Mary and the Church: Member of the Church©

The charts below are direct quotes from Post-Vatican II Magisterial Documents concerning the theme, Mary, Member of 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 / 1. Member of the Church
Lumen Gentium, 1964
  • pre-eminent and as a wholly unique member 53
  • occupies a place in the Church which is highest after Christ and also closest to us [cf. Paul VI, Allocution to the Council, Dec 4,  1963: AAS 56 (1964):37] 54
  • [prayer] in the fellowship of all the saints 69
General Catechetical Directory, 1971
  • the mystery of the Church, which is Christ's Mystical Body, in which the Virgin Mary holds the preeminent place [hierarchy of truths] 43
  • "occupies in the Holy Church the place which is highest after Christ and yet very close to us" [LG, 54; Paul VI, Address to the Council (Dec 4,  1965): AAS 56 (1964):37] 68
Basic Teaching for Catholic Education (USA), 1973
  • She is in the church in a place highest after Christ. 24
Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973
  • Mary stands out as uniquely virgin and mother within the Church, itself rightly called virgin and mother. (LG 63) 38
  • As a believing disciple of Jesus, Mary can be called daughter of the Church, and our sister as well. For, like us, she has been redeemed by Christ, although in an eminent and privileged way. (Paul VI, Feb 2, 1965) 114
Marialis Cultus, 1974
  • [liturgical expressions] in the primitive Church she is seen praying with the apostles; (Common in Paschal season) 11
  • In our own day she is actively present, and the Church desires to live the mystery of Christ with her: "Grant that your Church which with Mary shared Christ's passion may be worthy to share also in his resurrection." (Sept. 15, Collect) 11
  • She is also seen represented as a voice of praise in unison with which the Church wishes to give glory to God:". . . with her [Mary] may we always praise you." (May 31, Collect) 11
  • the place she occupies in the Church: "the highest place and the closest to us after Christ." (LG 54) 28
  • Byzantine rite...architectural clearly Mary's place in the Church ... 28
  • her mission and the special position she holds within the People of God, of which she is the preeminent member 56
Sharing the Light of Faith (USA), 1979
  • occupies a place in the Church second only to that of Christ 106
Dominum et Vivificantem, 1986
  • The Church perseveres in prayer with Mary. This union of the praying Church with the Mother of Christ has been part of the mystery of the Church from the beginning: we see her present in this mystery as she is present in the mystery of her Son. It is the Council that says to us "The Blessed Virgin ..., overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, ...brought forth...the Son..., [sic] he whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren (cf. Rom 8:29), namely the faithful. In their birth and development she cooperates with a maternal love;" she is through "his singular graces and offices... intimately united with the Church... (she) is a model of the Church." [sic] (LG 63) 66
  • "The Church, moreover, contemplating Mary's mysterious sanctity, imitating her charity, ...becomes herself a mother" and "herself is a virgin, who keeps... the fidelity she has pledged to her Spouse. Imitating the Mother of the Lord, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, she preserves with virginal purity an integral faith, a firm hope, and a sincere charity." (LG 64) 66
Redemptoris Mater, 1987
  • At the first dawn of the Church, at the beginning of the long journey through faith which began at Pentecost in Jerusalem, Mary was with all those who were the seed of the "new Israel." She was present among them as an exceptional witness to the mystery of Christ. And the Church was assiduous in prayer together with her, and at the same time "contemplated her in the light of the Word made man." It was always to be so. 27
The VM in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation, 1988
  • "hailed as a pre-eminent and altogether singular member of the Church" (LG 53) because of the gifts of grace which adorn her and because of the place she occupies in the mystical Body 9
Mulieris Dignitatem, 1988
  • The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the firstborn among many brethren (cf. Rom 8:29), namely among the faithful. (LG 63) 22
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994
Fidei Depositum, 1992
967 By her complete adherence to the Father's will, to his Son's redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church's model of faith and charity. Thus she is a "preeminent and...wholly unique member of the Church"; indeed, she is the "exemplary realization" (typus) (LG 53; 63) of the Church.
Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002
  • In this process of being conformed to Christ in the Rosary, we entrust ourselves in a special way to the maternal care of the Blessed Virgin. She who is both the Mother of Christ and a member of the Church, indeed her "pre-eminent and altogether singular member," (LG 53) is at the same time the "Mother of the Church." As such, she continually brings to birth children for the mystical Body of her Son. She does so through her intercession, imploring upon them the inexhaustible outpouring of the Spirit. Mary is the perfect icon of the motherhood of the Church. 15

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

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