Saturday, 16 July 2016

Mother Mary in the Magisterium of the Church

Introduction :

The First Encyclical expressly devoted to Marian Devotion was written by Pope Leo, the Thirteenth (1878-1903).

He was a Pope who intensely perceived and shared the sufferings of the world and offered from his vast cultural experience, not something simply devotional.

This great Pope taught that the prayer and the affectionate knowledge of the Mother of God should be anything but sentimental.

It was the closest approach to the "Mystery of Christ" that was effected through the humanity of a simple woman who did not pretend to understand everything but 'pondered everything in her heart'.

Encyclicals on the Holy Rosary :

In the first six years of his pontificate, Pope Leo wrote two encyclicals on the Mother of God.

In the years that followed, from 1891 to 1898, he wrote 8 other encyclicals, one each year in which he continued to invite Catholic Christians to pray to the Mother of God and he offered them effective and precise reflections on her irreplaceable role in the History of Salvation.

The main theme however, of every written text dwelt on the validity of  praying the Rosary.

The Rosary is a meditation on the Life of Jesus Christ through the eyes of Mother Mary whose gaze is a gaze of love and of meditative silence.

This encyclical traces the grand lineage of the history of the Holy Rosary beginning from Saint Dominic ( 1170-1221) who was the "one who first introduced the term the "Holy Rosary" and who through his followers propagated this devotion.

It goes on to enumerate the military victories attributed to praying the Holy Rosary and the various others who acknowledged it as the most powerful weapon to overcome every kind of evil.

In the Thirteenth Century, when Saint Dominic prayed the Rosary the enemies and heretics were defeated.

Pope Leo, The Thirteenth in the manner of the celebrated Saint Dominic "warmly exhorts all Catholic Christians to tirelessly fulfil the pious exercise of praying the Holy Rosary either privately or publicly asking that the whole month of October be consecrated and devoted to the heavenly Queen of the Rosary".

Conclusion :

"Mother of God", the title that Pope Leo, the Thirteenth uses more frequently than any other is the oldest and most important dogmatic title of the Madonna and which was defined by the Church at the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. to be believed by all Christians.

It is the foundation of all of Mary's greatness and the beginning of Mariology itself.

It is the most ecumenical of all titles, not only because it was defined by a Council, but also because it is unique and unanimously accepted at least in principle by all Christian Groups.

Pope Leo, the Thirteenth who was not very familiar with ecumenism, shows however that he speaks prophetically even without realising it in the name of God; the Pope launches out with the Mother of God towards that unreachable horizon which is the union of all people of every time and culture who are universally and immensely loved by God.

Credits and References :

Mary in the Magisterium of the Church
By Franco Careglio
Pages 28-30
Don Bosco's Madonna, Mumbai
May 2013
Vol- 15, N0-1


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