Vignettes and Cameos
Vignette 2

Despite the defeat of Jansenism, Mariology was in low estate in the early decades of the nineteenth century. Jansenism and rationalism had left their marks on all theology, and on Marian theology in particular.

Considering the sad state of Mariology in that period, one marvels that Blessed Father Chaminade was able to develop his doctrine in such impoverished and adverse conditions. To appreciate the modernity and completeness of his doctrine, especially on Mary's Spiritual Maternity and its consequences, it is necessary to see his work in the context of his own times. Evidently, he had extensive knowledge of the writings of his predecessors as well as the genius to extend and enrich the traditional teachings by his study and meditation.

While in exile at Saragossa, Spain, 1787-1800, he was enlightened at the shrine of Our Lady of the Pillar with new insights. Here his new approaches and distinctive characteristics began to jell.

Some of the main influences that shaped his thinking were the Johannine and Pauline Scriptures and the French School of Spirituality.

Cameo 2

In the mind of Blessed Father Chaminade, our first duty toward Mary is to learn the relation of Mary to God and to ourselves. To study and to know Mary are of prime importance.

As it is through our knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ that we have come to know the most Blessed Virgin, so also may we say that it is our knowledge of Mary that leads us to know our Lord Jesus Christ.

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