietnam War era: people and perspectives by Mitchell K. Hall 2009 ISBN 1-59884-129-7 page 106
- Christi Matri 8
- Bäumer 128
- Mense Maio, 1
- Mary's Pope: John Paul II, Mary, and the Church Since Vatican II by Antoine Nachef 2000 ISBN 1-58051-077-9 page 85
- Blessed Virgin Is Mother Of The Church
- Redemptoris Mater 3
- Redemptoris Mater 9
- Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_20021016_rosarium-virginis-mariae_en.html
- Saint Louis de Montfort, God Alone: The Collected Writings of St. Louis Marie De Montfort, Montfort Publications, 1995 ISBN 0-910984-55-7
- Mary's pope: John Paul II, Mary, and the church since Vatican II by Antoine Nachef 2000 ISBN 1-58051-077-9 page 2
- The Vision of John Paul II: Assessing His Thought and Influence by Gerard Mannion 2008 ISBN 0-8146-5309-X pages 1 and 62
- Miravalle, Mark Introduction to Mary 1993, ISBN 978-1-882972-06-7, pp 164–167
- L’Osservatore Romano, November 9, 1978
- "Coat of Arms of His Holiness John Paul II (Vatican Press Office)". Retrieved November 18, 2010.
- de Montfort, Louis True Devotion to Mary ISBN 1-59330-470-6, 
- Michael Schmaus, Mariologie, Katholische Dogmatik, München Vol V, 1955
- K Algermissen, Boes, Egelhard, Feckes, Michael Schmaus, Lexikon der Marienkunde, Verlag Friedrich Pustet, Regensburg, 1967
- Mariology Society of America http://mariologicalsocietyofamerica.us
- The Marian Library at University of Dayton http://campus.udayton.edu/mary
- Pope Pius IX, Apostolic Constitution
- Pope Pius XII, encyclicals and bulls
- Michael Schmaus, Mariologie, Katholische Dogmatik, München Vol V, 1955
- K Algermissen, Boes, Egelhard, Feckes, Michael Schmaus, Lexikon der Marienkunde, Verlag Friedrich Pustet, Regensburg, 1967
- Remigius Bäumer, Leo Scheffczyk (Hrsg.) Marienlexikon Gesamtausgabe, Institutum Marianum Regensburg, 1994, ISBN 3-88096-891-8 (cit. Bäumer)
- Stefano De Fiores, (Marianum) Maria, sintesi di valori. Storia culturale di mariologia. Cinisello Balsamo 2005;
- Stefano de Fiores, (Marianum), Maria. Nuovissimo dizionario. 2 Vols. Bologna 2006;
- Mariology Society of America http://mariologicalsocietyofamerica.us
- The Marian Library at University of Dayton http://campus.udayton.edu/mary
- Acta Apostolicae Sedis, referenced as AAS by year.
- Pope John Paul II, encyclical, apostolic letters and addresses