The Person of Mary: Human Weakness and Limitations


The charts below are direct quotes from Post-Vatican II Magisterial Documents concerning the theme, Mary's Human Weakness and Limitations. 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 V. The Person of Mary
5d. Humanness / Human weakness and limitations
Lumen Gentium, 1964
  • subordinate role 62
Mense Maio, 1965
  • who knows the sufferings and troubles of life here below, the weariness of everyday work, the hardships and privations of poverty, the suffering of Calvary 10
Signum Magnum, 1967
  • 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
Recurrens Mensis October, 1969
  • The Gospel teaches us that Mary is sensitive to the needs of men. (Cana) 7
Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973
  • Her poverty seemed to exclude her. 126
Gaudete in Domino, 1975
  • Not that the apparent course of her life in any way departs from the ordinary, but she meditates on the least signs of God, pondering them in her heart. 48
  • Not that she is in any way spared sufferings: she stands, the mother of sorrows 48
Redemptoris Mater, 1987
  • [limitations] The birth had taken place in conditions of extreme poverty. 16
Redemptoris Custos, St. Joseph, 1989
  • The angels greeting: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you" (Lk 1:28) created an inner turmoil in Mary and also moved her to reflect. Then the messenger reassured the Virgin and at the same time revealed God's special plan for her: "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus." (Lk 1:30-32) 2
  • [Joseph] did not know how to deal with Mary's "astonishing" motherhood. 3
Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002
  • The revelation of his mystery as the Son wholly dedicated to his Father's affairs proclaims the radical nature of the Gospel, in which even the closest of human relationships are challenged by the absolute demands of the Kingdom. Mary and Joseph, fearful and anxious, "did not understand" his words. (Lk 2:50) 20
  • The Rosary selects certain moments from the Passion, inviting the faithful to contemplate them in their hearts and to relive them. The sequence of meditations begins with Gethsemane, where Christ experiences a moment of great anguish before the will of the Father, against which the weakness of the flesh would be tempted to rebel. There Jesus encounters all the temptations and confronts all the sins of humanity, in order to say to the Father: "Not my will but yours be done." (Lk 22:42 and parallels) ... the Lord is cast into the most abject suffering: Ecce homo! ... The sorrowful mysteries help the believer to relive the death of Jesus, to stand at the foot of the Cross beside Mary, to enter with her into the depths of God's love for man and to experience all its life-giving power. 22

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

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