The Person of Mary: Human Personality©

The charts below are direct quotes from Post-Vatican II Magisterial Documents concerning the theme, Mary's Human Personality. 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
Previous Theme Next Theme

Documents V. The Person of Mary
5a. Humanness / Human Personality
Lumen Gentium, 1964
  • joyfully showed (nativity) 57
  • moved with pity (Cana: cf. Jn 2:1-11) 58
  • pondered in her heart (cf. Lk 2:34-35) 57
  • sought him sorrowing (cf. Lk 2:41-51) 57
  • lovingly consenting to the immolation 58
  • imploring the gift of the Spirit 59
Signum Magnum, 1967
  • How Mary's maternal heart must have rejoiced as she looked down from heaven on those pastors and faithful! [Ephesus celebration] 3
  • her "maternal and compassionate heart" [Pius XII, May 13, 1946] 4
Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973
  • He [God] chose Mary, prepared her, guided her to a fully human consent. 15 the totally unselfish person 143
Marialis Cultus, 1974
  • ...Advent, by thinking about the inexpressible love with which the Virgin Mother awaited her Son, (Advent Preface) 4
Redemptoris Mater, 1987
  • This fiat of Mary--"let it be to me--was decisive, on the human level, for the accomplishment of the divine mystery. 13
The VM in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation, 1988
  • "willed that consent of the predestined mother should precede the Incarnation" (LG 56) 6
Redemptoris Custos, St. Joseph, 1989
  • He took her in all the mystery of her motherhood. He took her together with the Son who had come into the world by the power of the Holy Spirit. In this way he showed a readiness of will like Mary's with regard to what God asked of him through the angel. 3
Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 1994
  • Never in human history did so much depend, as it did then, upon the consent of one human creature. (cf. St. Bernard) 2
  • The Virgin Mary responded to God's call with complete openness 54
Vita Consecrata, 1996
  • Having given her assent to the divine Word made flesh in her, Mary is the model of the acceptance of grace by human creatures. 28
Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002
  • In my testimony of 1978 mentioned above, where I described the Rosary as my favorite prayer, I used an idea to which I would like to return. I said then that "the simple prayer of the Rosary marks the rhythm of human life."

    In the light of what has been said so far on the mysteries of Christ, it is not difficult to go deeper into this anthropological significance of the Rosary, which is far deeper than may appear at first sight. Anyone who contemplates Christ through the various stages of his life cannot fail to perceive in him the truth about man. This is the great affirmation of the Second Vatican Council which I have so often discussed in my own teaching since the Encyclical Letter Redemptor Hominis: "it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man is seen in its true light." (GS 22) The Rosary helps to open up the way to this light. Following in the path of Christ, in whom man's path is "recapitulated," revealed and redeemed, believers come face to face with the image of the true man. Contemplating Christ's birth, they learn of the sanctity of life; seeing the household of Nazareth, they learn the original truth of the family according to God's plan; listening to the Master in the mysteries of his public ministry, they find the light which leads them to enter the Kingdom of God; and following him on the way to Calvary, they learn the meaning of salvific suffering. Finally, contemplating Christ and his Blessed Mother in glory, they see the goal towards which each of us is called, if we allow ourselves to be healed and transformed by the Holy Spirit. It could be said that each mystery of the Rosary, carefully meditated, sheds light on the mystery of man.

    At the same time, it becomes natural to bring to this encounter with the sacred humanity of the Redeemer all the problems, anxieties, labors and endeavors which go to make up our lives. "Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you" (Ps 55:23). To pray the Rosary is to hand over our burdens to the merciful hearts of Christ and his Mother. Twenty-five years later, thinking back over the difficulties which have also been part of my exercise of the Petrine ministry, I feel the need to say once more, as a warm invitation to everyone to experience it personally: the Rosary does indeed "mark the rhythm of human life," bringing it into harmony with the "rhythm" of God's own life, in the joyful communion of the Holy Trinity, our life's destiny and deepest longing. 25

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

Return to the top of this document

Return to the Resources/Documents: List of Themes


This page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, and created by Sr. Jean M.Frisk , was last modified Monday, 08/16/2010 16:36:20 EDT by Ramya Jairam . Please send any comments to

URL for this page is