Q: Explain the 'Marian Year' celebrations.

A: There was a Marian Year in 1954. It coincided with the centenary of the proclamation of the Dogma of Mary's Assumption by Pope Pius XII. More recently, there was a Marian Year in 1987/88, proclaimed by Pope John Paul II. It was intended to inaugurate a Marian Advent leading up to the commemoration of Christ's Birth in the year 2000. Both Marian Years had an international character. They were intended for the whole Catholic Church.

Marian Years do not follow a set pattern. They are proclaimed on special occasions, as seen above. A local bishop may announce a Marian Year for his diocese only; or a bishops' conference may announce one for a whole country.

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