The Person of Mary: Freedom©

The charts below are direct quotes from Post-Vatican II Magisterial Documents concerning the theme, Mary's Freedom. These teachings of the Catholic Church may prove useful to include in talks, 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 V. The Person of Mary / 5b. Humanness / Freedom
Lumen Gentium, 1964
  • assent on the part of the predestined mother 56
  • consenting to the word of God 56
  • consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross 62
  • not merely as passively engaged by God, but as freely cooperating...through faith and obedience 56
  • associated herself with his sacrifice and lovingly consenting to the immolation 58
  • they [Mary and Joseph] sought him sorrowing 57
Signum Magnum, 1967
  • she freely and earnestly heeded the interior promptings of the Holy Spirit at all times 16
  • It was this perfect harmony between divine grace and her own human activity that gave honor to the Blessed Trinity and made her the crowning glory of the Church. 16
  • Chosen by God to be the spotless Mother of his only begotten Son, she immediately accepted this role which would tax every ounce of strength in her frail nature [harmony of grace and freedom]. 17
  • In God's kind dispensation, her freely proffered assent and her generous efforts under God's inspiration have greatly contributed - and still do - to man's attainment of salvation. 21
General Catechetical Directory, 1971
  • who was freely and fully faithful to the Lord 68
Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973
  • By thus consenting to the divine utterance (LG 56) 55
  • Mary consented in faith to become the Mother of Jesus. 71
  • by God's call and her free response in the power of His grace.... 114
Marialis Cultus, 1974
  • March 25: These liturgies [of East and West] celebrate it as a culminating moment in the salvific dialogue between God and man, and as a commemoration of the Blessed Virgin's free consent and cooperation in the plan of redemption. 6
  • "her active and responsible consent" (LG 56) 37
Dominum et Vivificantem, 1986
  • When the Triune God opens himself to man in the Holy Spirit, this opening of God reveals and also gives to the human creation the fullness of freedom. This fullness was manifested in a sublime way precisely through the faith of Mary, through the "obedience of faith": (cf. Rom 1:5) truly, "Blessed is she who believed!" 51
Redemptoris Mater, 1987
  • At the Annunciation Mary entrusted herself to God completely, with the "full submission of intellect and will," manifesting "the obedience of faith" to him who spoke to her through his messenger. (DV 5) She responded, therefore, with all her human and feminine "I," and this response of faith included both perfect cooperation with "the grace of God that precedes and assists" and perfect openness to the action of the Holy Spirit, who "constantly brings faith to completion by his gifts." (LG 56) 13
  • "Mary is totally dependent upon God and completely directed towards him, and at the side of her Son, she is the most perfect image of freedom and of the liberation of humanity and of the universe. It is to her as Mother and Model that the Church must look in order to understand in its completeness the meaning of her own mission." (Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, March 22, 1986) 37
  • Incarnation of his Son, entrusted himself to the ministry, the free and active ministry of a woman 46
The VM in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation, 1988
  • The popes have repeatedly presented Mary of Nazareth as the supreme expression of human freedom in the cooperation of man with God, who "in the sublime event of the Incarnation of his Son, entrusted himself to the ministry, the free and active ministry of woman." (Redemptoris Mater, 46). 15
Mulieris Dignitatem, 1988
  • [grace, but also] through her response of faith Mary exercises her free will and thus fully shares with her personal and feminine "I" in the event of the Incarnation. ... All of God's action in human history at all times respects the free will of the human "I." And such was the case with the Annunciation at Nazareth. 4
Redemptoris Custos, St. Joseph, 1989
  • At the culmination of the history of salvation, when God reveals his love for humanity through the gift of the Word, it is precisely the marriage of Mary and Joseph that brings to realization in full "freedom" the "spousal gift of self" in receiving and expression such a love. 7
Veritatis Splendor, 1993
  • Mary lived and exercised her freedom precisely by giving herself to God and accepting God's gift within herself. 120
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994
Fidei Depositum, 1992
490 ... in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly born by God's grace.

494 ... giving her consent to God's word, Mary becomes the mother of Jesus.

511 The Virgin Mary "cooperated through free faith and obedience in human salvation." (LG 56) She uttered her yes "in the name of all human nature." (St. Thomas Acquinas, STh III, 30, 1) By her obedience she became the new Eve, mother of the living.


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

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