Magisterial Documents: The Life of Mary

Below are direct quotes from Post-Vatican II Magisterial Documents concerning the following themes. These teachings of the Catholic Church may prove useful to include in talks, in homilies or for research.

General
Sacred Scripture: Old Testament Typologies (Daughter of Zion, et al)
New Testament Elements
Annunciation
Visitation (Mary's Service)
Visitation (Elizabeth's Perspective)
Magnificat Song
Nativity, Epiphany, Flight to Egypt
Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
The Finding in the Temple and The Hidden Life
Wedding Feast of Cana
Mary and the Relatives of Jesus
Calvary
Pentecost
Book of Revelation
Apocryphal Elements (Fourth/Thirteenth Stations of the Cross, etc.)


GENERAL

Marialis Cultus, 1974

Anthropological: [This is one of the four mandated guidelines for devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.]

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SACRED SCRIPTURE: OLD TESTAMENT TYPOLOGIES (DAUGHTER OF ZION, ET AL)

Lumen Gentium, 1964

stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord who confidently hope and receive salvation from him 55

the times are fulfilled in her, the exalted Daughter of Sion 55

prophetically foreshadowed (cf. Gen 3:15) 55

virgin [to conceive] Emmanuel (cf. Is 7:14; Mic 5:2-3; Mt 1:22-23) 55

being of the race of Adam 53

daughter of Adam 56

Mary [is] Eve, Mother of the living 56

in the manner of a new Eve 63



Signum Magnum, 1967

[liturgy] "You are the glory of Jerusalem, you are the joy of Israel, you are the honor of our people." [ftn 28: Second Antiphon at Lauds, feast of the Immaculate Conception, Dec 8] 25

we see her as the new Eve, as the lofty daughter of Sion, as the crown of the Old Covenant 25



Creed, Paul VI, 1968

the New Eve [see ftn 20] 15



Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973

Ark of the Covenant:

[See 25f., History of the Ark of the Covenant] 23

The Mother of Jesus is the new and perfect ark of the covenant, the living tabernacle of the divine presence. The sacred ark that disappeared six centuries before has now returned in a more perfect way. Mary is the living ark of the covenant carrying Jesus. 27

The 'ark of the covenant' theme continues in St. Luke's account of Mary's visit to her relative, Elizabeth. The Old Testament counterpart is provided by the story of the transfer of the ark of the covenant by King David (2 Sm 6). [See three parallels] 27

Believing Remnant:

God's free election made Mary the representative of the believing remnant. 15

Daughter of Adam: (LG 56) 55

Daughter of Zion:

Mary is the "exalted Daughter of Zion" in whom, after the long waiting for the promise, the times are fulfilled and the new dispensation is established. 15

Luke sees in Mary the Daughter of Zion who rejoices because God is with her and who praises His greatness for pulling down the mighty and exalting the humble. 17

More on Daughter of Zion: 20, 21, 22 (Zep 3:14-17), 36, 37

Figure of the Woman:

The books of the Old Testament, as they are understood by the Church in the light of Christian revelation, "bring the figure of the woman, Mother of the Redeemer, into a gradually sharper focus." (LG 55) In the fulfillment, we find the vague "figure of a woman" realized in the woman who is Mary of Nazareth. 19

Genesis 3:15:

The light of completion shows that the Redeemer's Mother was "already prophetically foreshadowed in that victory over the serpent which was promised to our first parents after their fall into sin." (cf. Gen 3:15) (LG 55) 19

House of David: (2 Sm 7:12-16)

Isaiah 7:14:

With St. Matthew, the Church holds that the Mother of Jesus is likewise the Virgin who will conceive a Son called Emmanuel. (Mt 1:22-23, cf. Is 7:14, Mi 5:2-3) 19

The New Eve:

The future Eve ... is realized ... preeminently in Mary of Nazareth. 5

The comparison between the first Eve, primitive mother of the living, and Mary, the new Eve, is the oldest Christian reflection on the Blessed Virgin outside the Bible, and accords well with the New Testament teaching that Christ is the new Adam. (Rom 5:19) 14

The Eve-Mary comparison is rooted in the covenant theology of the Old Testament, in which God's free initiative stirs up man's response of faith.... In Mary's response, "Let it be done to me as you say," the expectation of the old covenant achieves perfect expression. 15

After the Scriptures, the oldest consideration of the Virgin Mary by Christian writers is that she is the 'new Eve'. [St. Justin (d. 165) contrasts M/Eve; St. lrenaeus (d. ca. 202), recapitulation, virginal obedience] 40

St. Jerome (d. 420), "death through Eve, life through Mary" (LG 56); St. Epiphanius (d. 403) "the mother of the living." (LG 56) [see also 134, pastoral]. 41

The Poor and Humble:

"She stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord who confidently await and receive salvation from Him." (LG 55) 15

includes the poor and lowly, the humble of spirit, the devout believers 16

Luke begins his gospel by taking us into the company of poor and holy people: Elizabeth and Zachary, Anna and Simeon, Joseph and Mary. 17



Marialis Cultus, 1974

Biblical Studies: [One of the four mandated guidelines for devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary]

In its wonderful presentation of God's plan for man's salvation, the Bible is replete with the mystery of the Savior, and from Genesis to the Book of Revelation, also contains clear references to her who was the Mother and associate of the Savior.... What is needed is that texts of prayers and chants should draw their inspiration and their wording from the Bible, and above all that devotion to the Virgin should be imbued with the great themes of the Christian message. This will ensure that, as they venerate the Seat of Wisdom, the faithful in their turn will be enlightened by the divine word, and be inspired to live their lives in accordance with the precepts of Incarnate Wisdom. 30

The reading of the divine Scriptures, carried out under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and with the discoveries of the human sciences and the different situations in the world today being taken into account, will help us to see what can be considered a mirror of the expectations of the men and women of our time. 37

[for liturgy of] Immaculate Conception (cf. Is. 11:1, 10) the basic preparation for the coming of the Savior and of the happy beginning of the Church without spot or wrinkle (See Preface) 3

[Advent liturgy] recalls the ancient prophecies concerning the Virgin Mother and the Messiah (Footnote 12 gives texts for A,B,C) 4

March 25: liturgies celebrate it as a feast of the new Eve, the obedient and faithful virgin, who with her generous "fiat" (cf. Lk. 1:38) became through the working of the Spirit, not only the Mother of God, but also the true Mother of the living, and, by receiving into her womb the one Mediator (cf. I Tm. 2:5), became the true Ark of the Covenant and true Temple of God. 6

Presentation of the Lord (February 2), [BV] the one who performs a mission belonging to ancient Israel (cf. Lk. 2:21-35) 7

[Magnificat: Mary--Abraham] 18



Gaudete in Domino, 1975

What a marvelous echo the prophetic words about the new Jerusalem find in her wonderful existence as the Virgin of Israel: "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garment of salvation, he had covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels!" (Is 61:10) IV

And so it was with the Jerusalem praised by the psalmists. Jesus himself and Mary his mother sang on earth as they went up to Jerusalem the canticles of Zion: "perfection of beauty," "joy to the whole world." (Ps 50:2; 48:3) VII



Redemptoris Mater, 1987

Her presence in the midst of Israel ... shone very clearly before the Eternal One, who had associated this hidden "daughter of Sion" (cf. Zeph. 3:14; Zech. 2:10) with the plan of salvation embracing the whole history of humanity 3 [See also 24, 41, 47]

"She is already prophetically foreshadowed in that promise made to our first parents after their fall into sin" according to the Book of Genesis (cf. 3:15). "Likewise she is the Virgin who is to conceive and bear a son, whose name will be called Emmanuel"--according to the words of Isaiah (cf. 7:14). (LG 55) 7 [See also 24, 47]

In this way the Old Testament prepares that "fullness of time" when God "sent forth his Son, born of woman ... so that we might receive adoption as sons." (Gal 4:4) 7

in the soul of this "daughter of Sion" there is manifested, in a sense, all the "glory of grace," that grace which "the Father ... has given us in his beloved Son." 8

Mary "stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently await and receive salvation from him." (LG 55) 8

(cf. Gen. 3:15). And so, there comes into the world a Son, "the seed of the woman" who will crush the evil of sin in its very origins: "he will crush the head of the serpent." 11 [See also 24, 37]

In contrast with the "suspicion" which the "father of lies" sowed in the heart of Eve the first woman, Mary, whom tradition is wont to call the "new Eve" (Justin, etc) and the true "Mother of the living," Epiphanius) 37 [See also 47]



The Virgin Mary in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation, 1988

Biblical exegesis has opened new frontiers for Mariology, ever dedicating more attention to the inter-testamental literature. Some texts of the Old Testament, and especially the New Testament parts of Luke and Matthew on the infancy of Jesus and the Johannine pericopes, have been the object of continuous and deep study, the results of which have reinforced the biblical basis of Mariology and considerably enriched its themes. 11

"Sacred theology rests on the written word of God, together with sacred Tradition, as its primary and perpetual foundation. By scrutinizing in the light of faith all truth stored up in the mystery of Christ, theology is most powerfully strengthened and constantly rejuvenated by that word." (DV 24) The study of the sacred Scriptures, therefore, must be the soul of Mariology (DV 24; Optatam Totius, 16) 24

The study of Tradition is essential to research in Mariology because, as Vatican II teaches, "sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, which is committed to the Church." (DV 10) 26

Research into Scripture and Tradition, conducted according to the most fruitful methods and with the most reliable instruments of critical enquiry, must be guided by the Magisterium since "the task of authentically interpreting the word God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church." (cf. ibid., 10). This research must also integrate and be strengthened by the more secure fruits of learning in anthropology and the human sciences. 26



Mulieris Dignitatem, 1988

[discussion of "woman" in Gen 3:15, i.e. the Proto-evangelium] From this vantage point the two female figures, Eve and Mary, are joined under the name of woman.... The Eve-Mary comparison constantly recurs in the course of reflection on the deposit of faith received from divine Revelation. [Fathers, etc. changing concept of this parallel:

Eve, as "the mother of all the living": (Gen 3:20), is the witness to the biblical 'beginning', [image and likeness]. Mary is the witness to the new 'beginning' and the "new creation" (cf. 2 Cor 5:17) ... as "a new creation": she is "full of grace." ... in her the new and definitive Covenant of God. 11

The Eve-Mary comparison can be understood also in the sense that Mary assumes in herself and embraces the mystery of the "woman" whose beginning is Eve, "the mother of all the living" (Gen 3:20).... she assumes and embraces it within the mystery of Christ, "the new and the last Adam" (cf. 1 Cor 14:45), who assumed in his own person the nature of the first Adam. 11

[Adam-Christ/Eve-Mary meanings]

Mary ... the full revelation of all that is included in the biblical word 'woman': a revelation commensurate with the mystery of the Redemption.
Mary means ... a return to that 'beginning' in which one finds the 'woman' as she was intended to be in creation, and therefore in the eternal mind of God....
Mary is "the new beginning" of the dignity and vocation of women, of each and every woman.
A particular key for understanding this can be found in the words which the Evangelist puts on Mary's lips after the Annunciation, "He who is mighty has done great things for me." (Lk 1:49) 11

In Mary, Eve discovers the nature of the true dignity of woman, of feminine humanity. This discovery must continually reach the heart of every woman and shape her vocation and her life. 11



Evangelium Vitae, 1995

Mary becomes the model of the Church, called to be the 'new Eve', the mother of believers, the mother of the 'living'. (cf. Gen 3:20) 103



Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994 Fidei Depositum, 1992

Women of Old Testament and Mary: 64, 489 [BB]
Daughter of Zion: 559, 583, 593, 722, 2619, 2676 [BB]
Eve and Mary: 410, 411, 494, 511, 726, 975, 2853 [BB]

This image, among the most ancient in Christian art, expresses a theme that lies at the heart of the Christian faith: the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God born of the Virgin Mary.
At the left, the figure of a man pointing to a star, located above the Virgin with the child: a prophet, probably Balaam, who announced that "a star shall come forth out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel." (Num 24:17) This is the whole expectation of the Old Covenant and the cry of a fallen humanity for a savior and redeemer (cf. 27; 528).
This prophecy was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus ...[explanation of image after p 12]

64 Through the prophets, God forms his people in the hope of salvation, in the expectation of a new and everlasting Covenant intended for all, to be written on their hearts. (cf. Is 2:2-4 et al) The prophets proclaim a radical redemption of the People of God, purification from all their infidelities, a salvation which will include all the nations. (cf. Ezek 36 et al) Above all, the poor and humble of the Lord will bear this hope. Such holy women as Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Judith, and Esther kept alive the hope of Israel's salvation. The purest figure among them is Mary. (cf. Zeph 2:3; Lk 1:38)

410 After his fall, man was not abandoned by God. On the contrary, God called him and in a mysterious way heralded the coming victory over evil and his restoration form his fall. (Gen 3:9, 15) This passage in Genesis is called the Proto-evangelium ('first gospel'): the first announcement of the Messiah and Redeemer, of a battle between the serpent and the Woman, and of the final victory of a descendant of hers.

411 The Christian tradition sees in this passage an announcement of the 'New Adam' who, because he "became obedient unto death, even death on a cross," makes amends superabundantly for the disobedience of Adam. (cf. 1 Cor 15:21-22 et al.) Furthermore, many Fathers and Doctors of the Church have seen the woman announced in the Protoevangelium as Mary, the mother of Christ, the 'new Eve'. Mary benefited first of all and uniquely from Christ's victory over sin: she was preserved from all stain of original sin and by a special grace of God committed no sin of any kind during her whole earthly life. (cf. Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus)

494 ... As St. Irenaeus says, "Being obedient, she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race." Hence, not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert...: "The knot of Eve's disobedience was untied by Mary's obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith." (Irenaeus, Adv. haeres.) Comparing her with Eve, they call Mary "the Mother of the living" and frequently claim: "Death through Eve, life through Mary." (LG 56, et al) [New Eve, see also 511, 726]


Orientale Lumen, 1995 Ut Unum Sint, 1995

Her figure is ... the fulfillment of so many Old Testament prefigurations OL 6



Veritatis Splendor, 1993

Mary, the new Eve 34


Spe Salvi, 2007

Who more than Mary could be a star of hope for us? …she became the living Ark of the Covenant, in whom God took flesh, became one of us, and pitched his tent among us (cf. Jn 1:14). 49

Holy Mary, your life was thoroughly imbued with the sacred scriptures of Israel which spoke of hope, of the promise made to Abraham and his descendants (cf. Lk 1:55). 50

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NEW TESTAMENT ELEMENTS

Signum Magnum, 1967

We see her as...the dawn light of the New [Testament]. In her the "fullness of time" [Gal 4:4] came to maturity ... it was she who prayed longingly for the "consolation of Israel." [Lk 2:25-26] 25

The cult of praise, thanksgiving and love of the Blessed Virgin is fully in accord with the teachings of the Gospel. 35

General Catechetical Directory, 1971

full of grace (Lk 1:28) 68

Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973

Gospel of Luke: Mary is the perfect example of awaiting the Messiah with a pure and humble spirit. Luke sees in Mary the Daughter of Zion who rejoices because God is with her and who praises His greatness for pulling down the mighty and exalting the humble. 17

The bridge-role of Mary between the Old Testament and New, between expectation and fulfillment, ... is an integral element of the Gospel view of Mary. The "handmaid of the Lord" in St. Luke's infancy chapters, and the "woman" in St. John's Cana and Calvary narratives is at once the individual "Daughter of Zion," in whom Old Testament hopes are achieved, and the type of the Church, Bride of Christ, new mother of all men. 20

Marialis Cultus, 1974

[ liturgy ] 6

The Virgin Mary in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation, 1988

Attention [to Mary and to her mission in the history of salvation] is already evident in some of the New Testament writings and in a number of pages by authors in the sub-apostolic age. 2

Gaudete in Domino, 1975

No one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord. The great joy announced by the angel on Christmas night is truly for all the people, both for the people of Israel then anxiously awaiting a Savior, and for the numberless people made up of all those who, in time to come, would receive its message and strive to live by it. The blessed Virgin Mary was the first to have received its announcement, from the angel Gabriel, and her Magnificat was already the exultant hymn of all the humble. #

Mulieris Dignitatem, 1988

The biblical exemplar of the "woman" finds its culmination in the motherhood of the Mother of God. The words of the Proto-evangelium - "I will put enmity between you and the woman" - find here a fresh confirmation. We see that through Mary - through her maternal "fiat," ... - God begins a New Covenant with humanity. .. Precisely because this Covenant is to be fulfilled "in flesh and blood," its beginning is in the Mother. Thanks solely to her and to her virginal and maternal "fiat," the "Son of the Most High" can say to the Father: "A body you have prepared for me. Lo, I have come to do your will, O God." (cf. Heb 10:5, 7) 19

Redemptoris Custos, St. Joseph, 1989

If, after her marriage to Joseph, Mary "is found to be with child of the Holy Spirit," this fact corresponds to all that the Annunciation means, in particular to Mary's final words: "Let it be to me according to your word." (Lk 1:38) 2

From the time of the Annunciation, both Joseph and Mary found themselves, in a certain sense, at the heart of the mystery hidden for ages in the mind of God, a mystery which had taken on flesh: "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." (Jn 1:14) 15

While Mary's life was the bringing to fullness of that fiat first spoken at the Annunciation, at the moment of Joseph's own "annunciation" he said nothing; instead he simply "did as the angel of the Lord commanded him." (Mt 1:24) 17

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ANNUNCIATION

Lumen Gentium, 1964

at the message of the angel received the Word of God... 53

hailed by the heralding angel ... (cf. Lk 1:28) 56

"Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word." (Lk 1:38) 56

Spirit...who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation 59

She conceived, brought forth, and nourished Christ... 61

the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation 62

Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973

By accepting the Annunciation... 18 [Also 137]

In Mary's response, "Let it be done to me as you say," the expectation of the old covenant achieves perfect expression. 15

[OT allusions in]summary of the Annunciation story 22

The episode of the Annunciation concludes with a double tribute to Mary's faith. ... her maternal "yes" was also her act of faith: ... (Lk 1:38) 28 [and] Gabriel ... nothing is impossible with God (Lk 1:37) 29

The chapter on Mary in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church may be regarded as an extended commentary on her consent at the Annunciation. The opening sentence of n. 53 is typical: "At the message of the angel, the Virgin Mary received the Word of God into her heart and her body, and gave Life to the world." [LG 53] 28

At the Annunciation, Mary conceived Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. 115

[Annunciation and Pentecost parallel, 79]
[Annunciation and Calvary parallel, victim priesthood, 120]
From...Annunciation , she was the living chalice of the son of God made man. 131

Redemptoris Mater, 1987

Mary is definitively introduced into the mystery of Christ through this event: the Annunciation by the angel. [historical reality] 8

[Article 9, extensive discussion based on sacred text] The Annunciation, therefore, is the revelation of the mystery of the Incarnation at the very beginning of its fulfillment on earth. God's salvific giving of himself and his life, in some way to all creation but directly to man, reaches one of its high points in the mystery of the Incarnation. 9 [See also 20, DV5/26, 28, 36, 37, 62/39]

Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday, 1988

How far the fiat uttered by Mary at the Annunciation had taken her! 2

The Incarnation was brought about by the Holy Spirit when he came down upon the Virgin of Nazareth and she spoke her fiat in response to the angel's message. (cf. Lk 1:38) 1

The Virgin Mary in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation, 1988

Persevering with them in one accord, we see Mary " prayerfully imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation." (LG 59) 8

The Virgin was actively present in the life of the Church

at its beginning (the mystery of the Incarnation) ... 17

To All Consecrated Persons, Marian Year, 1988

The words spoken to Mary at the Annunciation were certainly unusual. A careful reading of Luke's text shows that the angel's words to her contain the truth about God, in a manner that already conforms to the Gospel and to the New Covenant. The Virgin of Nazareth has been introduced into the inscrutable mystery, which is the living God, the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In that context the Virgin's vocation to be Mother of the Messiah was revealed to her, a vocation to which she responded with her fiat: "Let it be done to me according to your word." (Lk 1:38) 4

Meditating on what happened at the Annunciation, we also think about our own vocation. A vocation always marks a sort of turning point on the path of our relationship with the living God. 5

The moment of vocation always directly concerns a particular person, but as with the Annunciation at Nazareth it also means a certain "unveiling" of the mystery of God. Before it becomes an accomplished fact within an individual, before taking on the form of a choice and personal decision, a vocation refers back to another choice, a choice on the part of God, which has preceded the human choice and decision 6

This choice invites us - as it did Mary at the Annunciation - to discover ourselves in the depths of the eternal mystery of God who is love 7

Together with the Virgin at the Annunciation in Nazareth, let us meditate upon the mystery of the vocation which has become our "part" in Christ and in the Church. 9

Mulieris Dignitatem, 1988

The self-revelation of God, who is the inscrutable unity of the Trinity, is outlined in the Annunciation at Nazareth. "Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High." ... "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" ... "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the son of God.... For with God nothing will be impossible" [Ftn 16: the Fathers see Annununciation as revelation of the Trinity] (cf. Lk 1:31-37) 3

Do we not find in the Annunciation at Nazareth the beginning of the definitive answer by which God himself "attempts to calm people's hearts"? [NA 2] 3 [See also Mary's relation to Holy Spirit, 27]

Redemptoris Custos, St. Joseph, 1989

Mary went to the house of Zechariah to visit her kinswoman Elizabeth. (Lk 1:41) 4

Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 1994

Thus was fulfilled what the Angel Gabriel foretold at the Annunciation, when he spoke to the Virgin of Nazareth in these words: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you." (1:28) Mary was troubled by these words, and so the divine messenger quickly added: "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. (1:32-33, 35) Mary's reply to the angel was unhesitating: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." (1:38) Never in human history did so much depend, as it did then, upon the consent of one human creature. (cf.. St. Bernard) 2

Evangelium Vitae, 1995

The one who accepted "Life" in the name of all and for the sake of all was Mary, the Virgin Mother; she is thus most closely and personally associated with the Gospel of life. Mary's consent at the Annunciation and her motherhood stand at the very beginning of the mystery of life which Christ came to bestow on humanity. (cf. Jn 10:10) 102

The "yes" spoken on the day of the Annunciation reaches full maturity on the day of the Cross, when the time comes for Mary to receive and beget as her children all those who becomes disciples, pouring out upon them the saving love of her Son. 103

The angel's Annunciation to Mary is framed by these reassuring words: "Do not be afraid, Mary" and "with God nothing will be impossible." (Lk 1:30, 37) 105

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994 Fidei Depositum, 1992

[See also: 148, 490] Annunciation (as vocation): 430, 484, 490, 491, 492, 493, 508, 721, 2097 [BB]

430 Jesus means in Hebrew: "God saves." At the Annunciation, the angel Gabriel gave him the name Jesus as his proper name, which expresses both his identity and his mission. (cf. Lk 1:31) Since God alone can forgive sins, it is God who, in Jesus his eternal Son made man, "will save his people from their sins." (Mt 1:21; cf. 2:7) In Jesus, God recapitulates all of his history of salvation on behalf of men.

Veritatis Splendor, 1993

Annunciation and Virgin of the Visitation 112

Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002

No one has ever devoted himself to the contemplation of the face of Christ as faithfully as Mary. The eyes of her heart already turned to him at the Annunciation, when she conceived him by the power of the Holy Spirit. In the months that followed she began to sense his presence and to picture his features. 10

As we contemplate each mystery of her Son's life, she invites us to do as she did at the Annunciation: to ask humbly the questions which open us to the light, in order to end with the obedience of faith: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word." (Lk 1:38) 14

The Rosary is one of the traditional paths of Christian prayer directed to the contemplation of Christ's face. Pope Paul VI described it in these words: "As a Gospel prayer, centered on the mystery of the redemptive Incarnation, the Rosary is a prayer with a clearly Christological orientation. Its most characteristic element, in fact, the litany-like succession of Hail Mary's, becomes in itself an unceasing praise of Christ, who is the ultimate object both of the Angel's announcement and of the greeting of the Mother of John the Baptist: 'Blessed is the fruit of your womb'." (Lk 1:42) 18

The first five decades, the "joyful mysteries," are marked by the joy radiating from the event of the Incarnation. This is clear from the very first mystery, the Annunciation, where Gabriel's greeting to the Virgin of Nazareth is linked to an invitation to messianic joy: "Rejoice, Mary." The whole of salvation history, in some sense the entire history of the world, has led up to this greeting. If it is the Father's plan to unite all things in Christ (cf. Eph 1:10), then the whole of the universe is in some way touched by the divine favor with which the Father looks upon Mary and makes her the Mother of his Son. The whole of humanity, in turn, is embraced by the fiat with which she readily agrees to the will of God. 20

By making our own the words of the Angel Gabriel and Saint Elizabeth contained in the Hail Mary, we find ourselves constantly drawn to seek out afresh in Mary, in her arms and in her heart, the "blessed fruit of her womb." (cf. Lk 1:42) 24

Yet when the Hail Mary is properly understood, we come to see clearly that its Marian character is not opposed to its Christological character, but that it actually emphasizes and increases it. The first part of the Hail Mary, drawn from the words spoken to Mary by the Angel Gabriel and by Saint Elizabeth, is a contemplation in adoration of the mystery accomplished in the Virgin of Nazareth. 33

Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2003

At the Annunciation Mary conceived the Son of God in the physical reality of his body and blood, thus anticipating within herself what to some degree happens sacramentally in every believer who receives, under the signs of bread and wine, the Lord's body and blood. As a result, there is a profound analogy between the fiat which Mary said in reply to the angel, and the Amen which every believer says when receiving the body of the Lord. Mary was asked to believe that the One whom she conceived "through the Holy Spirit" was "the Son of God." (Lk 1:30-35) In continuity with the Virgin's faith, in the Eucharistic mystery we are asked to believe that the same Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary, becomes present in his full humanity and divinity under the signs of bread and wine. 55

Deus Caritas Est, 2005

Mary is a woman of hope: only because she believes in God's promises and awaits the salvation of Israel, can the angel visit her and call her to the decisive service of these promises. 41

Spe Salvi, 2007

Who more than Mary could be a star of hope for us? With her “yes” she opened the door of our world to God himself. 49

In this way we can appreciate the holy fear that overcame you when the angel of the Lord appeared to you and told you that you would give birth to the One who was the hope of Israel, the One awaited by the world. Through you, through your “yes”, the hope of the ages became reality, entering this world and its history. You bowed low before the greatness of this task and gave your consent: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). 50

“Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (Jn 14:27). “Do not be afraid, Mary!” In that hour at Nazareth the angel had also said to you: “Of his kingdom there will be no end” (Lk 1:33). Could it have ended before it began? No, at the foot of the Cross, on the strength of Jesus's own word, you became the mother of believers. In this faith, which even in the darkness of Holy Saturday bore the certitude of hope, you made your way towards Easter morning. The joy of the Resurrection touched your heart and united you in a new way to the disciples, destined to become the family of Jesus through faith. 50

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VISITATION (MARY'S SERVICE)

Lumen Gentium, 1964

arising in haste to go to visit Elizabeth (cf. Lk 1:41-45) 57

The VM in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation, 1988

During the Visitation the gifts of the Messiah flowed through her: the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Elizabeth, the joy of the future Precurser (cf. LK 1:41). 8

To All Consecrated Persons, Marian Year, 1988

[See faith development above]

Redemptoris Custos, St. Joseph, 1989

Besides offering a salutation which recalled that of the angel at the Annunciation, Elizabeth also said: "And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." (Lk 1:45) 4

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994 Fidei Depositum, 1992

717 "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John." (Jn 1:6) John was "filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb" (Lk 1:15, 41) by Christ himself, whom the Virgin Mary had just conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary's visitation to Elizabeth thus became a visit from God to his people. (cf. Lk 1:68)

Veritatis Splendor, 1993

Teach them to proclaim the mighty things which the Lord accomplishes in the world, that all peoples may extol the greatness of his name. 112

Deus Caritas Est, 2005

In the Gospel of Luke we find her engaged in a service of charity to her cousin Elizabeth, with whom she remained for “about three months” (1:56) so as to assist her in the final phase of her pregnancy. 41

Mary is a woman of faith: “Blessed are you who believed”, Elizabeth says to her (cf. Lk 1:45). 41

Spe Salvi, 2007

When you hastened with holy joy across the mountains of Judea to see your cousin Elizabeth, you became the image of the Church to come, which carries the hope of the world in her womb across the mountains of history. 50

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VISITATION (ELIZABETH'S PERSPECTIVE)

Lumen Gentium, 1964

is greeted by [Elizabeth] as blessed because of her [Mary's] belief in the promise (cf. Lk 1:41-45) 57

Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973

Elizabeth's words, "Blessed is the fruit of your womb," are true in a real sense of every unborn child. 132

Gaudete in Domino, 1975

No one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord. The great joy announced by the angel on Christmas night is truly for all the people, both for the people of Israel then anxiously awaiting a Savior, and for the numberless people made up of all those who, in time to come, would receive its message and strive to live by it. The blessed Virgin Mary was the first to have received its announcement, from the angel Gabriel, and her Magnificat was already the exultant hymn of all the humble. #
"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior...henceforth all generations will call me blessed." (Lk 1:46-8) #

Redemptoris Mater, 1987

Visitation [the majority of quotes refer to Elizabeth's words]
[Articles 12-15: Visitation. Discussed as an event in salvation history, Mary's charitable service, witness to faith]

"And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Lk. 1:43) Elizabeth bears witness to Mary: she recognizes and proclaims that before her stands the Mother of the Lord, the Mother of the Messiah. The son whom Elizabeth is carrying in her womb also shares in this witness: "The babe in my womb leaped for joy." (Lk. 1:44) 12

While every word of Elizabeth's greeting is filled with meaning, her final words would seem to have fundamental importance: "And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." (Lk. 1:45) (28) These words can be linked with the title "full of grace" of the angel's greeting. 12

Elizabeth first called Mary "blessed" because of "the fruit of her womb," and then she called her "blessed" because of her faith. (cf. Lk. 1:42, 45) 35 [See also 37]

The Virgin Mary in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation, 1988

The encyclical Redemptoris Mater ...
a prolonged meditation on the exclamation of Elizabeth, "Blessed is she who believed." (LK 1:45) 17

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994 Fidei Depositum, 1992

[See also: 148]
495 ... Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the mother of my Lord." (Lk 1:43f)

Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002

The Rosary is one of the traditional paths of Christian prayer directed to the contemplation of Christ's face. Pope Paul VI described it in these words: "As a Gospel prayer, centered on the mystery of the redemptive Incarnation, the Rosary is a prayer with a clearly Christological orientation. Its most characteristic element, in fact, the litany-like succession of Hail Mary's, becomes in itself an unceasing praise of Christ, who is the ultimate object both of the Angel's announcement and of the greeting of the Mother of John the Baptist: 'Blessed is the fruit of your womb'. (Lk 1:42) 18

Exultation is the keynote of the encounter with Elizabeth, where the sound of Mary's voice and the presence of Christ in her womb cause John to "leap for joy." (cf. Lk 1:44). 20

By making our own the words of the Angel Gabriel and Saint Elizabeth contained in the Hail Mary, we find ourselves constantly drawn to seek out afresh in Mary, in her arms and in her heart, the "blessed fruit of her womb." (cf. Lk 1:42) 24

Yet when the Hail Mary is properly understood, we come to see clearly that its Marian character is not opposed to its Christological character, but that it actually emphasizes and increases it. The first part of the Hail Mary, drawn from the words spoken to Mary by the Angel Gabriel and by Saint Elizabeth, is a contemplation in adoration of the mystery accomplished in the Virgin of Nazareth. 33

Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2003

"Blessed is she who believed." (Lk 1:45) Mary also anticipated, in the mystery of the incarnation, the Church's Eucharistic faith. When, at the Visitation, she bore in her womb the Word made flesh, she became in some way a "tabernacle" the first "tabernacle" in history in which the Son of God, still invisible to our human gaze, allowed himself to be adored by Elizabeth, radiating his light as it were through the eyes and the voice of Mary. 55

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MAGNIFICAT SONG

Lumen Gentium, 1964

according to her own prophetic words: "all generations shall call me blessed, because he that is mighty hath done great things to me." (Lk 1:48) 66

Signum Magnum, 1967

[Ephesus] Their hymns and songs of praise in honor of her Son, and hence in her honor also, must have sounded to her like an echo of the prophetic canticle she had uttered under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: "My soul magnifies the Lord...because he has regarded the lowliness of his handmaid; for, behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed; because he who is mighty has done great things for me...." [Lk 1:46 and 48-49] 3

celebrated his arrival in her womb with the Magnificat 25

Basic Teaching for Catholic Education (USA), 1973

The Gospel of Luke gives us Mary's words:" My spirit finds joy in God my savior, for he has looked upon his servant in her lowliness; all ages to come shall call me blessed."

Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973

Mary's "song of poverty," the Magnificat, concludes: "He has upheld Israel his servant ever mindful of his mercy; even as he promised our fathers, promised Abraham and his descendants forever." (Lk 1:54-55)

Mary's unique holiness: "All ages to come will call me blessed. . . . God who is mighty has done great things for me." (Lk 1:48) 51

Marialis Cultus, 1974

Magnificat [exemplar of the Church, esp. in liturgy] the Virgin in prayer ... "In her exultation Mary prophetically declared in the name of the Church: 'My soul proclaims the glory of the Lord'...." (Adversus Haereses III) And in fact Mary's hymn has spread far and wide and has become the prayer of the whole Church in all ages. 18

In Mary's prophetic canticle (cf. Lk. 1:46-55) they saw a special working of the Spirit who had spoken through the mouths of the prophets. (Origen) 26

Creed, Paul VI, 1968

The Gospel of Luke gives us Mary's words: "My spirit finds joy in God my savior, for he has looked upon his servant in her lowliness; all ages to come shall call me blessed." (Lk 1, 47f) [identical to BT] 106

Dives in Misericordia, 1980

The liturgy of Eastertide places on our lips the words of the Psalm: Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo (Psalm 88(89):2) [The favors of the Lord I will sing forever, through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness. NAB] These words of the Church at Easter re-echo in the fullness of their prophetic content the words that Mary uttered during her visit to Elizabeth, the wife of Zechariah: "His mercy ... is from generation to generation." (Lk 1:50) 9

At the very moment of the Incarnation, these words open up a new perspective of salvation history. 9

After the resurrection of Christ, this perspective [mercy from generation to generation] is new on both the historical and the eschatological level. From that time onwards there is a succession of new generations of individuals in the immense human family, in ever-increasing dimensions; there is also a succession of new generations of the People of God, marked with the Sign of the Cross and of the resurrection and "sealed: (cf. 2 Cor 1:21-22) with the sign of the Pascal Mystery of Christ, the absolute revelation of the mercy that Mary proclaimed on the threshold of her kinswoman's house: "His mercy...is from generation to generation." (Lk 1:50) 9

We have every right to believe that our generation too was included in the words of the Mother of God when she glorified that mercy shared in "from generation to generation" by those who allow themselves to be guided by the fear of God. The words of Mary's Magnificat have a prophetic content that concerns not only the past of Israel but also the whole future of the People of God on earth. 10

In connection with this picture of our generation, a picture which cannot fail to cause profound anxiety, there come to mind once more those words which, by reason of the Incarnation of the son of God, resounded in Mary's Magnificat, and which sing of "mercy from generation to generation." The Church of our time, constantly pondering the eloquence of these inspired words, and applying them to the sufferings of the great human family, must become more particularly and profoundly conscious of need to bear witness in her whole mission to God's mercy. VII, preceding 13

Redemptoris Mater, 1987

[See 27, because she believed, "All generations, ....]
The "Magnificat" of the pilgrim Church - Articles 35-37

[main ideas] the Church seeks to rediscover the unity of all who profess their faith in Christ in order to show obedience to her Lord, who prayed ... "Like a pilgrim in a foreign land, the Church presses forward amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God, announcing the Cross and Death of the Lord until he comes." (LG 8) 35

strengthened by the power of God's grace promised to her by the Lord (LG 9) 35

The Virgin Mother is constantly present on this journey of faith of the People of God towards the light. This is shown in a special way by the canticle of the "Magnificat," which, having welled up from the depths of Mary's faith at the Visitation, ceaselessly re-echoes in the heart of the Church down the centuries. ... proved by its daily recitation in the liturgy of Vespers and at many other moments of both personal and communal devotion. 35

[text Lk 1:46-55 given] 35

In these sublime words, which are simultaneously very simple and wholly inspired by the sacred texts of the people of Israel, (89) Mary's personal experience, the ecstasy of her heart, shines forth. In them shines a ray of the mystery of God, the glory of his ineffable holiness, the eternal love which, as an irrevocable gift, enters into human history. 36

Mary is the first to share in this new revelation of God and, within the same, in this new "self-giving" of God. 36

In her exultation Mary confesses that she finds herself in the very heart of this fullness of Christ. She is conscious that the promise made to the fathers, first of all "to Abraham and to his posterity for ever," is being fulfilled in herself. She is thus aware that concentrated within herself as the mother of Christ is the whole salvific economy, in which "from age to age" is manifested he who, as the God of the Covenant, "remembers his mercy." 36

[Church models on Mary and repeats her Magnificat: overcoming evil, dignity of humans, service to the poor, meaning of freedom and liberation] 37 [regarding "dignity" see also 46]

Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday, 1988

As we celebrate the Eucharist at so many altars throughout the world, let us give thanks to the Eternal Priest for the gift which he has bestowed on us in the Sacrament of the Priesthood. And in this thanksgiving may there be heard the words which the Evangelist puts on Mary's lips on the occasion of her visit to her cousin Elizabeth: "The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name." (Lk 1:49) Let us also give thanks to Mary for the indescribable gift of the priesthood, whereby we are able to serve in the Church every human being. 8

Is it not through our priestly ministry that there is accomplished what the next verses of Mary's Magnificat speak of? Behold, the Redeemer, the God of the cross and of the Eucharist, indeed "lifts up the lowly" and "fills the hungry with good things." He who was rich, yet for our sake became poor, so that by his poverty we might become rich (cf. 2 Cor 8:9), has entrusted to the humble Virgin of Nazareth the admirable mystery of his poverty which makes us rich. And he entrusts the same mystery to us too through the Sacrament of the Priesthood. 8


Mulieris Dignitatem, 1988

The words which the Evangelist puts on Mary's lips after the Annunciation, during her visit to Elizabeth: "He who is mighty has done great things for me" (Lk 1:49) ...certainly refer to the conception of her Son, who is the "Son of the Most High," (Lk 1:32) ... but they can also signify the discovery of her own feminine humanity. He "has done great things for me": this is the discovery of all the richness and personal resources of femininity, all the eternal originality of the "woman," just as God wanted her to be, a person for her own sake, who discovers herself "by means of a sincere gift of self." 11

clear awareness of God's gift, of his generosity... this awareness bursts forth in all its power in the words of the biblical "woman" of Nazareth. 11

Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 1994

As she herself says in the Canticle of the Magnificat, great things were done for her by the Almighty, whose name is holy. (cf. Lk 1:49) 54

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994 Fidei Depositum, 1992

[See also: 273]
722 ... It is the thanksgiving of the whole People of God, and thus of the Church, which Mary in her canticle (cf. Lk 1:46-55) lifts up to the Father in the Holy Spirit while carrying within her the eternal Son.

Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002

The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium. (MC 42) It is an echo of the prayer of Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb. 1

Today, as I begin the twenty-fifth year of my service as the Successor of Peter, I wish to do the same. How many graces have I received in these years from the Blessed Virgin through the Rosary: Magnificat anima mea Dominum! 2

Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2003

In the Eucharist the Church is completely united to Christ and his sacrifice, and makes her own the spirit of Mary. This truth can be understood more deeply by re-reading the Magnificat in a Eucharistic key. The Eucharist, like the Canticle of Mary, is first and foremost praise and thanksgiving. When Mary exclaims: "My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior," she already bears Jesus in her womb. She praises God "through" Jesus, but she also praises him "in" Jesus and "with" Jesus. This is itself the true "Eucharistic attitude." At the same time Mary recalls the wonders worked by God in salvation history in fulfillment of the promise once made to the fathers (cf. Lk 1:55), and proclaims the wonder that surpasses them all, the redemptive incarnation. Lastly, the Magnificat reflects the eschatological tension of the Eucharist. Every time the Son of God comes again to us in the "poverty" of the sacramental signs of bread and wine, the seeds of that new history wherein the mighty are "put down from their thrones" and "those of low degree are exalted," (cf. Lk 1:52) take root in the world. Mary sings of the "new heavens" and the "new earth" which find in the Eucharist their anticipation and in some sense their program and plan. The Magnificat expresses Mary's spirituality, and there is nothing greater than this spirituality for helping us to experience the mystery of the Eucharist. The Eucharist has been given to us so that our life, like that of Mary, may become completely a Magnificat! 5

Deus Caritas Est, 2005

Magnificat anima mea Dominum”, she says on the occasion of that visit, “My soul magnifies the Lord” (Lk 1:46). In these words, she expresses her whole program of life: not setting herself at the center, but leaving space for God, who is encountered both in prayer and in service of neighbor—only then does goodness enter the world. Mary's greatness consists in the fact that she wants to magnify God, not herself. She is lowly: her only desire is to be the handmaid of the Lord (cf. Lk 1:38, 48). 41

The Magnificat—a portrait, so to speak, of her soul—is entirely woven from threads of Holy Scripture, threads drawn from the Word of God. 41

Spe Salvi, 2007

But alongside the joy which, with your Magnificat, you proclaimed in word and song for all the centuries to hear, you also knew the dark sayings of the prophets about the suffering of the servant of God in this world. 50

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NATIVITY, EPIPHANY, FLIGHT TO EGYPT

Lumen Gentium, 1964

Nativity:

[she] joyfully showed her firstborn son to the shepherds 57

The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first born among many brethren. (Rom 8:29) 63

Epiphany:

and the Magi 57



Redemptoris Mater, 1987

Nativity:

his birth in the stable at Bethlehem [part of journey of faith] 26

Epiphany:

the visit of the Magi who came from the East, after their homage ("they fell down and worshipped him") and after they had offered gifts (cf. Mt. 2:11) 16

Flight to Eygpt:

Mary together with the child has to flee into Egypt in the protective care of Joseph, for "Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." (cf. Mt. 2:13) And until the death of Herod they will have to remain in Egypt. (cf. Mt. 2:15) 16



Redemptoris Custos, St. Joseph, 1989

Nativity:

As guardian of the mystery "hidden for ages in the mind of God," which begins to unfold before his eyes "in the fullness of time," Joseph, together with Mary, is a privileged witness to the birth of the Son of God into the world on Christmas night in Bethlehem. Luke writes: "And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn." (Lk 2:6-7) Joseph was an eyewitness to this birth ... 10

Epiphany:

Later [Joseph with Mary] also witnessed the homage of the magi who came from the East. (cf. Mt 2:11) 10

Flight to Egypt:

We read: "Now when [the magi] had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, 'Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you'." (Mt 2:13) 14



Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 1994

Nativity:

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. (Lk 2:3-7) 2



Evangelium Vitae, 1995

Flight into Egypt:

To save the life of her son from those who fear him as a dangerous threat, Mary has to flee with Joseph and the Child into Egypt (cf. Mt 2:13-15). 104



Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994 Fidei Depositum, 1992

Nativity:

437 To the shepherds, the angel announced the birth of Jesus as the Messiah promised to Israel: "To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (Lk 2:11) From the beginning he was "the one whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world," conceived as "holy" in Mary's virginal womb. (Jn 10:36: cf. Lk 1:35) God called Joseph to "take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit," so that Jesus, "who is called Christ," should be born of Joseph's spouse into the messianic lineage of David. (Mt 1:20)

525 Jesus was born in a humble stable, into a poor family. (cf. Lk 2:6-7) Simple shepherds were the first witnesses to this event. In this poverty heaven's glory was made manifest. (cf. Lk 2:8-20) The Church never tires of singing the glory of this night:

The Virgin today brings into the world the Eternal and the earth offers a cave to the Inaccessible. The angels and shepherds praise him and the magi advance with the star, for you are born for us, Little Child, God eternal! ("Kontakion" of Romanos the Melodist)

[See also 725]
526 To become a child in relation to God is the condition for entering the kingdom. (cf. Mt 18:3-4) For this, we must humble ourselves and become little. Even more: to become "children of God" we must be "born from above" or "born of God." (Jn 3:7 et al) Only when Christ is formed in us will the mystery of Christmas be fulfilled in us. (cf. Gal 4:19) Christmas is the mystery of this "marvelous exchange": ...

O marvelous exchange! Man's Creator has become man, born of the Virgin. We have been made sharers in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share our humanity.

Epiphany:

528 The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Savior of the world. The great feast of Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (magi) from the East, together with his baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee. (Mt 2:1) ... [no Marian mention per se]

724 In Mary, the Holy Spirit manifests the Son of the Father, now become the Son of the Virgin. She is the burning bush of the definitive theophany. Filled with the Holy Spirit she makes the Word visible in the humility of his flesh. It is to the poor and the first representatives of the gentiles that she makes him known. (cf. Lk 1:15-19; Mt 2:11)


Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002

Nativity:

In the months that followed she began to sense his presence and to picture his features. When at last she gave birth to him in Bethlehem, her eyes were able to gaze tenderly on the face of her Son, as she "wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger." (Lk 2:7) 10

Gladness also fills the scene in Bethlehem, when the birth of the divine Child, the Savior of the world, is announced by the song of the angels and proclaimed to the shepherds as "news of great joy." (Lk 2:10) 20

When prayed well in a truly meditative way, the Rosary leads to an encounter with Christ in his mysteries and so cannot fail to draw attention to the face of Christ in others, especially in the most afflicted. How could one possibly contemplate the mystery of the Child of Bethlehem, in the joyful mysteries, without experiencing the desire to welcome, defend and promote life, and to shoulder the burdens of suffering children all over the world? 40



Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2003

And is not the enraptured gaze of Mary as she contemplated the face of the newborn Christ and cradled him in her arms that unparalleled model of love which should inspire us every time we receive Eucharistic communion? 55


Deus Caritas Est, 2005

Mary is a woman who loves. How could it be otherwise? As a believer who in faith thinks with God's thoughts and wills with God's will, she cannot fail to be a woman who loves. We sense this in her quiet gestures, as recounted by the infancy narratives in the Gospel. 41


Spe Salvi, 2007

Shining over his birth in the stable at Bethlehem, there were angels in splendor who brought the good news to the shepherds, but at the same time the lowliness of God in this world was all too palpable. 50

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PRESENTATION OF JESUS IN THE TEMPLE

Lumen Gentium, 1964

She presented him to the Lord in the temple, making the offering of the poor, she heard Simeon foretelling at the same time that her Son would be a sign of contradiction and that a sword would pierce the mother's soul, that out of many hearts thoughts might be revealed. (cf. Lk 2:34-35) 57

She presented him to the Father in the temple. 61

Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973

[See also Mary's obedience "brought Jesus to the temple"] 137 "He went down with them ... and was obedient to them ... (Jesus) progressed steadily in wisdom and age and grace before God and men." (Lk 2:51-52) 137

Redemptoris Mater, 1987

[Article 16 discusses Presentation as an event in salvation history with the aspect "obedience of faith"]
A just and God-fearing man, called Simeon, appears at this beginning of Mary's "journey" of faith. His words, suggested by the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk. 2:25-27), confirm the truth of the Annunciation. 16

Simeon's words cast new light on the announcement which Mary had heard from the angel: Jesus is the Savior, he is "a light for revelation" to mankind. ... Simeon's words seem like a second Annunciation to Mary, for they tell her of the actual historical situation in which the Son is to accomplish his mission, namely, in misunderstanding and sorrow. ... confirms her faith in the accomplishment of the divine promises of salvation,... also reveals to her that she will have to live her obedience of faith in suffering, at the side of the suffering Savior, and that her motherhood will be mysterious and sorrowful. 16

Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday, 1988

When, acting in persona Christi, we celebrate the sacrament of the one same sacrifice of which Christ is and remains the only priest and victim, we must not forget this suffering of his Mother, in whom were fulfilled Simeon's words in the Temple at Jerusalem: "A sword will pierce through your own soul also." (Lk 2:35) They were spoken directly to Mary forty days after Jesus' birth. On Golgotha, beneath the cross, these words were completely fulfilled. When on the cross Mary's Son revealed himself fully as the "sign of contradiction," it was then that this immolation and mortal agony also reached her maternal heart. 2

Redemptoris Custos, St. Joseph, 1989

Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

The gospel writer notes that "his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him." (Lk 2:23) 13

Evangelium Vitae, 1995

Like the Church, Mary too had to live her motherhood amid suffering: "This child is set...for a sign that is spoken against -- and a sword will pierce through your own soul also -- that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed." (Lk 2:34-35) The words which Simeon addresses to Mary at the very beginning of the Saviour's earthly life sum up and prefigure the rejection of Jesus, and with him of Mary, a rejection which will reach its culmination on Calvary. 103

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994 Fidei Depositum, 1992

529 The presentation of Jesus in the temple shows him to be the firstborn Son who belongs to the Lord. (cf.. Lk 2:22-39; Ex 13:2, 12-13) With Simeon and Anna, all Israel awaits its encounter with the Savior -- the name given to this event in the Byzantine tradition. Jesus is recognized as the long-expected Messiah, the now takes its "place in the family of the patriarch," and acquires Israelitica dignitas (are made "worthy of the heritage of Israel").

"light to the nations" and the "glory of Israel," but also "a sign that is spoken against." The sword of sorrow predicted for Mary announces Christ's perfect and unique oblation on the cross that will impart the salvation God had "prepared in the presence of all peoples." [See also 583, 725]

Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002

The Presentation in the Temple not only expresses the joy of the Child's consecration and the ecstasy of the aged Simeon; it also records the prophecy that Christ will be a "sign of contradiction" for Israel and that a sword will pierce his mother's heart. (cf. Lk 2:34-35) 20

Spe Salvi, 2007

Holy Mary, you belonged to the humble and great souls of Israel who, like Simeon, were “looking for the consolation of Israel” (Lk 2:25) and hoping, like Anna, “for the redemption of Jerusalem” (Lk 2:38). 50

The old man Simeon spoke to you of the sword which would pierce your soul (cf. Lk 2:35), of the sign of contradiction that your Son would be in this world. 50

Notwithstanding the great joy that marked the beginning of Jesus's ministry, in the synagogue of Nazareth you must already have experienced the truth of the saying about the “sign of contradiction” (cf. Lk 4:28ff). 50

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THE FINDING IN THE TEMPLE AND THE HIDDEN LIFE


Lumen Gentium, 1964

His parents found him in the temple, engaged in the things that were his Father's. 57



Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973

[references especially on "pondering"] 69, 77



Catechesi Tradendae, 1979

found her adolescent Son in the temple; she received from Him lessons that she kept in her heart (cf. Lk 2:51) 73



Redemptoris Mater, 1987

Hidden life:

When the Holy Family returns to Nazareth after Herod's death, there begins the long period of the hidden life. She "who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord" (Lk 1:45) lives the reality of these words day by day. And daily at her side is the Son to whom "she gave the name Jesus"; therefore in contact with him she certainly uses this name, a fact which would have surprised no one, since the name had long been in use in Israel. Nevertheless, Mary knows that he who bears the name Jesus has been called by the angel "the Son of the Most High." (cf. Lk.1:32) 17

Mary's life too is "hid with Christ in God" (cf. Col 3:3) through faith. For faith is contact with the mystery of God. Every day Mary is in constant contact with the ineffable mystery of God made man, a mystery that surpasses everything revealed in the Old Covenant. From the moment of the Annunciation, the mind of the Virgin Mother has been initiated into the radical "newness" of God's self-revelation and has been made aware of the mystery. She is the first of those "little ones" of whom Jesus will say one day: "Father, ... you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes." (Mt 11:25) For "no one knows the Son except the Father." (Mt 11:27) [yet she does not know him as the Father does] 17 [See also 26]

The Finding in the Temple:

He was obedient both to Mary and also to Joseph, since Joseph took the place of his father in people's eyes; for this reason, the Son of Mary was regarded by the people as "the carpenter's son." (Mt 13:55) 17 [See more on obedience of faith in this paragraph]


Redemptoris Custos, St. Joseph, 1989

The Finding in the Temple:

Together with Mary and Joseph, Jesus took part in the feast as a young pilgrim. "And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it." (Lk 2:43) 15

Mary asked: "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously." (Lk 2:48) The answer Jesus gave was such that "they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them" He had said, "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" (Lk 2:49-50) 15

The Hidden Life:

All of the so-called "private" or "hidden" life of Jesus is entrusted to Joseph's guardianship. 8

Only one episode from this "hidden time" is described in the Gospel of Luke: the Passover in Jerusalem when Jesus was twelve years old. 15



Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994Fidei Depositum, 1992

Hidden Life:

531 During the greater part of his life Jesus shared the condition of the vast majority of human beings: a daily life spent without evident greatness, a life of manual labor. His religious life was that of a Jew obedient to the law of God, (cf. Gal 4:4) a life in the community. From this whole period it is revealed to us that Jesus was "obedient" to his parents and that he "increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man." (Lk 2:51-52)

532 Jesus' obedience to his mother and legal father fulfills the fourth commandment perfectly and was the temporal image of his filial obedience to his Father in heaven. The everyday obedience of Jesus to Joseph and Mary both announced and anticipated the obedience of Holy Thursday: "Not my will...." (Lk 22:42) The obedience of Christ in the daily routine of his hidden life was already inaugurating his work of restoring what the disobedience of Adam had destroyed. (cf. Rom 5:19)

533 The hidden life at Nazareth allows everyone to enter into fellowship with Jesus by the most ordinary events of daily life:
... May Nazareth teach us what family life is, its communion of love, its austere and simple beauty, and its sacred and inviolable character...A lesson of work. Nazareth, home of the "Carpenter's Son" .... (Paul VI at Nazareth, Jan 5, 1964)
The Finding in the Temple

534 The finding of Jesus in the temple is the only event that breaks the silence of the Gospels about the hidden years of Jesus. (cf. Lk 2:41-52) Here Jesus lets us catch a glimpse of the mystery of his total consecration to a mission that flows from his divine sonship: "Did you not know that I must be about my Father's work?" (Lk 2:49 alt) Mary and Joseph did not understand these words, but they accepted them in faith. Mary "kept all these things in her heart" during the years Jesus remained hidden in the silence of an ordinary life.

564 By his obedience to Mary and Joseph, as well as by his humble work during the long years in Nazareth, Jesus gives us the example of holiness in the daily life of family and work. 583 Like the prophets before him Jesus expressed the deepest respect for the Temple in Jerusalem. It was in the Temple that Joseph and Mary presented him forty days after his birth. (Lk 2:22-39) At the age of twelve he decided to remain in the Temple to remind his parents that he must be about his Father's business. (cf. Lk 2:46-49) He went there each year during his hidden life at least for Passover. (cf. Lk 2:41) His public ministry itself was patterned by his pilgrimages to Jerusalem for the great Jewish feasts. (cf. Jn 2:13-14 et al)


Novo Millennio Ineunte, 2001

They recorded his religious fervor, which prompted him to make annual pilgrimages to the Temple in Jerusalem with his family (cf. Lk 2:41), and made him a regular visitor to the synagogue of his own town. (cf. Lk 4:16) 18

This divine-human identity emerges forcefully from the Gospels... Is this not what Luke wishes to tell us when he recounts Jesus' first recorded words, spoken in the Temple in Jerusalem when he was barely twelve years old? Already at that time he shows that he is aware of a unique relationship with God, a relationship which properly belongs to a "son." When his mother tells him how anxiously she and Joseph had been searching for him, Jesus replies without hesitation: "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father's affairs?" (Lk 2:49) 24
Together, we must all imitate the contemplation of Mary, who returned home to Nazareth from her pilgrimage to the Holy City of Jerusalem, treasuring in her heart the mystery of her Son. (cf. Lk 2:51) 59



Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002

The Finding in the Temple:

Thereafter Mary's gaze, ever filled with adoration and wonder, would never leave him. At times it would be a questioning look, as in the episode of the finding in the Temple: "Son, why have you treated us so?" (Lk 2:48) 10

Joy mixed with drama marks the fifth mystery, the finding of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple. Here he appears in his divine wisdom as he listens and raises questions, already in effect one who "teaches." The revelation of his mystery as the Son wholly dedicated to his Father's affairs proclaims the radical nature of the Gospel, in which even the closest of human relationships are challenged by the absolute demands of the Kingdom. Mary and Joseph, fearful and anxious, "did not understand" his words. (Lk 2:50) 20

The Hidden Life:

Moving on from the infancy and the hidden life in Nazareth to the public life of Jesus, our contemplation brings us to those mysteries which may be called in a special way "mysteries of light." 21
The family that recites the Rosary together reproduces something of the atmosphere of the household of Nazareth: its members place Jesus at the center, they share his joys and sorrows, they place their needs and their plans in his hands, they draw from him the hope and the strength to go on. 41




Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2003

Mary, throughout her life at Christ's side and not only on Calvary, made her own the sacrificial dimension of the Eucharist. When she brought the child Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem "to present him to the Lord," (Lk 2:22) she heard the aged Simeon announce that the child would be a "sign of contradiction" and that a sword would also pierce her own heart. (cf. Lk 2:34-35) 56

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WEDDING FEAST OF CANA

Lumen Gentium, 1964

In the public life of Jesus Mary appears prominently; at...Cana, moved with pity, she brought about by her intercession the miracles of Jesus the Messiah. (cf. Jn 2:1-11) 58

Recurrens Mensis October, 1969

The Gospel teaches us that Mary is sensitive to the needs of men. At Cana, she did not hesitate to intervene, to the joy of the villagers invited to a wedding feast. (Jn 2:15) 7

Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973

[Cana - Calvary parallel 34-37] What began at Cana achieved its consummation on Calvary. 34

It is striking that no sign is done to help Mary believe. The Mother of Jesus requires no miracle to strengthen her faith. At her Son's word, before "this first of his signs," she shows her faith. 35

She was moved by pity, and her intercession brought about the beginning of miracles by Jesus the Messiah (LG 58). 36

Her example of concern for others, as shown at the wedding feast of Cana, will exercise its gentle influence. 137 [Also 138]

Marialis Cultus, 1974

[exemplar of the Church, esp. in liturgy] the Virgin in prayer ... 18

Redemptoris Mater, 1987

"There was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples" (Jn. 2:1-2). From the text it appears that Jesus and his disciples were invited together with Mary, as if by reason of her presence at the celebration: the Son seems to have been invited because of his mother. 21

Mary is present at Cana in Galilee as the Mother of Jesus, and in a significant way she contributes to that "beginning of the signs" which reveal the messianic power of her Son. 21 [full Scripture given]

Cana in Galilee offers us a sort of first announcement of Mary's mediation, wholly oriented towards Christ and tending to the revelation of his salvific power. 22 [There are other references; see also "mediation" and "entrustment" 45]

The Virgin Mary in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation, 1988

The Virgin was actively present in the life of the Church - in its being set up (the mystery of Cana and of the Cross). 17

Veritatis Splendor, 1993

To us too she addresses the command she gave to the servants at Cana in Galilee during the marriage feast: "Do whatever he tells you." (Jn 2:5) 120

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994 Fidei Depositum, 1992

725 Finally, through Mary, the Holy Spirit begins to bring men, the objects of God's merciful love, (Lk 2:14) into communion with Christ. And the humble are always the first to accept him: shepherds, magi, Simeon and Anna, the bride and groom at Cana, and the first disciples. [See also 528, 1613, 2618]

Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002

Thereafter, Mary's gaze, ever filled with adoration and wonder, would never leave him. At times it would be a questioning look, as in the episode of the finding in the Temple: "Son, why have you treated us so?" (Lk 2:48); it would always be a penetrating gaze, one capable of deeply understanding Jesus, even to the point of perceiving his hidden feelings and anticipating his decisions, as at Cana .(cf. Jn 2:5) 10

But among creatures no one knows Christ better than Mary; no one can introduce us to a profound knowledge of his mystery better than his Mother. The first of the "signs" worked by Jesus – the changing of water into wine at the marriage in Cana - clearly presents Mary in the guise of a teacher, as she urges the servants to do what Jesus commands. (cf. Jn 2:5) 14

At the wedding of Cana the Gospel clearly shows the power of Mary's intercession as she makes known to Jesus the needs of others: "They have no wine." (Jn 2:3) 16

In proposing to the Christian community five significant moments - "luminous" mysteries - during this phase of Christ's life, I think that the following can be fittingly singled out: (1) his Baptism in the Jordan, (2) his self-manifestation at the wedding of Cana, (3) his proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with his call to conversion, (4) his Transfiguration, and finally, (5) his institution of the Eucharist, as the sacramental expression of the Paschal Mystery. 21

Another mystery of light is the first of the signs, given at Cana (cf. Jn 2:1- 12), when Christ changes water into wine and opens the hearts of the disciples to faith, thanks to the intervention of Mary, the first among believers. 21

Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2003

In repeating what Christ did at the Last Supper in obedience to his command: "Do this in memory of me!", we also accept Mary's invitation to obey him without hesitation: "Do whatever he tells you." (Jn 2:5) With the same maternal concern which she showed at the wedding feast of Cana, Mary seems to say to us: "Do not waver; trust in the words of my Son. If he was able to change water into wine, he can also turn bread and wine into his body and blood, and through this mystery bestow on believers the living memorial of his passover, thus becoming the 'bread of life'." 54

Deus Caritas Est, 2005

Mary is a woman who loves. How could it be otherwise? As a believer who in faith thinks with God's thoughts and wills with God's will, she cannot fail to be a woman who loves. … We see it in the delicacy with which she recognizes the need of the spouses at Cana and makes it known to Jesus. 41


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MARY AND THE RELATIVES OF JESUS

Lumen Gentium, 1964

In the course of her Son's preaching she received the words whereby, in extolling kingdom beyond the concerns and ties of flesh and blood, he declared blessed those who heard and kept the word of God (cf. Mk 3:35; par. Lk 11:27f.) as she was faithfully doing (cf. Lk 2:19; 51). 58

Signum Magnum, 1967

the first to merit the words of praise that Christ spoke to his followers: "Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother." [Mt 12:50] 23

Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973

St. Jerome faced the difficulties in such Biblical expressions as "brothers of the Lord." He showed that in New Testament Greek this term can mean "cousins" as well as "blood brothers." 49
In her, above all others, was realized the promise of our Lord "blest are those who hear the word of God and keep it." (Lk 11:28) 51

Redemptoris Mater, 1987

When Jesus is told that "his mother and brothers are standing outside and wish to see him," he replies: "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it." (cf. Lk. 8:20-21) This he said "looking around on those who sat about him," as we read in Mark (3:34) or, according to Matthew (12:49), "stretching out his hand towards his disciples." 20

Does he perhaps wish to leave her in the hidden obscurity which she herself has chosen? If this seems to be the case from the tone of those words, one must nevertheless note that the new and different motherhood which Jesus speaks of to his disciples refers precisely to Mary in a very special way. Is not Mary the first of "those who hear the word of God and do it"? And therefore does not the blessing uttered by Jesus in response to the woman in the crowd refer primarily to her? 20

the blessing proclaimed by Jesus is not in opposition, despite appearances, to the blessing uttered by the unknown woman, but rather coincides with that blessing in the person of this Virgin Mother, who called herself only "the handmaid of the Lord." (Lk. 1:38) If it is true that "all generations will call her blessed" (cf. Lk. 1:48), then it can be said that the unnamed woman was the first to confirm unwittingly that prophetic phrase of Mary's Magnificat and to begin the Magnificat of the ages. 20

Deus Caritas Est, 2005

Mary is a woman who loves. How could it be otherwise? As a believer who in faith thinks with God's thoughts and wills with God's will, she cannot fail to be a woman who loves. … We see it in the humility with which she recedes into the background during Jesus' public life, knowing that the Son must establish a new family… 41

Spe Salvi, 2007

Then, when Jesus began his public ministry, you had to step aside, so that a new family could grow, the family which it was his mission to establish and which would be made up of those who heard his word and kept it (cf. Lk 11:27f). Notwithstanding the great joy that marked the beginning of Jesus's ministry, in the synagogue of Nazareth you must already have experienced the truth of the saying about the “sign of contradiction” (cf. Lk 4:28ff). 50

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CALVARY

Lumen Gentium, 1964

faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering 58

"Woman, behold your son." (Jn 19:26-27) 58

shared her Son's sufferings as he died on the cross 61

consent...sustained without wavering beneath the cross 62

Mense Maio, 1965

knows...the sufferings of Calvary 11

Signum Magnum, 1967

[Jesus giving us Mary as mother; see SM, spiritual motherhood] 31

Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973

[Cana - Calvary parallel 34-37] What began at Cana achieved its consummation on Calvary. 34

The meaning of Mary at Cana is revealed fully when His Mother stands "near the cross of Jesus," and hears Him say: "Woman, there is your Son" (Jn 19:26). 37

The words "Woman, there is your son; there is your mother" contain the solemn announcement that the messianic promise has come true. Mary on Calvary symbolizes the "woman" who is mother Church, the new Israel, the new People of God, the mother of all men, Jew and Gentile. 38 [see also 115]

The Middle Ages pondered Mary's compassion on Calvary, leading to the familiar representations of the Pieta. 106

Mary was "Mother of Sorrows" sharing her Son's sufferings even to Calvary. 134

Marialis Cultus, 1974

[Mary shares Christ's suffering: liturgy of Sept. 15] 11

Gaudete in Domino, 1975

She stands, the mother of sorrows, at the foot of the cross, associated in an eminent way with the sacrifice of the innocent Servant. But she is also open in an unlimited degree to the joy of the resurrection. #

Dives in Misericordia, 1980

This sacrifice is intimately linked with the cross of her son, at the foot of which she was to stand on Calvary ... No one has experienced, to the same degree as the Mother of the crucified One, the mystery of the cross, the overwhelming encounter of divine transcendent justice with love: that "kiss" given by mercy to justice (cf. Ps 85 [84] :11) 9

No one has received into his heart, as much as Mary did, that mystery, that truly divine dimension of the redemption effected on Calvary by means of the death of the Son, together with the sacrifice of her maternal heart, together with her definitive "fiat" 9

Redemptoris Mater, 1987

[text understood as a whole new dimension of cooperation and spiritual motherhood] "Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother: 'Woman, behold your son!' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!' And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home." (Jn. 19:25-27). 23

And so this "new motherhood of Mary," generated by faith, is the fruit of the "new" love which came to definitive maturity in her at the foot of the Cross, through her sharing in the redemptive love of her Son. 23 [See also 26, 28]

Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday, 1988

Hail, true Body, born of the Virgin Mary: you truly suffered and were immolated on the cross for man. 1

There is no indication that the Mother of Christ was present in the Upper Room at the Last Supper. But she was present on Calvary, at the foot of the cross, where as the Second Vatican Council teaches, "she stood, in accordance with the divine plan (cf. Jn 19:25), suffering grievously with her only-begotten Son, uniting herself with a maternal heart to his sacrifice, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim which she herself had brought forth." (LG 58) 1

When on the cross Mary's Son revealed himself fully as the "sign of contradiction," it was then that this immolation and mortal agony also reached her maternal heart. Behold the agony of the heart of the Mother who suffered together with him, "consenting to the immolation of this victim which she herself had brought forth." Here we reach the high point of Mary's presence in the mystery of Christ and of the Church on earth. 2

And in particular, when we celebrate the Eucharist and stand each day on Golgotha, we need to have near us the one who through heroic faith carried to its zenith her union with her Son, precisely then on Golgotha. 2

See how during his agony on the cross he spoke the words which have for us the meaning of a testament: "When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!' And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home." (Jn 19:26-27) 3

At the moment of death, Jesus gives his own Mother to this disciple. John "took her to his own home." He took her as the first witness to the mystery of the Incarnation. And he, as an evangelist, expressed in the most profound yet simple way the truth about the Word who "became flesh and dwelt among us" (Jn 1:14), the truth about the Incarnation and the truth about Emmanuel. 3

And so, by taking "to his own home" the Mother who stood beneath her Son's cross, he also made his own all that was within her on Golgotha: the fact that she "suffered grievously with her only-begotten Son, uniting herself with a maternal heart in his sacrifice, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim that she herself had brought forth." All this - the superhuman experience of the sacrifice of our redemption, inscribed in the heart of Christ the Redeemer's own Mother - was entrusted to the man who in the Upper Room received the power to make this sacrifice present through the priestly ministry of the Eucharist. 3

If John at the foot of the cross somehow represents every man and woman for whom the motherhood of the Mother of God is spiritually extended, how much more does this concern each of us, who are sacramentally called to the priestly ministry of the Eucharist in the Church! 3

At the foot of the cross on Golgotha, "the disciple took to his own home" Mary, whom Christ had pointed out to him with the words, "Behold, your mother." The Council's teaching demonstrates how much the whole Church has taken Mary into "the Church's own home," how profoundly the mystery of this Virgin Mother belongs to the mystery of the Church, to the Church's intimate reality. 3

Each of us, then, has to "take her to our own home" like the Apostle John on Golgotha, that is to say, each of us should allow Mary to dwell "within the home" of our sacramental priesthood, as mother and mediatrix of that "great mystery" (cf. Eph 5:32) which we all wish to serve with our lives. 4

Speaking from the cross on Golgotha, Christ said to the disciple: "Behold, your mother." And the disciple "took her to his own home" as Mother. Let us also take Mary as Mother into the interior "home" of our priesthood. 6

We always feel unworthy of Christ's friendship. But it is a good thing that we should have a holy fear of not remaining faithful to it. The Mother of Christ knows all this. She herself has understood most completely the meaning of the words spoken to her during his agony on the cross: "Woman, behold, your son....Behold, your mother." They referred to her and to the disciple-one of those to whom Christ said in the Upper Room: "You are my friends" (Jn 15:14); they referred to John and to all those who, through the mystery of the Last Supper, share in the same "friendship." 6

Through this sacrifice we too, as its sacramental dispensers, together with all those whom we serve through its celebration, continually touch the decisive moment of that spiritual combat which, according to the Books of Genesis and Revelation, is linked with the "woman." In this battle she is entirely united with the Redeemer. And therefore our priestly ministry too unites us with her: with her who is the Mother of the Redeemer and the "model" of the Church. In this way all remain united with her in this spiritual battle which takes place throughout the course of human history. 7

The Council teaches that Mary advanced in her pilgrimage of faith through her perfect union with her Son unto the cross and goes before, presenting herself in an eminent and singular way to the whole People of God, which follows the same path, in the footsteps of Christ in the Holy Spirit. 7

The Virgin Mary in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation, 1988

The deed by which Christ entrusted the disciple to the Mother and the Mother to the disciple (cf. Jn 19:25-27) has established the very closest relationship between Mary and the Church. 17

To All Consecrated Persons, Marian Year, 1988

Dear brothers and sisters: let us constantly return, with our vocation, with our consecration, to the depths of the Paschal Mystery. Let us present ourselves at Christ's Cross next to his Mother. Let us learn our vocation from her. Did not Christ himself say: "Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother" (Mt 12:50)? 19

Mulieris Dignitatem, 1988

Women were in the forefront at the foot of the Cross, at the decisive moment in Jesus of Nazareth's whole messianic mission. ... Not only the Mother of Christ and ... (Jn 19:25) were present, but "there were also many women there ... (Mt 27:55) 15

["pangs of childbirth"] at the same time these words indicate the link that exists between the woman's motherhood and the Paschal Mystery. For this mystery also includes the Mother's sorrow at the foot of the Cross - the Mother who through faith shares in the amazing mystery of her son's "self-emptying"... 19

As we contemplate this Mother, whose heart "a sword has pierced" (cf. Lk 2:35), our thoughts go to all the suffering women in the world... With these sufferings too we must place ourselves at the foot of the Cross. 19

Redemptoris Custos, St. Joseph, 1989

[Mary's pilgrimage of faith] is a path along which especially at the time of Calvary and Pentecost Mary will precede in a perfect way. [LG 63] 5

The path that was Joseph's, his pilgrimage of faith ended first, that is to say, before Mary stood at the foot of the cross on Golgotha and before the time after Christ returned to the Father, when she was present in the upper room on Pentecost. 6

Evangelium Vitae, 1995

"Standing by the cross of Jesus" (Jn 19:25), Mary shares in the gift which the Son makes of himself: she offers Jesus, gives him over, and begets him to the end for our sake. 103

The "yes" spoken on the day of the Annunciation reaches full maturity on the day of the Cross, when the time comes for Mary to receive and beget as her children all those who becomes disciples, pouring out upon them the saving love of her Son: "When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!'" (Jn 19:26) 103

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994 Fidei Depositum, 1992

964 Mary's role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. "This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to his death"; (LG 57) it is made manifest above all at the hour of his Passion:

Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her: to be given, by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: "Woman, behold your son." (LG 58; cf. Jn 19:26-27) [See also 165 & 2605]

Vita Consecrata, 1996

"Behold your mother!" (Jn 19:27): Jesus' words to the disciple "whom he loved" (Jn 19:26) are particularly significant for the lives of consecrated persons [See more in spiritual motherhood] 28

Novo Millennio Ineunte, 2001

Now I point to Mary once again as the radiant dawn and sure guide for our steps. Once more, echoing the words of Jesus himself and giving voice to the filial affection of the whole Church, I say to her: "Woman, behold your children." (cf. Jn 19:26) 58

Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002

Thereafter Mary's gaze, ever filled with adoration and wonder, would never leave him. ... At other times it would be a look of sorrow, especially beneath the Cross, where her vision would still be that of a mother giving birth, for Mary not only shared the passion and death of her Son, she also received the new son given to her in the beloved disciple (cf. Jn 19:26-27). 10

The sorrowful mysteries help the believer to relive the death of Jesus, to stand at the foot of the Cross beside Mary, to enter with her into the depths of God's love for man and to experience all its life-giving power. 22

... "it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man is seen in its true light." (GS 22) The Rosary helps to open up the way to this light. ...and following him on the way to Calvary, they learn the meaning of salvific suffering. 25

Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2003

Mary, throughout her life at Christ's side and not only on Calvary, made her own the sacrificial dimension of the Eucharist. When she brought the child Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem "to present him to the Lord" (Lk 2:22), she heard the aged Simeon announce that the child would be a "sign of contradiction" and that a sword would also pierce her own heart (cf. Lk 2:34-35). 56

The tragedy of her Son's crucifixion was thus foretold, and in some sense Mary's Stabat Mater at the foot of the Cross was foreshadowed. In her daily preparation for Calvary, Mary experienced a kind of "anticipated Eucharist"– one might say a "spiritual communion" – of desire and of oblation, which would culminate in her union with her Son in his passion, and then find expression after Easter by her partaking in the Eucharist which the Apostles celebrated as the memorial of that passion. 56

"Do this in remembrance of me." (Lk 22:19) In the "memorial" of Calvary all that Christ accomplished by his passion and his death is present. Consequently all that Christ did with regard to his Mother for our sake is also present. To her he gave the beloved disciple and, in him, each of us: "Behold, your Son!" To each of us he also says: "Behold your mother!" (cf. Jn 19: 26-27) 57

Experiencing the memorial of Christ's death in the Eucharist also means continually receiving this gift. It means accepting like John the one who is given to us anew as our Mother. It also means taking on a commitment to be conformed to Christ, putting ourselves at the school of his Mother and allowing her to accompany us. 57

Deus Caritas Est, 2005

As a believer who in faith thinks with God's thoughts and wills with God's will, she cannot fail to be a woman who loves. …knowing … that the Mother's hour will come only with the Cross, which will be Jesus' true hour (cf. Jn 2:4; 13:1). When the disciples flee, Mary will remain beneath the Cross (cf. Jn 19:25-27). 41.

The words addressed by the crucified Lord to his disciple—to John and through him to all disciples of Jesus: “Behold, your mother!” (Jn 19:27)—are fulfilled anew in every generation. 42

Spe Salvi, 2007

You saw the growing power of hostility and rejection which built up around Jesus until the hour of the Cross, when you had to look upon the Savior of the world, the heir of David, the Son of God dying like a failure, exposed to mockery, between criminals. Then you received the word of Jesus: “Woman, behold, your Son!” (Jn 19:26). From the Cross you received a new mission. From the Cross you became a mother in a new way: the mother of all those who believe in your Son Jesus and wish to follow him. The sword of sorrow pierced your heart. Did hope die? Did the world remain definitively without light, and life without purpose? At that moment, deep down, you probably listened again to the word spoken by the angel in answer to your fear at the time of the Annunciation: “Do not be afraid, Mary!” (Lk 1:30). How many times had the Lord, your Son, said the same thing to his disciples: do not be afraid! In your heart, you heard this word again during the night of Golgotha. Before the hour of his betrayal he had said to his disciples: “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (Jn 14:27). “Do not be afraid, Mary!” In that hour at Nazareth the angel had also said to you: “Of his kingdom there will be no end” (Lk 1:33). Could it have ended before it began? No, at the foot of the Cross, on the strength of Jesus's own word, you became the mother of believers. In this faith, which even in the darkness of Holy Saturday bore the certitude of hope, you made your way towards Easter morning. 50

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PENTECOST

Lumen Gentium, 1964

before the day of Pentecost "persevering with one mind in prayer with the women and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and with his brethren." (Acts 1:14) 59
and we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation 59

Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973

There are striking likenesses between the Annunciation and Pentecost. Mary, the great mother figure for the Church, is present not only at the Annunciation, but praying with her Son's disciples before Pentecost. 79
After Christ's Resurrection, surrounded by His disciples, Mary prayed for the coming of that same Spirit, in order that the Church, the Body of her Son, might be born on Pentecost. 115

Catechesi Tradendae, 1979

Virgin of Pentecost [title, invoking her intercession] 73

Dominum et Vivificantem, 1986

The era of the Church began with the "coming," that is to say with the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles gathered in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, together with Mary, the Lord's Mother. (cf. Acts 1:14) 25
Christ's prophecies in the farewell discourse found their most exact and direct confirmation on the day of Pentecost, in particular the prediction which we are dealing with: "The Counselor ... will convince the world concerning sin." (Jn 16:7) On that day, the promised Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles gathered in prayer together with Mary the Mother of Jesus, in the same Upper room, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles: "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance," (Acts 2:4) "thus bringing back to unity the scattered races and offering to the Father the first-fruits of all the nations." (cf. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses) 30

Redemptoris Mater, 1987

[birth of Church] continuity of Mary's motherhood: "Since it pleased God not to manifest solemnly the mystery of the salvation of the human race until he poured forth the Spirit promised by Christ, we see the Apostles before the day of Pentecost 'continuing with one mind in prayer with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.' (Acts 1: 14) We see Mary prayerfully imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation." (LG 59) 24 [See also 26 which deals extensively with this theme]
[See also 28, 40, 42, 44, 49]

[Pentecost solemnity chosen for start of Marian Year 1987] 49

Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday, 1988

The Council teaches that Mary advanced in her pilgrimage of faith through her perfect union with her Son unto the cross and goes before, presenting herself in an eminent and singular way to the whole People of God, which follows the same path, in the footsteps of Christ in the Holy Spirit. Should not we priests unite ourselves with her in a special way, we who as pastors of the Church must also lead the communities entrusted to us along the path which from the Upper Room of Pentecost follows Christ throughout human history? 7

The Virgin Mary in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation, 1988

Full of faith in the promise of the Son (cf. LK 24:49), the Virgin is present, praying in the midst of the community of disciples: Persevering with them in one accord, we see Mary prayerfully imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation: (LG 59). 8
the Virgin was actively present in the life of the Church...
- in its manifestation (the mystery of Pentecost) 17

To All Consecrated Persons, Marian Year, 1988

[See spiritual motherhood above] 21
Those who together with Mary in the Upper Room in Jerusalem were awaiting the day of Pentecost have already experienced the "new era." having received the breath of the Spirit of truth they are to go out of the Upper Room in order to bear witness, in union with this Spirit, to Christ crucified and risen (cf. Jn 15:26-27) In doing so they are to reveal God who, as love, embraces and fills the world 23
Try to be present with Mary in the Upper Room at Pentecost. She more than anyone will bring you close to this saving vision of the truth about God and man, about God and the world, which is contained in Saint Paul's words: "For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God." 26

Redemptoris Custos, St. Joseph, 1989

[Mary's pilgrimage of faith] is a path along which especially at the time of Calvary and Pentecost Mary will precede in a perfect way. [LG 63] 5
the path that was Joseph's his pilgrimage of faith, ended first, that is to say, before Mary stood at the foot of the cross on Golgotha and before the time after Christ returned to the Father, when she was present in the upper room on Pentecost 6

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994Fidei Depositum, 1992

726 ... she was present with the Twelve, who "with one accord devoted themselves to prayer," (Acts 1:14) at the dawn of the "end time" which the Spirit was to inaugurate on the morning of Pentecost with the manifestation of the Church.

965 After her Son's Ascension, Mary "aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers." (LG 69) In her association with the apostles and several women, "we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation." (LG 59)

Orientale Lumen, 1995 Ut Unum Sint, 1995

[See Jewishness] OL 2

Ecclesia in Oceania, 2001

In our time, she is no less present to the Church than she was at Pentecost, gathered with the Apostles in prayer (cf. Acts1:14). With her prayer and presence, she will surely support the new evangelization just as she supported the first. In times of difficulty and pain, Mary has been an unfailing refuge for those seeking peace and healing. 53

Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002

Thereafter Mary's gaze, ever filled with adoration and wonder, would never leave him. ... On the morning of Easter hers would be a gaze radiant with the joy of the Resurrection, and finally, on the day of Pentecost, a gaze afire with the outpouring of the Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14). 10
At the center of this unfolding sequence of the glory of the Son and the Mother, the Rosary sets before us the third glorious mystery, Pentecost, which reveals the face of the Church as a family gathered together with Mary, enlivened by the powerful outpouring of the Spirit and ready for the mission of evangelization. The contemplation of this scene, like that of the other glorious mysteries, ought to lead the faithful to an ever greater appreciation of their new life in Christ, lived in the heart of the Church, a life of which the scene of Pentecost itself is the great "icon." 23

Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2003

At first glance, the Gospel is silent on this subject. The account of the institution of the Eucharist on the night of Holy Thursday makes no mention of Mary. Yet we know that she was present among the Apostles who prayed "with one accord" (cf. Acts 1:14) in the first community which gathered after the Ascension in expectation of Pentecost. Certainly Mary must have been present at the Eucharistic celebrations of the first generation of Christians, who were devoted to "the breaking of bread." (Acts 2:42) 53

Deus Caritas Est, 2005

later, at the hour of Pentecost, it will be they [the apostles] who gather around her as they wait for the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14). 41

Spe Salvi, 2007

The joy of the Resurrection touched your heart and united you in a new way to the disciples, destined to become the family of Jesus through faith. In this way you were in the midst of the community of believers, who in the days following the Ascension prayed with one voice for the gift of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14) and then received that gift on the day of Pentecost. The “Kingdom” of Jesus was not as might have been imagined. It began in that hour, and of this “Kingdom” there will be no end. Thus you remain in the midst of the disciples as their Mother, as the Mother of hope. Holy Mary, Mother of God, our Mother, teach us to believe, to hope, to love with you. Show us the way to his Kingdom! Star of the Sea, shine upon us and guide us on our way! 50

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BOOK OF REVELATION

Lumen Gentium, 1964

exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things that she might be the more fully conformed to her son, the Lord of lords, (cf. Apoc 19:16) and conquer sin and death (cf. Pius XII, Encyclical Ad coeli Reginam, 11 Oct 1954: AAS 46 (1954): 633-636...) 59

Signum Magnum, 1967

A "GREAT SIGN" appeared in the heavens to St. John the Apostle; it was "a woman clothed with the sun." [Ap 12:1] 1

Marialis Cultus, 1974

[exemplar of the Church, esp. in liturgy] the Virgin in prayer ... 18 Considering, finally, the presence of the Mother of Jesus in the Upper Room, where the Spirit came down upon the infant Church (cf. Acts 1:12-14; 2:1-4), they enriched with new developments the ancient theme of Mary and the Church. (Eadmer) 26 [See also 28]

Dominum et Vivificantem, 1986

Thus one can understand the profound reason why the Church, united with the Virgin Mother, prays unceasingly as the Bride to her divine Spouse, as the words of the Book of Revelation, quoted by the Council, attest: "The Spirit and the bride say to the Lord Jesus Christ: Come!" (LG 4; cf. Rev 22:17) 66

Redemptoris Mater, 1987

The "enmity," foretold at the beginning, is confirmed in the Apocalypse (the book of the final events of the Church and the world), in which there recurs the sign of the "woman," this time "clothed with the sun" (Rev. 12:1). ... Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word, is placed at the very center of that enmity, that struggle which accompanies the history of humanity on earth and the history of salvation itself. 11
And by her ecclesial identification as the "woman clothed with the sun" (Rev. 12:1), (Bernard) it can be said that "in the Most Holy Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she exists without spot or wrinkle." 47

Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday, 1988

From Mary, who represents the singular "fulfillment" of the biblical "woman" of the Proto-Evangelium (cf. Gen 3:15) and of the Book of Revelation (12:1), let us seek also a proper relationship with women and the attitude toward them shown by Jesus of Nazareth himself. We find this expressed in many passages of the Gospel. This theme is an important one in the life of every priest, and the Marian Year impels us to take it up again and to develop it in a special way. By reason of his vocation and service, the priest must discover in a new way the question of the dignity and vocation of women both in the Church and in today's world. 5

From Mary, who represents the singular "fulfillment" of the biblical "woman" of the Proto-evangelium (cf. Gen 3:15) and of the Book of Revelation (12:1), let us seek also a proper relationship with women and the attitude toward them shown by Jesus of Nazareth himself. We find this expressed in many passages of the Gospel. 6

Together with John, the Apostle and Evangelist, we turn the gaze of our soul towards that "woman clothed with the sun," who appears on the eschatological horizon of the Church and the world in the Book of Revelation (cf. 12:1ff.). It is not difficult to recognize in her the same figure who, at the beginning of human history, after original sin, was foretold as the Mother of the Redeemer (cf. Gen 3:15). In the Book of Revelation we see her, on the one hand, as the exalted woman in the midst of visible creation, and on the other, as the one who continues to take part in the spiritual battle for the victory of good over evil. This is the combat waged by the Church in union with the Mother of God, her "model," "against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness," as we read in the Letter to the Ephesians (6:12). 7

The words of the Proto-Evangelium at the beginning of the Scriptures and the words of the Book of Revelation at the end refer to the same battle in which man is involved. In the perspective of this spiritual battle which takes place in history, the Son of the woman is the Redeemer of the world. 7

Mulieris Dignitatem, 1988

She is "a woman clothed with the sun," with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of stars (cf. Rev 12:1). ... Is not the Bible trying to tell us that it is precisely in the "woman" - Eve-Mary - that history witnesses a dramatic struggle for every human being, the struggle for his or her fundamental "yes" or "no" to God and God's eternal plan for humanity? 30

Evangelium Vitae, 1995

The mutual relationship between the mystery of the Church and Mary appears clearly in the "great portent" described in the Book of Revelation: "A great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars." (12:1) 103

In this sign the Church recognizes an image of her own mystery: present in history, she knows that she transcends history, inasmuch as she constitutes on earth the "seed and beginning" of the Kingdom of God (LG 5). The Church see this mystery fulfilled in complete and exemplary fashion in Mary. She is the woman of glory in whom God's plan could be carried out with supreme perfection. 103

[Satan, the red dragon] Here too Mary sheds light on the Community of Believers. The hostility of the powers of evil is, in fact, an insidious opposition which, before affecting the disciples of Jesus, is directed against his mother. To save the life of her son from those who fear him as a dangerous threat, Mary has to flee with Joseph and the Child into Egypt (cf. Mt 2:13-15). 104
Mary thus helps the Church to realize that life is always at the centre of a great struggle between good and evil, between light and darkness. The dragon wishes to devour "the child brought forth" (cf. Rev 12:4), a figure of Christ, whom Mary brought forth "in the fullness of time" (Gal 4:4) and whom the Church must unceasingly offer to people in every age. 104

Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2003

Contemplating her, assumed body and soul into heaven, we see opening up before us those "new heavens" and that "new earth" which will appear at the second coming of Christ. Here below, the Eucharist represents their pledge, and in a certain way, their anticipation: "Veni, Domine Iesu!" (Rev 22:20) 62

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APOCRYPHAL ELEMENTS (FOURTH/THIRTEENTH STATIONS OF THE CROSS, ETC.)

Marialis Cultus, 1974

[defense against ... errors and deviations] will ensure that this devotion is objective in its historical setting, and for this reason everything that is obviously legendary or false must be eliminated. [specific examples not given] 38

Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002

The Rosary has always expressed this knowledge born of faith and invited the believer to pass beyond the darkness of the Passion in order to gaze upon Christ's glory in the Resurrection and Ascension. Contemplating the Risen One, Christians rediscover the reasons for their own faith (cf. 1Cor 15:14) and relive the joy not only of those to whom Christ appeared--the Apostles, Mary Magdalene and the disciples on the road to Emmaus--but also the joy of Mary, who must have had an equally intense experience of the new life of her glorified Son. 23

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© 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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