Magisterial Documents: Dominum et Vivificantem

Encyclical Letter on the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World Pope John Paul II
18 May 1986

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Brief History

Of the sixty-seven multi-paragraph articles in Dominum et Vivificantem, ten contain references to Mary. The Marian doctrine generally repeats Lumen Gentium. Most of these references are in the creedal context, that is, the mystery of the union of the divine nature and the human nature, and in reference to the gathering of the Church in the Upper Room.

There are precious gems in Dominum et Vivificantem which can assist Marian teaching. For example:

The Virgin Mary, who "had conceived by the Holy Spirit," (cf. Lk 1:35) sensed [the interior availability which comes from faith] even more clearly, when she pondered in her heart the "mysteries" of the Messiah, with whom she was associated. (Cf. Lk 2:19, 51) (DeV 16) Also regarding faith: Mary entered the history of the salvation of the world through the obedience of faith. And faith, in its deepest essence, is the openness of the human heart to the gift: to God's self-communication in the Holy Spirit. (DeV 51)

While it is an historical fact that the Church came forth from the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost, in a certain sense one can say that she has never left it. Spiritually the event of Pentecost does not belong only to the past: the Church is always in the Upper Room that she bears in her heart. The Church perseveres in prayer, like the Apostles together with Mary, the Mother of Christ, and with those who in Jerusalem were the first seed of the Christian community and who awaited in prayer the coming of the Holy Spirit. (DeV 51)

The study of the Incarnation, the Holy Spirit's role on Mary in the Incarnation, and the Spirit's continued action on the Church from the Upper Room –together with Mary–indicates: where the Holy Spirit is Mary/Church will be found; where Mary/Church is there the Holy Spirit will be.


Introduction 1-2

I. The Spirit of the Father and of the Son, Given to the Church 3-26
II. The Spirit Who Convinces the World Concerning Sin 27-48
III. The Spirit Who Gives Life 49-66

Conclusion 67


AAS 78 (1986): 809-900
St. Paul Editions, 1986

© This material has been compiled by M. Jean Frisk.
Copyright is reserved for The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.
Most recently updated in 2005.

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