Available on the Internet

Click for list of documents below.

The Mary Page is often asked to confirm the authenticity of Marian teaching. This section presents Church documents to help establish the Catholic Church's official position in Marian matters. The Vatican II document, Dei Verbum, states:
The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ, yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith.
[Mother of the Church]

 

Mother of the Church
J. Ulmer, Argentina

NOTE: The documents listed below focus on the Blessed Virgin Mary or contain significant Marian passages.
For an alternative list used to determine Marian themes see: ALTERNATIVE LIST

Marian Magisterial Documents

Documents are listed by date of publication

Recently published
Rosarium Virginis Mariae [The Rosary of the Virgin Mary]

Apostolic Letter issued by Pope John Paul II on October 16, 2002
[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: Vatican]

Message for World Mission Sunday, October 2003

Message issued by Pope John Paul II on January 12, 2003
"The Year of the Rosary to be a favorable occasion for believers on all the continents to deepen the meaning of their Christian vocation. At the school of the Blessed Virgin and following her example, every community will be better able to have its own "contemplative" and "missionary" activity emerge."
[Internet source: Vatican]

Ecclesia de Eucharistia--
     Encyclical letter

Encyclical Letter issued on April 17, 2003 (Holy Thursday) by Pope John Paul on the "Eucharist in its relationship to the church."  Mary is treated in Paragraphs 4, 6, 7, 19, 53-58 in chapter six, titled "At the School of Mary, 'Woman of Eucharist'" 59, and 62.
[Brief summary of content and purpose]

[Internet source: Vatican]


Ineffabilis Deus: The Immaculate Conception

Apostolic Constitution issued by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854
[Internet source: Papal Encyclicals]


Supremi Apostolatus Officio: Devotion of The Rosary

Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on September 1, 1883
This encyclical testifies to the rosary's venerability and power, andcexhorts the faithful to its frequent use.
[Internet source: Vatican]


Superiore Anno: On the Recitation of the Rosary

Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on August 30, 1884.
[Internet source: Vatican]


Vi è Ben Noto: On the Rosary and Public Life

Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on September 20, 1887.
[Internet source: Vatican]


Octobri Mense: On the Rosary

Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on September 22, 1891.
[Internet source: Vatican]


Magnae Dei Matris: On the Rosary

Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on September 8, 1892.
[Internet source: Vatican]


Laetitiae Sanctae: Commending Devotion to the Rosary

Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on September 8, 1893.
[Internet source: Vatican]


Iucunda Semper Expectatione: On the Rosary

Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on September 8, 1894.
[Internet source: Vatican]


Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum: On the Immaculate Conception

Encyclical of Pope Pius X promulgated on February 2, 1904.
[Internet source: Vatican]


Lux Veritatis: On the Council of Ephesus

Encyclical of Pope Pius XI promulgated on December 25, 1931.
[Internet source: Papal Encyclicals]


Ingravescentibus Malis: On the Rosary

Encyclical of Pope Pius XI promulgated on September 29, 1937.
[Internet source: Vatican]


Deiparae Virginis Mariae

Encyclical of Pope Pius XII Promulgated on May 1, 1946, to explore whether it would be opportune to formally define the doctrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
[Internet source: Vatican]


Munificentissimus Deus: On the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Apostolic Constitution, Pope Pius XII, November 1, 1950, on proclaiming the dogma of the Assumption.
[Internet source: Vatican]


Ingruentium Malorum: On Reciting the Rosary

Encyclical of Pope Pius XII promulgated on September 15, 1951.
Pius XII urges us to "fly with greater confidence to the Mother of God. There, the Christian people have always sought chief refuge in the hour of danger, because she has been constituted the cause of salvation for the whole human race."19
[Internet source: Vatican]


Fulgens Corona: Proclaiming a Marian Year to Commemorate the Centenary of the Definition of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception

Encyclical of Pope Pius XII promulgated on September 8, 1953.
Encyclical proclaiming a Marian Year to commemorate the centenary of the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
[Internet source: Vatican]


Ad Caeli Reginam: On Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary

Encyclical of Pope Pius XII promulgated on October 11, 1954.
Issued on the feast of the Queenship of Mary, it summarizes the history of devotion to Mary as Queen.
[Internet source: Vatican]


Grata Recordatio: On the Rosary

Encyclical of Pope John XXIII promulgated on September 26, 1959.
This encyclical covers the rosary, prayer for the Church, the missions and international and social problems.
[Internet source: Vatican]


Vatican II: Lumen Gentium:

The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter 8

Promulgated by Pope Paul VI on November 21, 1964
[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: Vatican]

Try also: Church
[Internet source: Christus Rex et Redemptor Mundi]

The Marian References in the Sixteen Documents of Vatican II
[Internet source: Mary Page with links to full documents in English and Latin]


Exploring the Mystery of the Church

Address of Pope Paul VI at the Close of the Third Session of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council
November 22, 1964
[Internet source: The Mary Page]


The Mind of the Council on Mary

Address of Pope Paul VI on the Feast of the Purification
February 2, 1965
[Internet source: The Mary Page]


Mense Maio: On the Occasion of the First of May

Encyclical of Pope Paul VI promulgated on April 30, 1965.
The pope urges the faithful to pray to Mary more than ever during the month of May; in connection with this he exhorts all to seek peace by negotiation and prayer.
[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: Vatican]


Christi Matri: On Prayers to Mary for Peace

Encyclical of Pope Paul VI promulgated on September 15, 1966.
The pope exhorts leaders to contrive by negotiation a peace "based on justice and freedom for mankind." He encourages the faithful to deepen their devotion to the Mother of Christ as the evils of the world increase.
[Internet source: Vatican]


Signum Magnum: The Great Sign

Encyclical of Pope Paul VI promulgated on May 13, 1967.
[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: Vatican]


Solemnis Professio Fidei: The Creed of the People of God

Pope Paul VI (Motu Proprio)
June 30, 1968
[The Creed of Paul VI helped to fill the need to synthesize catechetical teaching after Vatican II..]
[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: Vatican]


Praying the Rosary for Peace

Apostolic Exhortation, Recurrens Mensis October of Pope Paul VI
October 7, 1969
[In honor of the fourth centenary of the Apostolic Letter Consueverunt Romani pontifices from St. Pius V, "who in that document explained and in a certain sense established the traditional form of the Rosary." (MC 42b)]
[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: The Mary Page]


Pope Paul VI: General Audience of October 8, 1969

"What does the Church need today?"
[Internet source: The Mary Page]


Directorium Catechisticum Generale: General Catechetical Directory
Ad normam decreti (April 11, 1971)

Sacred Congregation for the Clergy
March 18, 1971
[This document governs the content of required Marian catechesis.]
[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: Vatican]


Marialis Cultus: For the Right Ordering and Development of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Paul VI promulgated on February 2, 1974.
[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: Vatican]


ANG MAHAL NA BIRHEN / Mary in Philippine Life Today
    Alternate link: Ang Mahal Na Birhen

A Pastoral Letter on the Blessed Virgin Mary, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Manila, February 2, 1975
[Internet source: The Mary Page, CBCP documents]


The Holy Spirit and Mary

Letter of Pope Paul VI to Cardinal Léon Josef Suenens on the Occasion of the International Marian Congress
May 13, 1975
[Internet source: The Mary Page]


The Role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Catechetics

Oral Intervention by John Joseph Cardinal Carberry, Archbishop of St. Louis
Synod of Bishops on Catechesis - 1977
[Internet source: The Mary Page]


Sharing the Light of Faith

National Catechetical Directory for Catholics of the United States
US National Council of Catholic Bishops, March 1979
[This directory laid down directives on catechesis in the US from 1979- 2003]
[Brief summary of content and purpose]


Catechesi Tradendae: Apostolic Exhortation on Catechesis in Our Time

Pope John Paul II
October 16, 1979
[The final paragraph, "Mary, Mother and Model of the Disciple," proved significant in catechetical writings.]
[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: Vatican]


A Concilio Constantinopolitano I

Apostolic Letter of Pope John Paul II for the 1600th Anniversary of the First Council of Constantinople and the 1550th Anniversary of the Council of Ephesus
March 25, 1981
The letter gives the theological foundation for the title of Theotokos, Mother of God.
[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: Vatican]


Redemptoris Mater: Mother of the Redeemer

Encyclical of Pope John Paul II promulgated on March 25, 1987.
The Pope discusses Mary's role in the economy of salvation, particularly reflecting upon that "pilgrimage of faith" in which "the Blessed Virgin advanced," faithfully preserving her union with Christ. The Pope emphasizes the historical significance of the "twofold bond" which unites the Mother of God with Christ and with the Church.
[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: Vatican]


Orientations and Proposals for the Celebration of the Marian Year 1987-1988

Letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship
Rome, April 3, 1987
[Contains abundant practical applications of Marian devotion for parishes.]
[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: The Mary Page]


Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday 1988: Mary in the Life of the Priests

Pope John Paul II
Rome, March 25, 1988
[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: Vatican]


The Virgin Mary in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation

Letter from the Congregation for Catholic Education
Rome, March 25, 1988
[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: The Mary Page]


Mulieris Dignitatem: On the Dignity and Vocation of Women on the Occasion of the Marian Year

Apostolic Letter of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, August 15, 1988
[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: Vatican]


Address to Women Religious

Address of Pope John Paul II at Turin, September 4,1988
"May the Mother of the Church be an inspiration for the discovery of a new feminine identity."
[Internet source: EWTN Documents Library]


Redemptoris Custos

Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II on the Person and Mission of Saint Joseph in the Life of Christ and of the Church
August 15, 1989
[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: Vatican]


Guidelines on Doctrine for Catechetical Materials

National Council of Catholic Bishops
November 14, 1990
[This is a normative document from the United States bishops for catechesis. Mary and the Saints are treated in paragraphs 34-37]
[Brief summary of content and purpose]


Catechism of the Catholic Church

United States Catholic Conference
English translation, 1994
[To discover where Mary is mentioned in the Catechism of the Catholic Church see:
Context of the Articles Integrating the Blessed Virgin Mary into the Catechism of the Catholic Church,
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops]

[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: Vatican]


Women: Teachers of Peace

John Paul II / World Day of Peace, January 1, 1995
[Internet source: Vatican]


Seventy General Audiences of Pope John Paul II on the Blessed Virgin Mary
September 6, 1996 - November 12, 1997

This material is summarized in single paragraphs on the Vatican website.
A briefly summarized list can also be found at: General Audiences
The collection can be obtained in paperback from Pauline Books & Media: John Paul II, Theotokos: A Catechesis on Mary, Mother of God. ISBN 0-8198-7401-9.

The following are links to full texts, which include the L'Osservatore Romano (English) references.

1. Mary Is Pattern of Church's Holiness , 6 September 1995.
2. Mary Is the Virgin Mother of God , 13 September 1995.
3. Mary Was United to Jesus on the Cross , 25 October 1995.
4. Church Grew In Understanding of Mary's Role , 8 November 1995.
5. To Honor Mary Is to Go to Jesus , 15 November 1995.
6. Mary Is Model of Persevering Silence , 22 November 1995.
7. Mary Shows Us God's Respect for Women , 29 November 1995.
8. Mary Sheds Light on Role of Women , 6 December 1995.
9. Council's Teaching on Mary , 13 December 1995.
10. Mary's Place Is Highest After Christ , 3 January 1995.
11. Mary's Relationship with the Trinity , 10 January 1996.
12. Victory over Sin Comes Through a Woman , 24 January 1996.
13. Isaiah's Prophecy Fulfilled in Incarnation , 31 January 1996.
14. Motherhood Is God's Special Gift , 6 March 1996.
15. Women's Indispensable Role In Salvation History , 27 March 1996.
16. The Ideal Woman Is a Precious Treasure , 10 April 1996.
17. God Is Ever Faithful to His Covenant , 24 April 1996.
18. Mary Responds to God with Spousal Love , 1 May 1996.
19. Blessed Virgin Was Filled with God's Grace , 8 May 1996.
20. Mary Was Conceived Without Original Sin , 15 May 1996.
21. Mary's Enmity Towards Satan Was Absolute , 29 May 1996.
22. Christ's Grace Preserved Mary from Sin , 5 June1996.
23. Immaculate Conception Defined by Pius IX ,12 June 1996.
24. Mary Was Free from All Personal Sin , 19 June 1996.
25. Mary Freely Co-operated in God's Plan , 3 July 1996.
26. Virginal Conception Is Biological Fact , 10 July 1996.
27. Our Lady Intended to Remain a Virgin , 24 July 1996.
28. Eternal Son of God Is Also Born of Mary , 31 July 1996.
29. Mary's Choice Inspires Consecrated Virginity , 7 August 1996.
30. Mary and Joseph Lived Gift of Virginity , 21 August 1996.
31. The Church Presents Mary as 'Ever Virgin,' 28 August 1996.
32. Mary Offers Sublime Model of Service , 4 September 1996.
33. Mary, the New Eve, Freely Obeyed God ,18 September 1996.
34. Visitation Is Prelude to Jesus' Mission , 2 October 1996.
35. Mary Sings the Praises of God's Mercy , 6 November 1996.
36. Nativity Shows Mary's Closeness to Jesus , 20 November 1996.
37. Church Proclaims Mary Mother of God , 27 November 1996.
38. Blessed Virgin Is Model of Perfect Love , 4 December 1996.
39. Simeon Was Open to the Lord's Action , 11 December 1996.
40. Mary Has Role in Jesus' Saving Mission , 18 December 1996.
41. Christ Calls Women to Share His Mission , 8 January 1997.
42. Mary Co-operates by Personal Obedience , 15 January 1997.
43. Mary's Hidden Life Is Example to Mothers , 29 January 1997.
44. Jesus Works Miracle at Mary's Request , 26 February 1997.
45. Mary Is Active in Her Son's Mission , 5 March 1997.
46. Mary Had Role in Jesus' Public Ministry , 12 March 1997.
47. Mary United Herself to Jesus' Offering , 2 April 1997.
48. Mary's Co-operation Is Totally Unique , 9 April 1997.
49. To the Disciple He Said, 'Behold Your Mother,' 23 April 1997.
50. Devotion to Mary Is Based on Jesus' Will , 7 May 1997.
51. Mary Was Witness to Whole Paschal Mystery , 21 May 1997.
52. Mary Prays for Outpouring of the Spirit , 28 May 1997.
53. Mary and the Human Drama of Death , 25 June 1997.
54. Church Believes in Mary's Assumption , 2 July 1997.
55. Mary Is First Creature to Enjoy Eternal Life , 9 July 1997.
56. Christians Look to Mary Queen , 23 July 1997.
57. Mary Is Pre-eminent Member of Church , 30 July 1997.
58. Mary Is Outstanding Figure of Church , 6 August 1997.
59. Mary Is Model for Church's Motherhood , 13 August 1997.
60. Mary Fully Adhered to Revealed Truth , 20 August 1997.
61. Mary: Model of Faith, Hope, and Charity , 3 September 1997.
62. Mary: Model of the Church at Prayer , 10 September 1997.
63. Blessed Virgin Is Mother of the Church , 17 September 1997.
64. Mary Has Universal Spiritual Motherhood , 24 September 1997.
65. Mary's Mediation Derives from Christ's , 1 October 1997.
66. Mary Has Always Been Specially Venerated , 15 October 1997.
67. Faithful Have Filial Devotion to Mary , 22 October 1997.
68. Church Urges Faithful to Venerate Mary , 29 October 1997.
69. We Can Count on Mary's Intercession , 5 November 1997.
70. Separated Brethren Also Honor Mary , 12 November 1997.
[Internet source: EWTN Documents Library/Vatican]

Ecclesia in Africa

Apostolic Exhortation on the Church in Africa and its Evangelizing Mission Towards the Year 2000
John Paul II
September 14, 1995
Reference to Mary in paragraphs 57, 60, 140, 142, and 144. Includes a prayer to Mary, Mother of the Church
[Internet source: Vatican]


The Protocol for Assessing the Conformity of Catechetical Materials with the Catechism of the Catholic Church

United States Catholic Conference, April 5, 1996
Documents of the Ad Hoc Committee
[This document governs required content of books used for teaching the Catholic faith]
[Brief summary of content and purpose]


Mary Leads Us to Eucharist

Message of Pope John Paul II to nineteenth International Marian Congress, Czestochowa, Poland August 15, 1996
[Internet source: EWTN Documents Library]


Ecclesia in America

Apostolic Exhortation on the Encounter with the Living Jesus Christ:
The Way to Conversion, Communion and Solidarity in America
John Paul II
January 22, 1999
Paragraph 11, titled "We Encounter Jesus through Mary," includes the promulgation of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother and Evangelizer of America, be celebrated throughout the continent on December 12
[Internet source: Vatican]


Ecclesia in Asia

Apostolic Exhortation on Jesus Christ the Saviour and His Mission of Love and Service in Asia: "... That They May Have Life, and Have it Abundantly" (Jn 10:10)
John Paul II
November 6, 1999
The conclusion of the document contains a prayer to the Mother of Christ for the peoples of Asia
[Internet source: Vatican]


John Paul II: General Audience of March 14, 2001

A papal meditation on the role of Mary during the 'end times'
[Internet source: Vatican]


Ecclesia in Oceania

Apostolic Exhortation on Jesus Christ and the Peoples of Oceania:
Walking His Way, Telling His Truth, Living His Life
Pope John Paul II
Rome, November 22, 2001
Reference to Mary: paragraph 5 and 53, (deep devotion to Mary ... an integral aspect of the Catholic faith in Oceania. Includes prayer).
[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: Vatican]


Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy: Principles and Guidelines

Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
December 2001
Popular piety is explained in its relation to the liturgy. Chapter V is devoted to veneration of the Blessed Mother of Our Lord. Throughout the document reference is made to devotions pertaining to Mary such as liturgies, processions, hymns, the Marian months, plus many other elements, aspects, and suggestions.
[Internet source: Vatican]


Rosarium Virginis Mariae [The Rosary of the Virgin Mary]

Apostolic Letter issued by Pope John Paul II on October 16, 2002
[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: Vatican]


Message for World Mission Sunday, October 2003

Message issued by Pope John Paul II on January 12, 2003
"The Year of the Rosary to be a favorable occasion for believers on all the continents to deepen the meaning of their Christian vocation. At the school of the Blessed Virgin and following her example, every community will be better able to have its own 'contemplative' and 'missionary' activity emerge."
[Internet source: Vatican]


Ecclesia de Eucharistia

Encyclical Letter by Pope John Paul on the "Eucharist in its relationship to the church."
April 17, 2003 (Holy Thursday)
Mary is treated in Paragraphs 4, 6, 7, 19, 53-58; in chapter six, titled "At the School of Mary, 'Woman of Eucharist'" 59, and 62.
[Brief summary of content and purpose]
[Internet source: Vatican]


Ecclesia in Europa

Apostolic Exhortation on Jesus Christ Alive in His Church, the Source of Hope for Europe
Pope John Paul II
Rome, June 28, 2003
Mary is treated in Paragraphs 27 (figure and model of the Church in faith and holiness), 122-124 (The Woman, the Dragon, and the Child), 125 (Prayer to Mary, Mother of Hope -- includes a prayer to entrust Europe to Mary).
[Internet source: Vatican]


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This page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, and created by M. Jean Frisk , was last modified Wednesday, 04/20/2011 16:11:39 EDT by Ramya Jairam . Please send any comments to jroten1@udayton.edu.