Veneration of Mary in Roman Catholicism
|Blessed Virgin Mary|
|Mother of God, Queen of Heaven, Mother of the Church, Mediatrix, Our Lady|
|Born||September 8 (Nativity of Mary)|
|Died||August 15 (Assumption of Mary)|
|Venerated in||Catholic Church|
|Major shrine||Santa Maria Maggiore, others (see Shrines to the Virgin Mary)|
|Feast||See Marian feast days|
|Attributes||Blue mantle, white veil, Immaculate heart, crown of 12 stars, pregnant woman, halo with 12 stars, roses, woman with child|
|Patronage||See Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary|
Roman Catholic veneration of Mary, Mother of Jesus includes prayer, visual arts, poetry and music devoted to Mary. Popes have encouraged it, while also taking steps to reform some manifestations of it.[note 1] The Holy See has insisted on the importance of distinguishing "true from false devotion, and authentic doctrine from its deformations by excess or defect". There are significantly more titles, feasts and venerative Marian practices among Roman Catholics than in other Christian traditions.
Belief in the incarnation of God the Son through Mary is the basis for calling her the Mother of God. This expression is found in prayers such as the Sub tuum praesidium dated from the third or no later than the fourth century, and was declared a dogma at the Council of Ephesus in 431. At the Second Vatican Council and in Pope John Paul II's encyclical Redemptoris Mater, she is spoken of also as Mother of the Church.
Growth of Roman Catholic veneration of Mary and Mariology has often come, not from official declarations, but from Marian writings of the saints, popular devotion, and at times reported Marian apparitions. The Holy See approves only a few of the many such reported apparitions as worthy of belief, the latest being with regard to an apparition already approved at diocesan level as far back as 1665. Further pious veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary encouraged by Popes are exhibited in the Canonical coronations granted to popular Marian images venerated in a particular locality.
- 1 From Christ to Mary in the Roman Catholic tradition
- 2 From veneration to theology
- 3 Mary's role in salvation and redemption
- 4 Mary's protection and intercession
- 5 Catholic saints and veneration of Mary
- 6 Consecration and entrustment to Mary
- 7 Feast days
- 8 Titles
- 9 Music
- 10 Marian prayers, poems and hymns
- 11 Marian devotions
- 12 Catholic view of Marian apparitions
- 13 Veneration through Marian art
- 14 Marian movements and societies
- 15 Marian shrines and patronages
- 16 See also
- 17 Sources
- 18 Notes
- 19 External links
From Christ to Mary in the Roman Catholic tradition
|A series of articles on|
|Dogmas and doctrines|
|Expressions of devotion|
|Key Marian apparitions|
Theological basis for the veneration of Mary
Veneration for Mary is based on the reference in the Gospel of Luke to Mary as the selected handmaid of the Lord who is greeted and praised by both Elizabeth and the angel Gabriel. God's work is further illuminated in the Marian dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church such as the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, and are, in the Roman Catholic view, part of the apostolic tradition and divine revelation. Catholics distinguish veneration from worship: the sect known as the Collyridians is believed to have worshiped Mary, and they were condemned as heretics in the fourth century.
Mysteries of Christ and Mary
In Roman Catholic teachings, the veneration of Mary is a natural consequence of Christology: Jesus and Mary are son and mother, redeemer and redeemed. This sentiment was expressed by Pope John Paul II in his encyclical Redemptoris Mater:
- At the centre of this mystery, in the midst of this wonderment of faith, stands Mary. As the loving Mother of the Redeemer, she was the first to experience it: "To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator"!
In the Roman Catholic tradition Mariology is seen as Christology developed to its full potential. Mary is seen as contributing to a fuller understanding of the life of Jesus. In this view, a Christology without Mary is not based on the total revelation of the Bible. Traces of this parallel interpretation go back to the early days of Christianity and numerous saints have since focused on it.
The development of this approach continued into the 20th century, e.g. in his 1946 publication Compendium Mariologiae, the respected Mariologist Gabriel Roschini explained that Mary not only participated in the birth of the physical Jesus, but, with conception, she entered with him into a spiritual union. The divine salvation plan, being not only material, includes a permanent spiritual unity with Christ.  Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) 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".
From veneration to theology
Marian venerative practices predated both the liturgical developments and theological definitions relating to the Virgin Mary. While the venerative practices date back to the 2nd century, the first theological definitions started only in the 5th century. Thereafter, venerative and devotional practices have often preceded formal theological declarations by the Magisterium.
The veneration of the Blessed Virgin takes place in various ways. Marian prayers and hymns usually begin with praise of her, followed by petitions. The number of Marian titles continued to grow as of the 3rd century, and many titles existed by the 5th century, growing especially during the Middle Ages.
Early veneration in Rome
Mary, as the mother of Jesus, is documented in Roman catacombs where Christians hid in times of persecution: paintings from the 2nd century show her holding the Christ Child. Excavations in the crypt of St Peter's Basilica uncovered a very early fresco of Mary together with Saint Peter.
The Roman Priscilla catacombs depict the oldest Marian paintings from the middle of the 2nd century: Mary is shown with Jesus on her lap, a standing man with tunic left hand a book right hand a star over his head symbol of messiahs. Priscilla also has a depiction of the annunciation.
The edict of Milan (AD 313) allowed Christians to worship openly. The veneration of Mary became public as well. In the following decades, cathedrals and churches were built for public worship. The first Marian churches in Rome date from the 5th and 6th centuries: Santa Maria in Trastevere, Santa Maria Antiqua and Santa Maria Maggiore. However, the very earliest church dedicated to the Virgin Mary dates to the late 4th century in Syria, where an inscription dedicating it to the Theotokos (Mother of God) was found among the ruins.
This new freedom also permitted literary development of the veneration of Mary, Hippolytus of Rome being an early example. Saint Ambrose, who lived in Rome before going to Milan as its bishop, venerated Mary as an example of Christian life, and is credited with starting a Marian cult of virginity in the 4th century.
The first Christians did not celebrate the liturgy and liturgical feast in the same way as later Christians; the feasts of Easter and Christmas were not known, although the Eucharist was celebrated. Liturgical venerations of the saints are believed to have originated in the 2nd century. In the first three centuries the emphasis was on the veneration of martyrs, as a continuation of the yearly celebrations of their death, e.g. as noted in the early Christian text on the Martyrdom of Polycarp. However, in the early part of the 3rd century, Hippolytus of Rome recorded the first liturgical reference to the Virgin Mary, as part of the ordination rite of a bishop. Marian feasts appeared in the 4th century, and the feast of the "Memory of Mary, Mother of God" was celebrated on August 15 in Jerusalem by the year 350.
The Roman Catholic liturgy is one of the most important elements of Marian devotions. Marian feasts are superior to the feast days of the saints. The liturgical texts of the Marian feast days all link Mary to Jesus Christ.
Growth of Marian culture
From the middle of the 11th century onwards, more and more churches, including many of Europe's greatest cathedrals (e.g. Notre Dame de Paris and Notre-Dame de Bayeux among others), were dedicated to Mary. Marian pilgrimage developed large popular followings and prayers such as the Regina Coeli were composed. At the height of the pilgrimage movement in the 11th and 12th centuries, hundreds of people were traveling almost constantly from one Marian shrine to the next.
In the 12th century, the book Speculum Virginum (mirror of Virgins in Latin) provided one of the earliest justifications of cloistered religious life, as it sought to strengthen the resolve of women who contemplated a dedicated religious life and encouraged them to follow the example of the life of the Virgin Mary. By the 14th century, Mary had become greatly popular as a compassionate intercessor and protector of humanity, and during the great plagues (such as the Black Death) her help was sought against the just judgment of God. The Renaissance witnessed a dramatic growth in venerative Marian art.
By the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation had introduced a tide against Marian venerations in Europe. However, at the same time new Marian devotions were starting in Latin America based on Saint Juan Diego's 1531 reported vision of Our Lady of Guadalupe which added almost 8 million people to the ranks of Catholics.[need quotation to verify][need quotation to verify] The ensuing Marian pilgrimages have continued to date and the Marian Basilica on Tepeyac Hill remains the most visited Catholic shrine in the world. In the 17th and 18th centuries writings by the saints, coupled with papal encouragements, increased the growth of Marian devotions, and gave rise to the definition and declaration of new Marian doctrines.
Marian culture continues to develop within the Catholic Church. For instance, in 1974, after 4 years of preparation, Pope Paul VI issued the Apostolic Letter Marialis Cultus. In this document, (which was subtitled For the Right Ordering and Development of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary) Paul VI not only discussed the history of Marian devotions, but overviewed their rationale and provided suggestions for their future direction, emphasising their theological and pastoral value.
Multitude of views and perspectives
Throughout the centuries, Catholics have viewed the Virgin Mary from a multitude of perspectives, at times derived from specific Marian attributes ranging from queenship to humility, and at times based on cultural preferences of events taking place at specific points in history.[need quotation to verify]
An example of the cultural adaptation of perspective include the view of the Virgin Mary as a mother with humility (rather than a heavenly queen) as the Franciscans began to preach in China, and its similarity to the local Chinese motherly and merciful figure of Kuanyin, which was much admired in south China. Another example is the Saint Juan Diego's account of the appearance of the Virgin of Guadalupe in 1531 as a tanned Aztec princess who spoke in his local Nahuatl language. The clothing of the Virgin of Guadalupe image has been identified[by whom?] as that of an Aztec princess.
Other views, such as the Virgin Mary as a "miracle worker" have existed for centuries and are still held by many Catholics as of 2015[update]. Instances include the Black Madonna of Częstochowa which continues to be venerated today as the Patron of Poland, and Our Lady of Lourdes - Lourdes receives millions of pilgrims per year. However, the Vatican has generally been reluctant to approve of modern miracles, unless they have been subject to extensive analysis and scrutiny. 
Development of Marian doctrines
The Church's magisterium has identified four teachings about Mary as dogmas of faith. These include belief in her virginal conception of Jesus, taught by the First Council of Nicaea in 325 in declaring that Jesus Christ was "born of the virgin Mary". The Council of Ephesus in 431 applied to her the description "Mother of God", in Greek Theotokos. The perpetual virginity of Mary was taught by the ecumenical Second Council of Constantinople in 553, which described her as "ever virgin", and was expressed also, for instance, by the Lateran synod of October 649, The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception concerns her own conception, and states that from the first moment of her existence Mary was without original sin. This doctrine was proclaimed a dogma ex cathedra by Pope Pius IX in 1854. The dogma of the Assumption of Mary, defined by Pope Pius XII in 1950, states that, at the end of her earthly life, she was assumed into heavenly glory body and soul.
Mary's role in salvation and redemption
One of the components of the Catholic veneration of Mary is the focus on her participation in the processes of salvation and redemption. Entire books have been devoted to the exploration of the Catholic perspectives on Mary's role in salvation and redemption.
The underlying theological issues have been discussed as far back as St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century and were intertwined with the discussions of the Immaculate Conception. One of the first scholars to offer theological foundations in this area was the Franciscan Duns Scotus who developed the notion that Mary was preserved from sin by the redemptive virtue of Jesus. Devotions to and the veneration of the Virgin Mary continued to spread, as she came to be seen as the helpful mother of Christians, and by the 15th century these practices had oriented all the Catholic devotions.
As of the 17th century, a common thread in the writings of saints and theologians alike is the role of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary as joint symbols of redemption and coredemption. Saint Veronica Giuliani expressed how Mary's suffering in Calvary united her heart with that of Jesus as she suffered each torment along with him. The joint devotion to the hearts was formalised by Saint Jean Eudes who organised the scriptural and theological foundations and developed its liturgical themes. John Eudes wrote that: "The Virgin Mary began to cooperate in the plan of salvation, from the moment she gave her consent to the Incarnation of the Son of God". The venerative aspects of the united nature of the two hearts continued through the centuries and in 1985 Pope John Paul II coined the term Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and in 1986 addressed the international conference on that topic held at Fátima, Portugal.
By the 18th century, the continued growth of Marian veneration had emphasised the role of the Virgin Mary in salvation. In his classic book The Glories of Mary, Saint Alphonsus Liguori explained how God gave Mary to mankind as the "Gate of Heaven", and he quoted Saint Bonaventure, namely "No one can enter Heaven unless by Mary, as though through a door." Ligouri further wrote: "Thou art the gate through which all find Jesus; through thee I also hope to find Him."
Saint Louis de Montfort, whose writings later influenced popes, was an proponent of the Virgin Mary's role in salvation. The Catholic focus on the role of Mary in salvation and redemption continued into the 20th century, e.g. Pope John Paul II's 1987 encyclical Redemptoris Mater began with the sentence: "The Mother of the Redeemer has a precise place in the plan of salvation."
Mary's protection and intercession
Roman Catholic views of the Virgin Mary place emphasis on her roles as a mediatrix of humanity to God, refuge and advocate of sinners, protector from dangers and most powerful intercessor with her Son, Jesus, who is God. These views are expressed in prayers and artistic depictions, theology, popular and devotional writings, as well as in the use of Marian Sacramentals and images.
The earliest known prayer to Mary, the Sub tuum praesidium, (Latin for under your protection) begins with the words: "Beneath your compassion, we take refuge." The artistic depictions of the Virgin of Mercy portray the role of Mary as the protector of Christians, as she shelters them under her mantle. The Virgin of Mercy depictions sometimes include arrows raining from above, with the Virgin's cloak protecting the people.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (item 971) echoes this protective sentiment, stating that: "From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honoured with the title of 'Mother of God,' to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs."
Catholics have continued to seek the protection of Mary as the Mother of Sorrows (who understands and shows compassion) and relied on her intercession as the Queen of Heaven since the Middle Ages. Building on that sentiment, popes have entrusted specific causes to the protection of the Virgin Mary. For instance, pope Benedict XV entrusted the protection of the world through the intercession of Mary Queen of Peace during the first world war .
For many centuries, Catholics have used Marian Sacramentals. Since the Middle Ages the wearing of the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Brown Scapular) by Catholics has been a sign of their seeking her protection. Pope John Paul II wore a Brown Scapular since childhood and as he momentarily gained consciousness when he was shot on May 13, 1981 he asked to keep his scapular during the operation to remove the bullet.
The depictions of Our Lady of Navigators arose from the prayers and devotions of Portuguese navigators, who saw the Virgin Mary as their protector during storms and other hazards. Prayers to Our Lady of Navigators are well known in South America, specially Brazil, where its February 2 feast is an official holiday. The Virgin of the Navigators (a variant of the Virgin of Mercy), depicting ships under her mantle, is the earliest known painting whose subject is the discovery of the Americas.
Both Miguel Hidalgo and Emiliano Zapata flew flags of Our Lady of Guadalupe as their protector, and Zapata's men wore the Guadalupan image around their necks and on their sombreros. In 1979 ceremony Pope John Paul II placed Mexico under the protection of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, also known as the order of Our Lady of Ransom or Order of Captives began in the 13th century in the Kingdom of Aragon (Spain) to ransom captive Christians (slaves) held in Muslim hands. The order now focuses on the role of the Virgin Mary as the protector of captives and prisoners. The Sodality of Our Lady founded in 1563 was also placed under her protection.
The popular Catholic prayer, the Memorare relates protection with the intercession of the Virgin Mary, stating: "Never was it known that anyone who fled to Thy protection, implored Thy help or sought Thy intercession, was left unaided."
Saint Louis de Montfort taught that God appointed Mary as "the dispenser of grace", and to receive grace from God, one can receive it through the hands of the Blessed Virgin, as a child receives from a mother. This concept of Mary as "the mother to us in the order of grace" who can intercede for "the gifts of eternal salvation" was restated in the 1960s in Lumen gentium, one of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council. But as this Conciliar document concludes: "This, however, is to be so understood that it neither takes away from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficaciousness of Christ the one Mediator."
Catholic saints and veneration of Mary
The Roman Catholic perspective on the Virgin Mary has not simply been shaped by the theological studies by a few scholars, but also by devotional concepts embraced by millions of Catholics who venerate Mary. These devotions have relied on the writings of numerous saints throughout history who have attested to the central role of Mary in God's plan of salvation.
Early saints included Saint Irenaeus of Lyons in the 2nd century who was perhaps the earliest of the Church Fathers to write systematically about the Virgin Mary, and he set out a forthright account of her role in the economy of salvation. Saint Ambrose of Milan (339–397) based the veneration of Mary not only on her virginity but also on her extraordinary courage.
In the Middle Ages, Saint Bernhard of Clairvaux, a Doctor of the Church, was a fervent supporter of Mary. He highlighted her virginity and humility as the basis for her veneration. A particularly significant contribution to Mariology came from John Duns Scotus who in the 13th century defended the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Scotus identified the key theological foundations which led to the declaration of the dogma of Immaculate Conception centuries later.
In the 16th century, Saint Ignatius of Loyola promulgated an ardent love to the Virgin Mary. Ignatius admired images of the Virgin Mary and before his death instructed the Jesuits to preserve Madonna della Strada, which was later enshrined in the Church of the Gesu in Rome. Filippo Neri, a contemporary of Ignatius, called Mary "mother and advocate" and is credited with the innovation of daily Marian devotions during the month of May. Saint Peter Canisius is credited with adding the Hail Mary to his catechism of 1555.
In the 18th century, Saint Alphonsus Liguori wrote the classic book The Glories of Mary in which he called Mary the "Gate of Heaven". Saint Louis de Montfort's book True Devotion to Mary synthesized many of the earlier saints' writings and teachings on Mary. His approach of "total consecration to Jesus Christ through Mary" had a strong impact on Marian devotion both in popular piety and in the spirituality of religious institutes. One of his well-known followers was Pope John Paul II who said that reading Montfort's book was a "decisive turning point" in his life.
Consecration and entrustment to Mary
For centuries, Marian devotions among Roman Catholics have included many examples of personal or collective acts of consecration and entrustment to the Virgin Mary; the Latin terms oblatio, servitus, commendatio and dedicatio were used in this context. Consecration is an act by which a person is dedicated to a sacred service, or an act which separates an object, location or region from a common and profane mode to one for sacred use.
The Catholic Church makes it clear that "...the faithful should be carefully instructed about the practice of consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary...it is, in reality, only analogously a 'consecration to God,' and should be expressed in a correct liturgical manner: to the Father, through Christ in the Holy Spirit, imploring the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom we entrust ourselves completely, so as to keep our baptismal commitments and live as her children."
Individuals declaring their "entrustment" to Mary make a personal act to show their devotion and dedication to Mary as the Mother of God, who, though holy, is not herself a divine being. Such individuals seek her intercession before God through her son Jesus Christ, for she has no divine power. In Catholic teachings, consecration to Mary does not diminish or substitute the love of God, but enhances it, for all consecration is ultimately made to God.
In modern times, Pope John Paul II clarified consecration to Mary in his 1987 encyclical, Mother of the Redeemer, in which he stated, "Mary's motherhood...is a gift which Christ himself makes personally to every individual."
The earliest Christian feasts that relate to Mary grew out of the cycle of feasts that celebrated the Nativity of Jesus. By the 7th century a feast dedicated to Mary was celebrated just before Christmas in the churches of Milan and Ravenna in Italy. Over time, the number of feasts (and the associated Titles of Mary) and the venerative practices that accompany them increased and today Roman Catholics have more Marian feasts, titles and venerative practices than any other Christians. Marian feasts have continued to be developed in the Catholic Church, e.g. the feast of the Queenship of Mary was declared in the 1954 in the papal encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam by pope Pius XII.
Some Marian feasts relate to specific events, e.g. the Feast of Our Lady of Victory (later renamed Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary) was based on the 1571 victory of the Papal States against the Muslims in the Battle of Lepanto. It is now celebrated on October 7. The month of October was then established as the "month of the Rosary" by Pope Leo XIII, who recommended daily Rosary devotions in October.
During the month of May, May devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary take place in many Catholic regions. These include the singing of Marian anthems, readings from scriptures, a sermon, and or presentation by local choirs. The month is also associated with reflection on the Virgin Mary's role as the ideal disciple who sheds light on the Christian way of life, and theologian Karl Rahner stated:
When we are involved in our May Devotions, we are engaged in a Christian understanding of the human situation.
- December 8 Feast of the Immaculate Conception
- January 1 Mary, Mother of God
- August 15 The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- December 12 Our Lady of Guadalupe
- February 11 Our Lady of Lourdes
- May 13 Our Lady of Fátima
- May 31 Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Immaculate Heart of Mary (Saturday after Sacred Heart of Jesus)
- August 22 Queenship of Mary
- September 8 Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
A large number of titles to honour Mary or ask for her intercession are used by Roman Catholics. While Mater Dei (i.e. "Mother of God" as confirmed by the First Council of Ephesus, 431) is common in Latin, a large number of other titles have been used by Roman Catholics – far more than any other Christians.
Titles used to refer to the Virgin Mary throughout history, at times reflect the changing attitudes towards her. Domina (lady), Regina (queen) and Stella Maris (star of the sea) are some of the early titles of Mary, of which Regina is the earliest. Domina and Sella Maris are found in Jerome who perhaps originated the etymology of Mary as Stella Maris in the 5th century. While the early emphasis in Stella Maris was on Mary as the Star that bore Christ, by the 9th century, the attention had focused on Mary herself, as indicated in the hymn Ave Maris Stella. By the 11th century, Mary herself had emerged as the star that acted as a guiding light. By the 13th century, as Mariology was growing, Saint Anthony of Padua had composed Mary Our Queen. Titles continue to be interpreted, e.g. Queen of Heaven was further elaborated in 1954 in the papal encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam by pope Pius XII.
Among the most prominent Roman Catholic Marian titles are:
- Mary, Mother of God
- Mary, the Immaculate Conception
- Mary, Queen of Heaven
- Queen of the Angels
- Queen of Peace
- Star of the Sea (Stella Maris)
- Mother of All Sorrows
Marian antiphon sung at Compline and Lauds between the First Sunday of Advent and Candlemas
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
One of the earliest Marian compositions is the popular Salve Regina in Latin from a Benedictine monk, which exists in several Gregorian versions. The liturgy of the hour includes several offices to be sung. At the close of the office, one of four Marian antiphons is sung. These songs, Alma Redemptoris Mater, Ave Regina caelorum, Regina caeli, and Salve Regina, have been described as "among the most beautiful creations of the late Middle Ages".
It is difficult to trace the beginning of non-Gregorian Marian liturgical music. In 1277 Pope Nicholas III prescribed rules for liturgy in Roman churches. In the Graduale Romanum, Kyriale IX and X are both for Marian feasts. Over the centuries, Marian master pieces have continued to appear, e.g. Mozart's Coronation Mass. The list of compositions by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina includes numerous Marian masses: Salve Regina, Alma Redemptoris, Assumpta est Maria, Regina coeli, de beata Virgine, Ave Regina coelorum, Descendit Angelus Domini, and O Virgo simul et Mater. Joseph Haydn wrote several Marian compositions including two famous Marian Masses.
Marian prayers, poems and hymns
Throughout the centuries the veneration of the Virgin Mary has given rise to a number of poems and hymns, as well as prayers. Author Emily Shapcote lists 150 Marian poems and hymns in her book Mary the Perfect Woman. Such prayers and poems go as far back as the 3rd century, but enjoyed a rapid growth during the 11th and 12th centuries. Some of the best poetry written in honor of the Blessed virgin comes from this period of the Middle Ages.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (item 2679) emphasizes the importance of Marian prayers and states:
Mary is the perfect prayer, a figure of the Church.... We can pray with and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope.
The earliest known Marian prayer is the Sub tuum praesidium, or Beneath Thy Protection, a text for which was rediscovered in 1917 on a papyrus in Egypt dated to c. 250. The papyrus contains the prayer in Greek and is the earliest known reference to the title Theotokos (confirmed by the Council of Ephesus in 431):
Beneath your compassion, We take refuge, O Mother of God: do not despise our petitions in time of trouble: but rescue us from dangers, only pure, only blessed one.
While the Regina Coelorum goes back to the 4th century, the Regina Coeli was composed towards the end of the 11th century. The first part of the Hail Mary, based on the salutation of angle Gabriel in the Visitation was introduced in the 11tth century, although its current form can be traced to the 16th century.
During the 11th century, as the number of monasteries grew, so did Marian prayers. In this period the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary was introduced and was modeled after the Divine office but was much shorter. It was adopted not only by monks but by pious people who could read. And the growth of the Tertiary orders helped spread its use. During the First Crusade, Pope Urban II ordered it to be said for the success of the Christians. In this period, Hermannus Contractus (Herman the Cripple) at the abbey of Reichenau composed the Alma Redemptoris Mater and hymns to Mary became part of daily life at monasteries such as the Benedictine Abbey of Cluny in France.
In the 12th century Bernard of Clairvaux gave sermons (De duodecim stellis), from which an extract has been taken by the Roman Catholic Church and used in the Offices of the Compassion and of the Seven Dolours. Saint Bernard wrote:
Take away Mary, this star of the sea, the sea truly great and wide: what is left but enveloping darkness and the shadow of death and the densest blackness?
Stronger evidences are discernible in the pious meditations on the Ave Maria and the Salve Regina, usually attributed either to St. Anselm of Lucca (d. 1080) or St. Bernard; and also in the large book "De laudibus B. Mariae Virginis" (Douai, 1625) by Richard de Saint-Laurent.
Other famous Marian prayers include the Magnificat, the Angelus and the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Marian hymns include O Mary, we Crown Thee With Blossoms Today, Hail Queen of Heaven, the Regina Coeli, and the Ave Maria.
A Catholic devotion is a willingness and desire for pious dedication and service but is an "external practice" which is not part of the official liturgy of the Catholic Church. A wide range of Marian devotions are followed by Catholics ranging from simple Rosary recitations to formalized, multi-day Novenas to activities which do not involve any prayers, such the wearing of scapulars or maintaining a Mary garden.
Two well known Marian devotions are the Rosary recitation and the wearing of the Brown Scapular. Following their joint growth in the 18th and 19th centuries, by the early 20th century the Rosary and the devotional Scapular had gained such a strong following among Catholics worldwide that the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1914 stated: "Like the Rosary, the Brown Scapular has become the badge of the devout Catholic." In his encyclical Rosarium Virginis Mariae Pope John Paul II emphasized the importance of the Rosary. The Mariological basis of the Scapular devotion is effectively the same as Marian consecration, as discussed in the dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium of the Second Vatican Council, namely the role of the Virgin Mary as "the mother to us in the order of grace" which allows her to intercede for "the gift of eternal salvation". The same Council decree clarified that the many ways in which Mary can encourage and assist us "neither takes away from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficaciousness of Christ the one Mediator."
Roman Catholic tradition includes specific prayers and devotions as Acts of Reparation to the Virgin Mary for insults that she suffers. The Raccolta Roman Catholic prayer book (approved by a Decree of 1854, and published by the Holy See in 1898) includes a number of such prayers. These prayers do not involve a petition for a living or deceased beneficiary, but aim to repair the sins of others against the Virgin Mary.
Catholic view of Marian apparitions
Many Marian apparition have been reported by believers, including Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of Fatima. In some cases (e.g. Saint Padre Pio or Sister Maria Pierina De Micheli) these have involved visions of Jesus and Mary and sometimes include a spoken element.
The official position of the Holy See is that while the Holy Office has approved a few apparitions of the Virgin Mary, Roman Catholics at large are not required to believe them. However, many Catholics express belief in Marian apparitions. This has included popes, e.g. four popes, i.e. Pope Pius XII, Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II have supported the Our Lady of Fátima messages as supernatural. Pope John Paul II was particularly attached to Fátima and credited Our Lady of Fátima with saving his life after he was shot in Rome on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Fátima in May 1981. He donated the bullet that wounded him on that day to the Roman Catholic sanctuary at Fátima Portugal.
As a historical pattern, Vatican approval seems to have followed general acceptance of a vision by well over a century in most cases. According to Father Salvatore M. Perrella of the Mariunum Pontifical Institute in Rome, of the 295 reported apparitions studied by the Holy See through the centuries only 12 have been approved, the latest being in May 2008.
Veneration through Marian art
The tradition of honouring Mary by venerating images of her goes back to 3rd-century Christianity. Following the period of iconoclasm, the position of the Church with respect to the veneration of images was formalized at the Second Council of Nicaea in 787. A summary of the doctrine is included in the current Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, "the honour rendered to an image passes to its prototype," and "whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it." The honour paid to sacred images is a "respectful veneration," not the adoration due to God alone: Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God Incarnate. The movement toward the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends towards that whose image it is.
No image (in either the Western or the Eastern Church) permeates Christian art as the image of Madonna and Child. The images of the Virgin Mary have become central icons of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity where Mary remains a central artistic topic. The Virgin Mary has been one of the major subjects of Christian Art, Catholic Art and Western Art since Early Christian art and she has been very widely portrayed in iconic "portraits", often known as Madonnas, with the infant Jesus in the Madonna and Child, and in a number of narrative scenes from her life known as the Life of the Virgin, as well as scenes illustrating particular doctrines or beliefs: from masters such as Michelangelo, Raphael, Murillo and Botticelli to folk art.
Some Marian art subjects include:
- Adoration of the Magi
- Adoration of the shepherds
- The Assumption in Art
- Coronation of the Virgin
- Christ taking leave of his mother
- Immaculate Conception
Marian art enjoys a significant level of diversity, e.g. with distinct styles of statues of the Virgin Mary present on different continents (as depicted in the galleries in Roman Catholic Marian art). These depictions are not restricted to European art, and also appear in South American paintings. The South American tradition of Marian veneration through art dates back to the 16th century, with the Virgin of Copacabana gaining fame in 1582.
Marian movements and societies
Throughout the centuries the devotion to and the veneration of the Virgin Mary by Roman Catholics has both led to, and been influenced by a number of Roman Catholic Marian Movements and Societies. These societies form part of the fabric of Roman Catholic Mariology. As early as the 16th century, the Holy See endorsed the Sodality of Our Lady and Pope Gregory XIII issued a Papal Bull commending it and granting it indulgences and establishing it as the mother sodality, and other sodalities were formed thereafter.
The 18th and 19th centuries saw a number of missionary Marian organisations such as Company of Mary, the Marianists, Marist Fathers and Marist Brothers. Some of these missionaries, e.g. Saint Peter Chanel were martyred as they travelled to new lands. The 20th century witnessed the formation of Marian organisations with millions of members, e.g. the Legion of Mary and Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima.
Marian shrines and patronages
Marian shrines account for major veneration centers and pilgrimage sites for Roman Catholics. According to Bishop Francesco Giogia, at the end of the 20th century, the most visited Catholic shrine in the world was that of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico City. In third place was Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil, with the non-Marian shrine of San Giovanni Rotondo in second place. The visual effect of Marian pilgrimages can be dramatic, e.g. on May 13 and October 13 of each year close to one million Catholic pilgrims walk the country road that leads to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima. Around 2 million pilgrim journey up Tepeyac hill on December 12 each year to visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. While in 1968 Aparecida had about four million pilgrims, the number has since reached eight million pilgrims per year.
Major Marian shrines include:
- The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in Lourdes, France
- The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Mexico
- The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima in Fátima, Portugal
- The Basilica of Our Lady of Manaoag, Pangasinan, Philippines
- The Basilica of the Holy House in Loreto, Italy
- The Shrine of Black Madonna of Częstochowa in Częstochowa, Poland
- The Basilica of Our Lady, Queen of Ireland in Knock, Ireland
There are other Marian pilgrimage sites such as Medjugorje, which is not considered a shrine by the Holy See, but yet receives a large number of pilgrims every year. The number of pilgrims who visit some of the approved shrines every year can be significant. E.g. Lourdes with a population of around 15,000 people, receives about 5,000,000 pilgrims every year. In 1881 a French priest, Julien Gouyet, led by the visions of Jesus and Mary of the Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (Klemens Brentano, 1852) discovered the House of the Virgin Mary near Ephesus in Turkey.
- Roman Catholic Mariology
- Marian doctrines of the Catholic Church
- Protestant views on Mary
- Mariology of Petrus Canisius
- Ecumenical views of Mary
- Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Remigius Bäumer, Leo Scheffczyk (Hrsg.) Marienlexikon Gesamtausgabe, Institutum Marianum Regensburg, 1994, ISBN 3-88096-891-8 (cited as Bäumer)
- For example Pope Paul VI reduced and rearranged the number of feast days March 12, 1969, Sanctitas Clarior. As did several of his predecessors.
- "Devotion to the Blessed Mary § 971". Catechism of the Catholic Church. Vatican. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
- "Santa Maria", Time, March 21, 1927
- Doniger, Wendy. Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions, p.696, 1999, ISBN 0-87779-044-2
- Elders, Willem. Symbolic scores: studies in the music of the Renaissance, p.151, 1997, ISBN 90-04-09970-0
- Miles, Margaret M., Maiden and mother: Prayers, hymns, devotions, and songs to the Beloved Virgin Mary Throughout the Year, p. vii, 2001,ISBN 0-86012-305-7
- Congregation for Catholic Education, "The Virgin Mary in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation" (25 March 1988), 34
- Flinn, Frank K., Encyclopedia of Catholicism, J. Gordon Melton 2007 ISBN 0-8160-5455-X pp. 443–444
- Hauke, Manfred (2008). The Mother of God in Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons ISBN 978-1-57918-355-4 page 178
- Calkins, Arthur Burton (2008). Marian Consecration and Entrustment in Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons ISBN 978-1-57918-355-4 page 728
- "Vatican recognizes Marian apparitions in France". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
- "Expert explains Church’s criteria for confirming Marian apparitions.". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
- "University of Dayton on Marian Organisations". Campus.udayton.edu. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- Luke 11:27
- Luke 1:42
- Luke 1:28
- McNally, Terrence, What Every Catholic Should Know about Mary ISBN 1-4415-1051-6 page 132
- Bäumer, 597
- Encyclopedia of theology: a concise Sacramentum mundi 2004 by Karl Rahner ISBN 0-86012-006-6 page 903
- Burke, Raymond L.; et al. (2008). Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons ISBN 978-1-57918-355-4 page xxi
- Pope John Paul II. "On the Blessed Virgin Mary in the life of the Pilgrim Church". Redemptoris Mater. Vatican. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
- 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
- The mystery of Mary by Paul Haffner 2004 ISBN 0-85244-650-0 page 17
- Miravalle, Mark. Introduction to Mary 1993 Queenship Publishing ISBN 978-1-882972-06-7 pages 156–160
- Mary for evangelicals: toward an understanding of the mother of our Lord by Tim S. Perry, William J. Abraham 2006 ISBN 0-8308-2569-X page 303
- Mary's pope by Antoine Nachef 2000 ISBN 1-58051-077-9 page 9
- Schmaus, Mariologie, München, 1955, 328
- McNally, Terrence, What Every Catholic Should Know about Mary ISBN 1-4415-1051-6 page 186
- Baldovin, John and Johnson, Maxwell, Between memory and hope: readings on the liturgical year 2001 ISBN 0-8146-6025-8 page 386
- Dalmais, Irénée et al. The Church at Prayer: The liturgy and time 1985 ISBN 0-8146-1366-7 page 130
- Maiden and Mother: Prayers, Hymns, Devotions, and Songs to the Beloved Virgin Mary Throughout the Year by Margaret R. Miles 2001 ISBN 0-86012-305-7 pages vii–x 
- Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages, Volume 2 by André Vauchez et al 2001 ISBN 1-57958-282-6 page 919
- Vladimir Lossky, 1982 The Meaning of Icons ISBN 978-0-913836-99-6 page 173
- "Catholic encyclopedia". Newadvent.org. October 1, 1912. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- Miravalle, Mark Introduction to Mary 1993, ISBN 978-1-882972-06-7, page 41-45
- M Guarducci Maria nelle epigrafi paleocristiane di Roma 1963, 248
- I Daoust, Marie dans les catacombes, 1983
- "Catholic encyclopedia". Newadvent.org. October 1, 1912. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- Butler's lives of the saints, Volume 1 by Alban Butler, David Hugh Farmer, Paul Burns 2000 ISBN 0-86012-250-6 page 3
- McNally, Terrence, What Every Catholic Should Know about Mary 2009 ISBN 1-4415-1051-6 pages 68–69
- Bäumer 520
- A new history of ecclesiastical writers, Volumes 1–2' by Louis Ellies Du Pin et al 2010 ISBN 1-171-18698-3 page 212
- Handbook for Liturgical Studies by Anscar J. Chupungco 2001 ISBN 0-8146-6165-3 page vii
- A brief history of saints by Lawrence Cunningham 2005 ISBN 1-4051-1402-9 pages 16–19
- Adolf Adam, Liturgie, 1985, p.291
- Rome by Yvonne Labande-Mailfert et al, 1961 ASIN: B0007E741C page 115
- Renaissance and Reformation by William Roscoe Estep 1986 ISBN 0-8028-0050-5 page 7
- Listen daughter: the Speculum virginum and the formation of religious women by Constant J. Mews 2001 ISBN 0-312-24008-2 pages vii, 1 and 95
- Daily life during the Black Death by Joseph Patrick Byrne 2006 ISBN 0-313-33297-5 page 86
- Mary in Western art by Timothy Verdon, Filippo Rossi 2005 ISBN 0-9712981-9-X page 203
- Renaissance and Reformation by William Roscoe Estep 1986 ISBN 0-8028-0050-5 pages 140–144
- Ann Ball, 2003 Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices ISBN 0-87973-910-X page 219
- Koch, Carl A Popular History of the Catholic Church 1997 ISBN 0-88489-395-2 page 194
- "Shrine of Gualdalupe Most Popular in World". ZENIT International News Agency. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
- The encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume 3 by Erwin Fahlbusch, Geoffrey William Bromiley 2003 ISBN 90-04-12654-6 pages 406–409
- "Marialis Cultus at the Vatican website". Vatican.va. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- "University of Dayton". Campus.udayton.edu. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- The thousand faces of the Virgin Mary by George Henry Tavard 1996 ISBN 0-8146-5914-4 pages vii–viii and 81
- Catholic beliefs and traditions: ancient and ever new by John F. O'Grady 2002 ISBN 0-8091-4047-0 page 183
- Lauren Arnold, 1999 Princely Gifts & Papal Treasures: The Franciscan Mission to China by ISBN 0-9670628-0-2 page 151
- Lauren Arnold in Atlantic Monthly, September 2007
- The great encounter of China and the West by David E. Mungello 1999 ISBN 0-8476-9439-9 page 27
- A history of ideas and images in Italian art by James Hall 1983 ISBN 0-06-433317-5 page 223
- Iconography of Christian Art by Gertrud Schiller 1971 ASIN: B0023VMZMA page 112
- Renaissance art: a topical dictionary by Irene Earls 1987 ISBN 0-313-24658-0 page 174
- Mujer del maiz by Angel Vigil 1994 ISBN 1-56308-194-6 pages 16–19
- Empire of the Aztecs by Barbara A. Somervill 2009 ISBN 1-60413-149-7 page 132
- Our Lady of Guadalupe by Jeanette Rodríguez 1994 ISBN 0-292-77062-6 pages 44–46
- "Vatican web site". Vatican.va. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- The image of Guadalupe by Jody Brant Smith 1995 ISBN 0-86554-421-2 pages 1–2
- Miracles of Our Lady by Gonzalo de Berceo, Richard Terry Mount, Annette Grant Cash 1997 ISBN 0-8131-2019-5 page 6-7
- Miracles of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Johannes Herolt, C. C. Swinton Blandpages 2004 ISBN 1-4191-7308-1 pages 4–6
- Piety and charity in late medieval Florence by John Henderson 1997 ISBN 0-226-32688-8 page 196
- Lourdes: A History of Its Apparitions and Cures by Georges Bertrin 2004 ISBN 1-4179-8123-7 page 181
- The encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume 3 by Erwin Fahlbusch, Geoffrey William Bromiley 2003 ISBN 90-04-12654-6 page 339
- David van Biega; Greg Burke (April 10, 1995). "Modern Miracles Have Strict Rules". Time.com (Time Magazine). Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- Pilgrimage to images in the fifteenth century by Robert Maniura 2004 ISBN 1-84383-055-8 page 104
- Maximilian Kolbe: Saint of Auschwitz by Elaine Murray Stone 1997 ISBN 0-8091-6637-2 pages 7–8
- Miravalle, Mark Introduction to Mary, 1993, ISBN 978-1-882972-06-7, pages 51–65
- Denzinger, 256 (old numbering), 503 (new numbering)
- "Catholic Encyclopedia: Immaculate Conception". Newadvent.org. Retrieved March 2, 2010.
- Pope Pius XII: Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus defining the dogma of the Assumption, 44
- The mystery of Mary by Paul Haffner 2004 ISBN 0-85244-650-0 page 198
- Mary, mother of the redemption by Edward Schillebeeckx 1964 ASIN B003KW30VG pages 82–84
- Mary in the Redemption by Adrienne von Speyr 2003 ISBN 0-89870-955-5 pages 2–7
- Salvation Through Mary by Henry Aloysius Barry 2008 ISBN 1-4097-3172-3 pages 13–15
- Summa Theologiae: Volume 51, Our Lady: 3a. 27–30 by Thomas Aquinas, Thomas R. Heath 2006 ISBN 0-521-02959-7 page 114
- Encyclopedia of theology: a concise Sacramentum mundi by Karl Rahner 2004 ISBN 0-86012-006-6 pages 896–898 
- The encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume 3 by Erwin Fahlbusch, Geoffrey William Bromiley 2003 ISBN 90-04-12654-6 page 407 
- Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages, Volume 2 by André Vauchez, Richard Barrie Dobson, Adrian Walford, Michael Lapidge 2001 ISBN 1-57958-282-6 page 919
- Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons by Raymond Burke et al. 2008 ISBN 978-1-57918-355-4 pages 372–373
- Heart of the Redeemer by Timothy Terrance O'Donnell, 1992 ISBN 0-89870-396-4 page 272
- Arthur Calkins, The Theology of the Alliance of the Two Hearts, Missio Immaculatae (English Edition) Year III, N° 4 (May to December 2007)
- Spiritual Theology by Jordan Aumann 1980 ISBN 0-7220-8518-4 pages 62–67
- Pope John Paul II. "Address of his Holiness John Paul II to the Participants of the Study Week of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences". Vatican. Retrieved October 4, 2010.
- Arthur Calkins, The Alliance of the Two Hearts and Consecration, Miles Immaculatae XXXI (July/December 1995) 389–407
- Vatican website: Pope John Paul II Angelus address of September 15, 1985 (Spanish and Italian)
- Proceedings of the International Theological Symposium on the Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, September 1986, Fatima, Portugal
- Saint Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary, Liguori Publications, 1868, ISBN 0-7648-0664-5 page 623
- "Discourse IV of the Dolours of Mary". St. Alphonsus Liguori, of the Dolours of Mary. EWTN. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
- Antoine Nachef, 2000 Mary's Pope Rowman & Littlefield Press ISBN 978-1-58051-077-6 page 4
- Joseph Jaja Rao, 2005, The Mystical Experience and Doctrine of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort Ignatius Press ISBN 978-88-7839-030-0 page 7
- A Beginner's Book of Prayer: An Introduction to Traditional Catholic Prayers by William G. Storey 2009 ISBN 0-8294-2792-9 page 99
- Ann Ball, 2003 Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices ISBN 0-87973-910-X page 365
- Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Almanac by Matthew Bunson 2009 ISBN 1-59276-441-X page 122
- The Catholic Handbook for Visiting the Sick and Homebound by Corinna Laughlin, Sara McGinnis Lee 2010 ISBN 978-1-56854-886-9 page 4
- Burke, Raymond L.; et al. (2008). Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons ISBN 978-1-57918-355-4 page 178
- Mary for evangelicals by Tim S. Perry, William J. Abraham 2006 ISBN 0-8308-2569-X page 142
- James Hall, 1983, A History of Ideas and Images in Italian Art ISBN 0-7195-3971-4 page 222
- Mary and the Saints: Companions on the Journey by James P. Campbell 2001 ISBN 0-8294-1725-7 pages 41–45
- Queen Mother: A Biblical Theology of Mary's Queenship by Edward P. Sri, Scott Hahn 2005 ISBN 1-931018-24-3 page 13
- Pope John Paul II, 1996, Gift And Mystery, Doubleday Books ISBN 978-0-385-40966-7 page 28
- Lo Scapolare del Carmelo Published by Shalom, 2005 ISBN 88-8404-081-7 page 6
- "HelpFellowship". HelpFellowship. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- Candice Lee Goucher, 2007 World history: journeys from past to present ISBN 0-415-77137-4 page 102
- Vicente del Rio, 2009 Contemporary urbanism in Brazil ISBN 0-8130-3281-4 page 189
- John Noble, Susan Forsyth, Vesna Maric, Paula Hardy. Andalucía. Lonely Planet, 2007, p. 100
- Silvio Bedini, 1991 The Christopher Columbus encyclopedia ISBN 0-13-142670-2 page 318
- Secular ritual by Sally Falk Moore, Barbara G. Myerhoff 1977 ISBN 90-232-1457-9 page 174
- Emiliano Zapata by Samuel Brunk 1995 ISBN 0-8263-1620-4 page 68
- The Roman Catholic Church: an illustrated history by Edward R. Norman ISBN page 127
- Ann Ball, 2003 Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices ISBN 0-87973-910-X page 525
- Mary's Praise on Every Tongue: A Record of Homage Paid to Our Blessed Lady by Chandlery Peter Joseph 2009 ISBN 1-113-16154-X page 181
- "Sodality". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- Catholic Prayerbook: From Downside Abbey, David Foster (2001), ISBN 0-567-08669-0 p. 153.
- Mark Miravalle, 1993, Introduction to Mary, ISBN 978-1-882972-06-7, page 173
- Vatican website: Lumen gentium No 61 and No 62 
- Butler, Alban Lives of the saints, Volume 1 2007 ISBN 1-60506-312-6 page 429
- Eric Francis Osborn Irenaeus of Lyons 2001 ISBN 0-521-80006-4 page 112
- Irenaeus of Lyons, Adversus haereses 3:22
- Tertullian, De Carne Christi 17
- The Virgin Mary in the works of Saint Ambrose by Charles William Neumann 1962 ASIN: B0007J9CX0 page 264
- Ambrose, CSEL 32, 505, and De inst. Virginum 49
- (De Virginib. L. ii., c. ii.)
- Mirror of His beauty by Peter Schäfer 2002 ISBN 0-691-09068-8 Page 157
- Michael Schmaus, Mariologie, Katholische Dogmatik, München Vol V, 1955207 page 207
- Hom. II super "Missus est", 17; Migne, P. L., CLXXXIII, 70-b, c, d, 71-a. Quoted in Doctor Mellifluus 31
- Allan B Wolter & Blane O'Neill, John Duns Scotus: Mary's Architect, Franciscan Press, Illinois, 1983, p.1
- "Address of John Paul II to the Members of the Scotus Commission". Vatican.va. February 16, 2002. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- Hugo Rahner, Ignatius von Loyola als Mensch und Theologe, Herder 1965, pp 222, 224, 275, 299, 300
- Waldrop, Gregory Object of Devotion: The story of a dramatic restoration America, October 2010 
- A. Venturoli S. Filippo Neri, Roma, 1988, p. 117
- "Catholic encyclopedia". Newadvent.org. June 1, 1911. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- The Catholic Answer Book of Mary by Peter M. J. Stravinskas, 2000 ISBN 0-87973-347-0 page 131
- Streicher Catechismi, I, 12
- Saint Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary, Liguori Publications, 1868 , ISBN 0-7648-0664-5 page 623
- "EWTN". EWTN. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- "Vatican press office". Vatican.va. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- "Veneration of the Holy Mother of God, item 204". Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- Schulte, Augustin Joseph. "Consecration." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 18 Aug. 2014
- Mary's Immaculate Heart by John F. Murphy 2007 ISBN 1-4067-3409-8 pages 96–103
- The Catholicism Answer Book by John Trigilio, Kenneth Brighenti 2007 ISBN 1-4022-0806-5 page 325
- Redemptoris Mater, No.45
- The Cult of the Virgin Mary in Anglo-Saxon England by Mary Clayton 2003 ISBN 0-521-53115-2 pages 26–37
- Pope Pius XII. "Encyclical of Pope Pius XII on Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary". Ad Caeli Reginam. Vatican. Retrieved October 4, 2010.
- "Time Magazine". Time.com. November 8, 1954. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- EWTN on Battle of Lepanto (1571) 
- Butler's Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler, Peter Doyle 1999 ISBN 0-86012-253-0 page 222
- The encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume 4 by Erwin Fahlbusch, Geoffrey William Bromiley 2005 ISBN 0-8028-2416-1 page 575
- Pope Leo XIII. "Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on the Rosary". Octobri Mense. Vatican. Retrieved October 4, 2010.
- Maiden and Mother: Prayers, Hymns, Devotions, and Songs to the Beloved Beloved Virgin Mary Throughout the Year by M. M. Miles, Margaret R. Miles 2001 ISBN 0-86012-305-7 page
- Handbook of Prayers by James Socías 2006 ISBN 0-87973-579-1 page 483
- Truly Our Sister: A Theology of Mary in the Communion of Saints by Elizabeth A. Johnson 2006 ISBN 0-8264-1827-9 page 97
- "National Calendar of the USA on-line" (PDF). Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- Encyclopedia of Catholicism by Frank K. Flinn, J. Gordon Melton 2007 ISBN 0-8160-5455-X pages 443–444
- "The Canons of the Two Hundred Holy and Blessed Fathers Who Met at Ephesus". Ccel.org. June 1, 2005. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- The Christian theology reader by Alister E. McGrath 2006 ISBN 1-4051-5358-X page 273
- The Cult of the Virgin Mary in Anglo-Saxon England by Mary Clayton 2003 ISBN 0-521-53115-2 pages 249–252
- The greatest Marian prayers: their history, meaning, and usage by Anthony M. Buono 1999 ISBN 0-8189-0861-0 page 124
- Legends of the Madonna by Anna Jameson 2009 1406853380 page 50
- Willi Apel, Gregorian Chant 1958 ISBN 0-253-20601-4 p. 404.
- Music In Western Civilisation by Craig M. Wright, Bryan R. Simm 2005 ISBN 0-495-00867-2 page 137
- Harvard dictionary of music by Willi Apel 1944 ISBN 0-674-37501-7 pages 355–356
- Bäumer, 652
- Songs of the dove and the nightingale: sacred and secular music c.900-c.1600 by Greta Mary Hair, Robyn E. Smith 1995 ISBN 2-88449-141-4 page 63
- Catholic Music Through the Ages by Edward Schaefer 2008 ISBN 1-59525-020-4 page 100
- Harvard dictionary of music by Willi Apel 1944 ISBN 0-674-37501-7 pages 29 and 66
- Missa in honorem Beatissimae Virginis Mariae, No. 5 in E flat major, also known as the Grosse Orgelmesse (Great Organ Mass) (H. 22/4) (1766) and Missa Cellensis in honorem Beatissimae Virginis Mariae No. 3 in C major, (H. 22/5) (1766–73)
- Mary the Perfect Woman: One Hundred and Fifty Rhythms in Honor of the Mystical Life of Our Lady by Emily Mary Shapcote 2009 ISBN 1-103-66388-7 pages xxii–xxxiii 
- "Part Four Section One Chapter Two Item 2679". Catechism of the Catholic Church. Vatican. Retrieved 7 Oct 2010.
- The encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume 3 by Erwin Fahlbusch, Geoffrey William Bromiley 2003 ISBN 90-04-12654-6 page 406 
- :The Tradition of Catholic Prayer by Christian Raab, Harry Hagan 2007 ISBN 0-8146-3184-3 page 234
- James Socías (2006). Handbook of Prayers. p. 472. ISBN 0-87973-579-1. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- Geoghegan. G.P. A Collection of My Favorite Prayers, 2006 ISBN 1-4116-9457-0 pages 31, 45, 70, 86, 127
- Ann Ball, 2003 Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices ISBN 0-87973-910-X page 168
- "Catholic encyclopedia". Newadvent.org. June 1, 1911. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- Catholic cults and devotions by Michael P. Carroll 1989 ISBN 0-7735-0693-4 page 7
- Ann Ball, 2003 Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices ISBN 0-87973-910-X pages 11 and 341
- "Scapular". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- Mark Miravalle, 1993, Introduction to Mary, Queenship Publishing ISBN 978-1-882972-06-7, page 173
- Lumen Gentium, 62
- Ann Ball, 2003 Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices ISBN 0-87973-910-X
- "Raccolta". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- Joseph P. Christopher et al., 2003 The Raccolta St Athanasius Press ISBN 978-0-9706526-6-9
- Michael Freze, 1993, Voices, Visions, and Apparitions, OSV Publishing ISBN 0-87973-454-X pages 257–265
- Short Biography of Padre Pio http://www.padrepiodevotions.org/index.asp?pagename=biography
- The book Mother Maria Pierina by Maria Rigamonti http://www.cenacle.co.uk/products.asp?partno=B0532
- Habits of Devotion by James M. O'Toole 2005 ISBN 0-8014-7255-5 page 121
- McNally, Terrence, What Every Catholic Should Know about Mary ISBN 1-4415-1051-6 page 166
- "NY Times". Czestochowa (Poland); Fatima (Portugal): NY Times. Reuters. May 16, 1984. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- Vatican News on Benoite Rencurel http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/avantgo/new.php?n=12546
- Catholic News on Benoite Rencurel http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=27848
- Catholic Customs and Traditions: A Popular Guide by Greg Dues 1993 ISBN 0-89622-515-1 page 126 
- "Part Three Section Two Chapter One Item 2132". Catechism of the Catholic Church. Vatican. Retrieved 6 Oct 2010.
- The Celebration of Faith: The Virgin Mary by Alexander Schmemann 2001 ISBN 0-88141-141-8 page 11 
- Merriam-Webster's encyclopedia of world religions by Wendy Doniger, 1999 ISBN 0-87779-044-2 page 696
- Grieving with Mary: Finding Comfort and Healing in Devotion to the Mother of God by Mary K. Doyle 2009 ISBN 0-87946-397-X page 42
- Mary in Western art by Timothy Verdon, Filippo Rossi 2005 ISBN 0-9712981-9-X page 11
- The Virgin, saints, and angels: South American paintings 1600–1825 by Suzanne L. Stratton-Pruitt 2006 ISBN 88-7624-613-4 pages 34
- Donahue-Wallace, Kelly (2008). Art and Architecture of Viceregal Latin America, 1521–1821. Diálogos (Albuquerque, N.M.). Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-8263-3459-6
- Early modern confraternities in Europe and the Americas by Christopher F. Black, Pamela Gravestock 2006 ISBN 0-7546-5174-6 page 11
- "Catholic encyclopedia". Newadvent.org. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- The Sodality of Our Lady: historical sketches by P.J. Kenedy & sons, 1916 ISBN page 37
- History of the sodalities of the blessed virgin Mary by Louis Delplace 1884 ISBN 1-141-60228-8 page 211
- Maiden and Mother: Prayers, Hymns, Devotions, and Songs to the Beloved Virgin Mary Throughout the Year by Margaret M. Miles 2001 ISBN 0-86012-305-7 page 125
- "Catholic encyclopedia". Newadvent.org. February 1, 1911. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- "Catholic encyclopedia". Newadvent.org. October 1, 1910. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- Joan Carroll Cruz, Saintly Men of Modern Times (2003) ISBN 1-931709-77-7 pages 117–118
- Thomas McGonigle, 1996, A History of the Christian Tradition Paulist Press ISBN 978-0-8091-3648-3 page 222
- A pilgrim's handbook to Fatima by Leo Madigan 2001 ISBN 0-85244-532-6 page 207
- Catholic Dictionary by Peter M. J. Stravinskas 2002 ISBN 0-87973-390-X page 141
- Religions of the World by J. Gordon Melton, Martin Baumann 2003 ISBN 1576072231 pages 308-309
- New commentary on the Code of Canon Law by John P. Beal, James A. Coriden, Thomas J. Green 2002 ISBN 0-8091-4066-7 page 1437 (Canon 1230)
- Trudy Ring, 1996, International Dictionary of Historic Places, ISBN 978-1-884964-02-2 page 245
- Pilgrimage: from the Ganges to Graceland : an encyclopedia, Volume 1 by Linda Kay Davidson, David Martin Gitlitz 2002 ISBN 1-57607-004-2 page 213
- Brazil rediscovered by Roberta C. Wigder 1977 ISBN 0-8059-2328-4 page 235
- Pilgrimage: from the Ganges to Graceland : an encyclopedia, Volume 1 by Linda Kay Davidson, David Martin Gitlitz 2002 ISBN 1-57607-004-2 page 38
- "Medjugorje". EWTN. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
- Sacred worlds: an introduction to geography and religion by Chris C. Park 1994 ISBN 0-415-09012-1 page 283
- The Ancient Traditions of the Virgin Mary's Dormition and Assumption by Stephen J. Shoemaker 2006 ISBN 0-19-921074-8 page 76
- Chronicle of the living Christ: the life and ministry of Jesus Christ by Robert A. Powell 1996 ISBN 0-88010-407-4 page 12
- Pope Benedict XVI. "Homily of the Holy Father". Mass Before the Shrine of Meryem Ana Evi. Vatican. Retrieved October 4, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Virgin Mary.|
- The Mary Page (The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, University of Dayton)
- Memorials of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- "The Blessed Virgin Mary". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- "Immaculate Conception". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- Queenship of Mary