Mary and the Church ©

The charts below are direct quotes from Post-Vatican II Magisterial Documents concerning the theme, Mary and the Church. These teachings of the Catholic Church may prove useful to include in talks, in homilies or for research. For the full title and document data, click on the abbreviation code (for example, BYM leads you to the document, Behold Your Mother). This will also lead you to the complete document on this website or assist you in locating it elsewhere.

For an index of the documents used in the study see: List of Magisterial Documents
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Documents IV. Mary and the Church
Lumen Gentium, 1964
  • intimately united to the Church [by reason of the gift and role of her divine motherhood...and with her unique graces and functions] 63
  • devoutly meditating on her [Mary] and contemplating her in the light of the Word made man, the Church reverently penetrates more deeply into the great mystery of the Incarnation and becomes more and more like her spouse 65
Signum Magnum, 1967
  • was [accorded a special "role...in the mystery of the Incarnate Word] and the mystery of the Mystical Body," [LG 54] that is, "in the economy of salvation." [LG 55] 5
  • "Meditating devoutly on her and contemplating her in the light of the Word made Man, the Church reverently penetrates more deeply into the supreme mystery of the Incarnation and becomes more closely patterned after its spouse." [LG 65] 15
  • ours is a "Marian age" 34
  • The Church benefits from the maternal presence of God's Mother, because she is tied by an enduring and indissoluble bond to the mystery of the Mystical Body. 34
Basic Teaching for Catholic Education (USA), 1973
  • special place of the Virgin Mary in the history of salvation and in the church 24
Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973
  • The primitive Church saw in Mary the fulfillment and personification of the Church, Mother of the messianic people. 20
Marialis Cultus, 1974
  • [liturgy, new themes] Mary and the Church, which has been inserted into the texts of the Missal in a variety of aspects ... that matches the many and varied relations that exist between the Mother of Christ and the Church. [several examples given, see new themes] 11
  • And since the liturgy is worship that requires a way of living consistent with it, it asks that devotion to the Blessed Virgin should become a concrete and deeply-felt love for the Church.... 11
  • Article 28 [understanding the nature of Church as defined by Vatican II]
  • The faithful will be able to appreciate more easily Mary's mission in the mystery of the Church and her preeminent place in the communion of saints.... Family of God, the People of God, the Kingdom of God and the Mystical Body of Christ. (LG 6-11) 28
  • Thus love for the Church will become love for Mary, and vice versa, since the one cannot exist without the other, as St. Chromatius of Aquileia observed with keen discernment: "The Church was united... in the Upper Room with Mary the Mother of Jesus and with His brethren. The Church therefore cannot be referred to as such unless it includes Mary the Mother of our Lord, together with His brethren." 28
Gaudete in Domino, 1975
  • With Christ, she sums up in herself all joys; she lives the perfect joy promised to the Church: Mater plena sanctae laetitiae.
Redemptoris Mater, 1987
  • [Vat II] by presenting Mary in the mystery of Christ, also finds the path to a deeper understanding of the mystery of the Church. Mary, as the Mother of Christ, is in a particular way united with the Church, "which the Lord established as his own body. (LG 52) 5
  • The reality of the Incarnation finds a sort of extension in the mystery of the Church - the Body of Christ. And one cannot think of the reality of the Incarnation without referring to Mary, the Mother of the Incarnate Word. 5
  • I wish to consider primarily that "pilgrimage of faith" in which "the Blessed Virgin advanced," faithfully preserving her union with Christ. (LG 52) In this way the "twofold bond" which unites the Mother of God with Christ and with the Church takes on historical significance. 5
  • Nor is it just a question of the Virgin Mother's life-story, of her personal journey of faith and "the better part" which is hers in the mystery of salvation; it is also a question of the history of the whole People of God, of all those who take part in the same "pilgrimage of faith." 5
  • When the Church "enters more intimately into the supreme mystery of the Incarnation," - she thinks of the Mother of Christ with profound reverence and devotion. (LG 65) Mary belongs indissolubly to the mystery of Christ, and she belongs also to the mystery of the Church from the beginning, from the day of the Church's birth. 27
  • It is precisely Mary's faith which marks the beginning of the new and eternal Covenant of God with man in Jesus Christ; this heroic faith of hers "precedes" the apostolic witness of the Church, and ever remains in the Church's heart, hidden like a special heritage of God's revelation. 27
The VM in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation, 1988
  • For Christ, and therefore also for the Church, God willed and predestined the Virgin from all eternity 9
  • the Virgin was actively present in the life of the Church
  • - at its beginning (the mystery of the Incarnation), - in its being set up (the mystery of Cana and of the Cross) and
    - in its manifestation (the mystery of Pentecost) 17
  • she is an "active presence" throughout the Church's history,
  • - being "at the centre of the pilgrim Church," (Title of part II of the Encyclical Redemptoris Mater),
    - performing a multiple function: of cooperation in the birth of the faithful in the life of grace,
    of exemplarity in the following of Christ,
    of "maternal mediation" (Title of part III of the Encyclical Redemptoris Mater), 17
  • Everything about Mary - privileges, mission, destiny - is also intrinsically referable to the mystery of the Church. In the measure in which the mystery of the Church is understood the more distinctly does the mystery of Mary become apparent. Contemplating Mary, the Church recognizes its origins, its intimate nature, its mission of grace, its destiny to glory, and the pilgrimage of faith which it must follow. (Cf. RM 2). 20
To All Consecrated Persons, Marian Year, 1988
  • During the Marian Year all Christians are called to meditate, according to the mind of the church, upon the presence of the Virgin Mother of God in the mystery of Christ and of the Church (LG 52-69). The present letter is meant to be an encouragement to you to meditate upon this presence in your hearts, in the personal history of your soul and your vocation, and at the same time in your Religious Communities, Orders, congregations and Secular Institutes. 36
Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 1994
  • [Marian Year], drew attention to the Council's teaching on the presence of the Mother of God in the mystery of Christ and the Church 26
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994
Fidei Depositum, 1992
Church and Mary: 507, 766, 773, 813, 829, 867, 963, 964, 967, 968, 969, 972, 973, 974, 975, 1138, 1172, 1370, 1419, 1477, 1655, 1717, 2030, 2679, 2827 [BB]

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

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