Vignettes and Cameos
Vignette 1

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade in post-revolutionary France was the only noteworthy Mariologist of the first half of the nineteenth century. Considering the tenor of the times, his contribution to Marian theology is remarkable. Commenting on those times Monsignor George Shea observes that:

Jansenist rigorism and the Monita Salutaria of Widenfeld were strenuously combated by the controversialists and the theologians of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Their devotional works not only nourished Marian piety, but at the same time broadened and deepened its doctrinal bases, particuIarly in connection with the mediational role of our Blessed Mother, a crucial issue in the Jansenist controversy.

To these doctrinally significant spiritual writers, mostly of the Berullian school, one must add the last disciple of that school, William Joseph Chaminade, founder of the Marianists, whose published and unpublished writings are now being increasingly explored and appreciated.

If we assign Cardinal Newman to the latter half of the ninteenth century, Chaminade is the sole Mariologist worthy of note in the preceding fifty years.

Cameo 1

Blessed Father Chaminade based his concept of Mary's Apostolic Mission on the related doctrines of Mary's Spiritual Maternity, Coredemption, and Distribution of All Graces.

In his own words:

Christ has ordained all concerns of religion that Mary participated and cooperated in all of them.
We do not go to Mary as our God, but we go to God through Mary; as faith tells us, He came to us through her.

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