- This article is about Roman Catholic perspectives, and does not reflect the views of other segments of the Catholic Church such as Eastern Catholics. For general Christian views, please see Mariology.
Roman Catholic Mariology is theology concerned with the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ and developed by the Roman Catholic Church. "The Blessed Virgin, because she is the Mother of God, is believed to hold a certain infinite dignity from the infinite good which is God." Theologically, Roman Catholic Mariology deals with not only her life but also with veneration of her in daily life, prayer, and Marian art, music, and architecture; in modern and ancient Christianity throughout the ages.
The development of Roman Catholic Mariology is ongoing. It continues to be shaped not only by papal encyclicals but also by the interplay of forces ranging from sensus fidelium, to the writings of the saints, to the construction of major Marian churches at the sites of Marian apparitions. In some cases, sensus fidelium has influenced Marian papal decisions, providing Mariology with a "theology of the people" component that distinguishes it from other parts of formal theology. In terms of popular following, membership in Roman Catholic Marian Movements and Societies has grown significantly in the 20th century. This has continued to be matched by support from the Holy See, with Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) stating: "It is necessary to go back to Mary, if we want to return to the truth about Jesus Christ".
|Dogmas and Doctrines|
- 1 Nature and Scope
- 2 History and development
- 3 Views of the saints
- 4 Mariology as theology of the people
- 5 20th century developments
- 6 Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix
- 7 Mother of the Church
- 8 Eastern Catholic differences
- 9 Centers for Mariological studies
- 10 Further reading
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 Notes
Nature and Scope
Mariology and Christology
In Roman Catholicism, Mariology is a logical and necessary consequence of Christology: Jesus and Mary are son and mother, redeemer and redeemed. Mariology is Christology developed to its full potential. In Catholic theology, Mary and her son Jesus are very close but not identical. Therefore, Marian teaching, while contributing to the teaching of Christ, is also a separate discipline, called Mariology. The figure of Mary contributes to a fuller understanding of who Christ is and what he did. In the Roman Catholic view, a Christology without Mary is incomplete because it is not based on the total revelation of the Bible.
Early Christians and numerous saints focused on this parallel interpretation. Popes highlighted the inner link between Marian dogmas and the full acceptance of christological dogma. The Church is the people of God as She is the Body of Christ. The Church lives in its relation to Christ. Being the Body of Christ, the Church has also a relation to his mother, which is the subject of Catholic Mariology. She is seen as the original image of the Church, or, as Vatican II states, Mother of the Church.
In his 1946 publication Compendium Mariologiae, respected Mariologist Gabriel Roschini explained that Mary did not only participate in the birth of the physical Jesus but also, with conception, she entered with him into a spiritual union. The divine salvation plan, being not only material, includes a permanent spiritual unity with Christ. Most Mariologists agree with this position. This echoed the sentiments of Pope Saint Pius X who in Ad Diem Illum stated: "there is no more direct road than by Mary for uniting all mankind in Christ"
Mariology is ongoing. It includes dogmas, traditions, confirmed and hypothetical theological positions on Mary, contemporary as well as historical. Mariology is not simply a theological field studied by a few scholars, but a devotional concept embraced by millions of Catholics who venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary. As discussed below, it differs from other parts of theology in that its progress has quite often been driven from the ground up, from the masses of believers, and at times from religious experiences of young and simple children on remote hilltops, which have then influenced the higher levels of the Holy See in Rome via sensus fidei.
Marian doctrines of the Catholic Church, including the four dogmas mentioned below, are the central part of Mariology consisting of confirmed teachings and doctrines regarding Mary's life and role, but excluding the overall perspectives, the controversies and the cultural aspects of Marian devotion. Mariology is both part of abstract doctrine and an important part of church life: Marian prayers, pilgrimages to Marian shrines; Marian devotions during the months of May and October, Marian apparitions, Marian titles, and Marian Feast days are detailed in Blessed Virgin Mary. Therefore, this article on Roman Catholic Mariology presents an overview of the major issues, developments and controversies of the ecclesiogical movement.
Marian Roman Catholic dogmas have two functions: they present infallible Church teachings about Mary and her relation to Jesus Christ, and they praise Mary and, through Mary, God's deed on Mary. All Marian dogmas teach about her divine son and highlight the divine nature of Jesus Christ.
|Name||First Magisterial Definition||Dogma content|
|Perpetual virginity||Baptismal symbols since Third Century||'Perpetual virginity of Mary', means that Mary was a virgin before, during and after giving birth|
|Mother of God||Council of Ephesus (431)||Mary is truly the mother of God, because of her unity with Christ, the Son of God|
|Immaculate Conception||Pope Pius IX (1854)||Mary, at her conception, was preserved immaculate from Original Sin|
|Assumption into heaven||Pope Pius XII (1950)||Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory|
For a discussion of a proposed fifth Marian dogma, see the section on Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix below.
History and development
The history of Mariology goes back to the first century. Early Christians focused their piety at first more upon the martyrs around them. Following that, they saw in Mary a bridge between the old and the new. In the second century, St. Irenaeus of Lyons called Mary the "second Eve", because through Mary and her willing acceptance of God's choice, God undid the harm that was done through Eve's choice to eat the forbidden fruit. The earliest recorded prayer to Mary, the sub tuum praesidium, is dated in its earliest form to around the year 250.
In the fifth century, the Third Ecumenical Council debated the question of whether Mary should be referred to as Theotokos (God-bearer) and ultimately affirmed the use of the term. Churches dedicated to Mary were constructed across the Christian world, among the most famous being Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. Teaching of the Assumption of Mary became widespread across the Christian world from the sixth century onward; the memorial day of the festival was established on the 15th of August in both the East and the West traditions.
Middle Ages to the Reformation
The Middle Ages saw growth and development for Mariology and brought major champions of Marian devotion to the fore, including Ephraim the Syrian, John Damascene and Bernard of Clairvaux. Prayers to Mary included the Ave Maria, and chants such as Ave Maris Stella and the Salve Regina emerged and became staples of monastic plainsong. Devotional practices grew in number. From the year 1000 onward more and more churches, including many of Europe's greatest cathedrals, were dedicated to Mary.
One major controversy of the age was the Immaculate Conception. Although the sinlessness of Mary had been established in the early church, the exact time and means whereby Mary became sinless became a matter for debate and dispute. Gradually the idea that Mary had been cleansed of original sin at the very moment of her conception began to predominate, particularly after Duns Scotus dealt with the major objection to Mary's sinlessness from conception, that being her need for redemption. The very divine act, in making Mary sinless at the first instant of her conception was, he argued, the most perfect form of redemption possible.
Gothic cathedrals such as Notre Dame de Paris as well as Our Lady of Chartres near Paris were major masterworks of the time. Construction of Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral in Siena, Italy and Notre-Dame Cathedral, Luxembourg increased the number of churches devoted to the Virgin Mary.
The Renaisance period witnessed a dramatic growth in Marian art. In this period significant works of Marian art by masters such as Boticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael were produced. Some Marian art was specifically produced to decorate the Marian churches built in this period.
During the Protestant Reformation, Roman Catholic Mariology was under unprecedented attack as being sacrilegious and superstitious. Protestant leaders like Martin Luther and John Calvin, while personally adhering to Marian beliefs like virgin birth and sinlessness, considered Catholic veneration of Mary as competition to the divine role of Jesus Christ.
As a reflection of this theological opposition, Protestant reformers destroyed much religious art and Marian statues and paintings in churches in northern Europe and England. Some of the Protestant reformers, in particular Andreas Karlstadt, Huldrych Zwingli and John Calvin, encouraged the removal of religious images by invoking the Decalogue's prohibition of idolatry and the manufacture of graven images of God. Major iconoclastic riots took place in Zürich (in 1523), Copenhagen (1530), Münster (1534), Geneva (1535), Augsburg (1537), and Scotland (1559). Protestant inconoclasm swept through the Seventeen Provinces (now the Netherlands and Belgium and parts of Northern France) in the summer of 1566.
Baroque to the Enlightenment
During the Reformation, the Catholic Church defended its Mariology against Protestant views. At the same time, Catholic nations participated in fighting the Ottoman Wars in Europe against Turkey, which were fought and won under the auspices of the Virgin Mary. With the victory at Battle of Lepanto (1571) accredited to her, it "signified the beginning of a strong resurgence of Marian devotions."
The baroque literature on Mary experienced unforeseen growth. More than 500 pages of mariological writings were published during the 17th century alone. The Jesuit Francisco Suárez was the first theologian to use the Thomist method on Mariology. Other well known contributors to baroque Mariology were Lawrence of Brindisi, Robert Bellarmine, and Francis of Sales.
Baroque Mariology was supported by several popes during the period: Pope Paul V and Gregory XV ruled in 1617 and 1622 that it was inadmissible to state that the Virgin was conceived non-immaculate. In 1661 Alexander VII declared that the soul of Mary was free from original sin.
In 1708 Pope Clement XI ordered the feast of the Immaculata for the whole Church. The feast of the Rosary was introduced in 1716; the feast of the Seven Sorrows in 1727. The Angelus prayer was strongly supported by Pope Benedict XIII in 1724 and by Pope Benedict XIV in 1742.
During the Age of Enlightenment, the emphasis on scientific progress and rationalism put Catholic theology and Mariology on the defensive. The Church continued to stress the virginity and special graces, but deemphasized Marian cults. Some theologians proposed the abolition of all Marian feast days altogether, except those with biblical foundations and the feast of the Assumption.
In this period, a number of significant Marian churches were built, often laden with Marian symbols. An example is Santa Maria della Salute in Venice, built to give thanks to thank the Virgin Mary for the city's deliverance from the plague. The church is full of Marian symbolism: the great dome represents her crown, and the eight sides, the eight points on her symbolic star.
Many Benedictines such as Celestino Sfondrati (died 1696) and Jesuits, supported by pious faithful and their Marian sodalities fought against the anti-Marian trends. Increasing secularization led to the forced closing of most monasteries and convents, and Marian pilgrimages were either discontinued or greatly reduced in number. Some Catholics criticized the practice of the rosary as not Jesus-oriented and too mechanical, although it was a practice that women especially followed. In some places, priests forbade the praying of the rosary during Holy Mass.
During this time, Mariologists looked to "The Glories of Mary" and other mariological writings of Alphonsus Liguori, an Italian, whose culture was less affected by the Enlightenment. "Overall, Catholic Mariology during the Enlightenment lost its the high level of development and sophistication, but the basics were kept, on which the 19th century was able to build."
Mariology in the 19th century was dominated by discussions about the Immaculate Conception and the First Vatican Council. In 1854 Pope Pius IX, with the support of the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholic Bishops, whom he had consulted between 1851–1853, proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which had been a traditional belief among the faithful for centuries.
Eight years earlier, in 1846, the Pope had granted the unanimous wish of the bishops from the United States, and declared the Immaculata the patron of the USA. During the First Vatican Council, some 108 council fathers requested adding the words "Immaculate Virgin" to the "Hail Mary" prayer. Some fathers requested the dogma of the Immaculate Conception to be included in the Creed of the Church.
Many French Catholics supported making dogma both Papal infallibility and the assumption of Mary in the forthcoming ecumenical council. During Vatican One, nine mariological petitions favored a possible assumption dogma. It was strongly opposed by some council fathers, especially those from Germany. On May 8, a majority of the fathers voted to reject making the Assumption a dogma, a position shared by Pope Pius IX. The concept of Co-Redemptrix was also discussed but left open. In its support, Council fathers highlighted the divine motherhood of Mary and called her the mother of all graces.
Rosary Pope Leo XIII is a title given to Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903) because he issued a record eleven encyclicals on the rosary, instituted the Catholic custom of daily rosary prayer during the month of October, and in 1883 created the Feast of Queen of the Holy Rosary.
Views of the saints
Roman Catholic Mariology has relied on the writings of numerous saints throughout history who have attested to the central role of Mary in God's plan of salvation. Saints with Mariological orientation include Irenaeus of Lyons, Ambrose of Milan, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Thomas Aquinas, St. John of Damascus, St. Bonaventure, St. Louis de Montfort, and others. In some cases the writings of saints such as Louis de Montfort significantly influenced young seminarians who later became popes, such as Pope John Paul II.
Saint Irenaeus of Lyons (circa 140-202) was perhaps the earliest of the Church Fathers to develop a thorough Mariology. In his youth he had met Polycarp and other Christians who had been in direct contact with the Apostles. Irenaeus set out a forthright account of Mary's role in the "economy of salvation". According to Irenaeus, Christ, being born out of the Virgin Mary, created a totally new historical situation. This view later influenced Ambrose of Milan and Tertullian, who wrote about the virgin birth of the Mother of God. He believed that the donor of a new birth had also to be born in a totally new way. The "new birth" meant that what was lost through a woman (Eve), was now saved by a woman (Mary).
Saint Ambrose of Milan (339-397) was an early Church Father whose powerful Mariology influenced contemporary Popes such as Pope Damasus and Siricius and later, Pope Leo the Great. His student Augustine and the Council of Ephesus were equally under his spell. Ambrose considered the virginity of Mary and her role as Mother of God to be central Christian ideas.
- "Thus she, through whom salvation was being prepared for all people, would be the first to receive the promised fruit of salvation."
St. Augustine (354-430) did not develop an independent Mariology, but his statements on Mary surpassed in number and depths those of other early writers. He wrote that the Virgin Mary was "conceived as virgin, gave birth as virgin and stayed virgin forever." Even before the Council of Ephesus, Augustine defended the ever Virgin Mary as the mother of God, who, because of her virginity, is full of grace. She was free of any temporal sin, but theologians disagreed as to whether Augustine considered Mary free of original sin as well, with Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventura, Hugo Rahner arguing against Henry Newman and others. Augustine concluded that because of a woman, the whole human race was saved.
The Patriarch Cyril of Alexandria (412-444) became famous in Church history because of his spirited fight to give Mary the title "Mother of God" during the Council of Ephesus (431). His writings included the homily given in Ephesus and several other sermons. Some scholars dispute his authorship of certain homilies attributed to him. In several writings, Cyril focused on the love of Jesus for his mother. At the Marriage at Cana, he bowed to her wishes. On the Cross, he overcame his pain and thought of his mother. The overwhelming merit of Cyril of Alexandria was his development of the centre of dogmatic Mariology. Through his teaching of the blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother of God, he created the basis for later Mariological developments.
Many early Mariological concepts developed in the Eastern Church. From the West, Pope Damasus I and others defended Mary against Monophysitism, the teaching that Christ had only a divine nature. Accordingly, Mary is only the Mother of God, not the mother of the human Jesus. Pope Leo the Great defended the teaching that Christ has two natures, one divine and one human.
To Pope Leo the Great, Mariology was determined by Christology. If Christ would be divine only, everything on him would be divine. His eating would be symbolism. Only his divinity would have been crucified, buried and resurrected. Mary would be only the mother of God, and Christians would have no hope for their own resurrection. The nucleus of Christianity would be destroyed. He asked for the veneration of the Virgin Mary both at the manger and at the throne of the heavenly Father. The most unusual beginning of a truly human life through her was to give birth to Jesus, the Lord and Son of King David.
Saints since the Middle Ages
In his encyclical Doctor Mellifluus on Saint Bernhard of Clairvaux, Pope Pius XII quoted three central elements of Berhard's Mariology: How he explained the virginity of Mary, the "Star of the Sea"; how the faithful should pray on the Virgin Mary; and, how Bernhard relied on the Virgin Mary as mediatrix.
- "... the Virgin bring forth her Child without injury to her integrity. And as the ray does not diminish the rightness of the star, so neither did the Child born of her tarnish the beauty of Mary's virginity."
- "In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name leave thy lips, never suffer it to leave your heart."
Theologically, Bernhard of Clairvaux, a Doctor of the Church, was a fervent supporter of the Mediatrix interpretation of Mary. God and the World meet in her. Divine life flows through her to the whole creation. She is one with Jesus, who wants to save all and who passes all graces through her. She is the Mediatrix to God, the ladder on which sinners may climb up to him, the royal road to him, because she is full of grace.
- "It is the will of God that we should have nothing, which has not passed through the hands of Mary. It is the will of God, Who would have us obtain everything through the hands of Mary."
Saint Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787), a Doctor of the Church, was an effective defender of Mariology against the ideas of Jansenism. He wrote The Glories of Mary to present a basis for Mariology, derived from Scripture and the works of the Church Fathers. He greatly influenced Catholic Mariology during the Enlightenment period. His Marian enthusiasm contrasted with what some believers considered the colder rationalism of the Enlightenment. Mainly pastoral in nature, his Mariology rediscovered, integrated and defended the Mariology of Augustine, Ambrose and other fathers. It represented an intellectual defence of Mariology in the eighteenth century.
Saint Louis de Montfort's highly influential True Devotion to Mary synthesized many of the earlier saints' writings and teachings on Mary. De Montfort's approach of "total consecration to Jesus Christ through Mary" had a strong impact on Marian devotion both in popular piety and in the spirituality of religious orders. One of his well-known followers was Pope John Paul II of the 20th century. According to his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, the pontiff's personal motto Totus Tuus (Totally yours) was inspired by St. Louis' doctrine on the excellence of Marian devotion and total consecration. He quoted:
- "Since Mary is of all creatures the one most conformed to Jesus Christ, it follows that among all devotions that which most consecrates and conforms a soul to our Lord is devotion to Mary, his Holy Mother, and that the more a soul is consecrated to her the more will it be consecrated to Jesus Christ.'"
In an address to the Montfortian Fathers, the pontiff also said that his reading the saint's work The True Devotion to Mary was a "decisive turning point" in his life.
Mariology as theology of the people
Unlike Roman Catholic theology which originates from the upper levels of the Church in the writings of scholars and theologians, Mariology has often developed from the ground up by the tens of millions of Catholics with a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin. In several crucial cases, these devotions have not been started with decrees issued in Rome, but by religious experiences (and visions) of simple and modest individuals (in many cases children). Their recounting of their experiences in time created strong emotions among numerous Roman Catholics, who independently adopted practices and devotions. Their faith and beliefs influenced priests and the higher levels of the Roman Catholic hierarchy.
A good example is the case of Saint Juan Diego. As a young man in 1531, he reported an early morning vision of the Virgin Mary in which he was instructed to build an abbey on the Hill of Tepeyac in Mexico. The local prelate did not believe his account and asked for a miraculous sign. This was provided by an icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe permanently imprinted on the saint's cloak where he had gathered roses.
By all accounts, Juan Diego did not receive a lot of attention in Rome during the 1530s, since the Church was busy with the challenges of the Protestant Reformation of 1521 to 1579. Yet, Juan Diego's reported vision of the Virgin Mary was considered instrumental in the attraction of almost 8 million people to the ranks of Catholics in the Americas between 1532 and 1538. With tens of millions of followers, Juan Diego impacted Mariology in the Americas and beyond, and was eventually declared venerable in 1987.
The spread of Marian devotions such as the Holy Rosary via lay Catholic organizations has also influenced Mariology. The 20th century witnessed significant growth in the number of volunteer-based lay Marian devotional organizations, such as free rosary distribution groups. An example is Our Lady's Rosary Makers, which was formed with a $25 donation for a typewriter in 1949. It now has thousands of volunteers who have distributed hundreds of millions of free rosaries to Catholic missions worldwide. The growth of Marian devotions builds sensus fidelium, which in time influences the direction of Mariology as a whole.
Influence of visions
Saint Juan Diego was not the only young person to report an early morning vision on a hilltop where a Lady appears and asks for a Church to be built on that hill. In 1858 Saint Bernadette Soubirous's reported vision of Our Lady of Lourdes was similar. Both saints reported a miraculous Lady on a hill who asked them to request that the local priests build a chapel at the site of the vision. Both visions included a reference to roses. Large churches were built at the sites: Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, and Our Lady of Lourdes in France.
A simple, 14 year old peasant girl of no significant education, Bernadette Soubirous reported her vision of a woman in white, who said, Que soy L’Immaculado concepciou, I am the Immaculate Conception and asked that a church be built there. At first ridiculed, questioned, and belittled by Church officials and other contemporaries, Bernadette firmly but modestly insisted on her vision. Eventually the Church believed her and she was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1933. In time, many churches were built on that hilltop (one of them, the Basilica of St. Pius X can accommodate 25,000 people). Lourdes is now a major Marian pilgrimage site. Within France, only Paris has more hotels than Lourdes.
Three Portuguese children, Lucia dos Santos, Jacinta Marto and Francisco Marto, were equally young and without much education when they reported the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917. The local administrator initially jailed the children and threatened that he would boil them one by one in a pot of oil. The children were consoled by the other inmates in the jail, and then led the inmates in praying the Rosary. 
With millions of followers and Roman Catholic believers, the reported visions at Fatima gathered respect. After a canonical enquiry, the visions of Fatima were officially declared "worthy of belief" in October 1930 by the Bishop of Leiria-Fatima. Popes Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II voiced their acceptance of the supernatural origin of the Fatima events. John Paul II credited Our Lady of Fatima with saving his life following an assassination attempt on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, 1981. He donated the bullet that wounded him to the Roman Catholic sanctuary at Fatima, Portugal.
Mariologists refer to Saint Marguerite Marie Alacoque, as "living proof how Marian devotion is linked to 'Christology'" and the adoration of Jesus Christ. She made a vow at age 14 to dedicate her life to the Virgin Mary. As a simple Marian nun, she was subjected to many trials to prove the genuineness of her vocation and her visions of Jesus and Mary relating to the Sacred Heart. She was initially rebuffed by her mother superior and was unable to convince theologians of the validity of her visions. A noted exception was Saint Claude de la Colombière, who supported her. The devotion to the Sacred Heart was officially recognized 75 years after Alacoque's death. In his encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor, Pope Pius XI stated that Jesus Christ had "manifested Himself" to Saint Margaret and referred to the conversation between Jesus and Saint Margaret several times.
Mariette Beco was twelve years old when she reported Marian apparitions in 1933 in Banneux, Belgium. In this case, the Lady in White reportedly declared she was the Virgin of the Poor and said: "Believe in me and I will believe in you." In 1942, the Holy See permitted the local bishop to allow the veneration of the Virgin of the Poor.
Impact on the Catholic Church
While these and many other persons all faced problems for an initial period, the Church, with some delay, listened to the Mariological faith, as an official Vatican website admitted in 2004. Thus, "The dogma of the Immaculate Conception was defined by Pius IX not so much because of proofs in Scripture or ancient tradition, but due to a profound sensus fidelium, a century-old sense of the faithful, and the Magisterium". The Vatican quotes in this context Fulgens Corona, where Pius XII supported such a faith:
- If the popular praises "of the Blessed Virgin Mary be given the careful consideration they deserve, who will dare to doubt that she, who was purer than the angels and at all times pure, was at any moment, even for the briefest instant, not free from every stain of sin?"
In several Marian teachings such as the Immaculate Conception, the "theology of the people", the profound and century-old sense of the faithful took precedence over academic theology. Identical arguments were made for the dogma of the Assumption by Pope Pius XII. To some non-Catholics and even to some theologically oriented Catholics, like Karl Rahner, this sensus fidei has some problems.
Nevertheless, popular Mariology has been a major driving force in the past 150 years. It led to the two infallible, ex cathedra dogmas: Immaculate Conception (1854) and Assumption (1950). Since the 1870 solemn declaration of Papal Infallibility by Vatican I, the 1950 declaration by Pius XII has been the first and only ex cathedra use of papal infallibility.
20th century developments
Mariology in the 20th century was dominated by a genuine Marian enthusiasm. Fifteen hundred years after the Council of Ephesus, Pope Pius XI issued the encyclical Lux Veritatis, reminding the Orthodox Christians of their common faith. He presided over a Mariological congress in 1931. During the 20th century, Pope Pius XII issued the Dogma of the Assumption and the Second Vatican Council declared Mary to be the Mother of the Church.
Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He prescribed this Feast for the whole Church in 1944. In 1950 Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary as being an article of faith for Roman Catholics. This was the first (and to date only) ex cathedra exercise of papal infallibility since Vatican I. In 1950 and in 1958 he authorized institutions for increased academic research into the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary (see below).
In 1953, Pope Pius ordered a Marian year for 1954, the first in Church history. The year was filled with Marian initiatives, in the areas of Mariology, cultural events, charity and social gatherings. In his encyclical Fulgens Corona and Ad Caeli Reginam, Pius presented a synthesis of the Mariology of the Church and warned against excesses and timid under-representation of the Catholic faith. In 1953, Pope Pius introduced the feast Queenship of Mary. In several encyclicals and apostolic letters to the people of Poland and other countries behind the Iron Curtain, he expressed certainty that the Blessed Virgin Mary would triumph over her enemies. Pope Pius canonized several persons who demonstrated strong Marian faith and spirituality, and, sometimes visions, such as Louis de Montfort, Peter Chanel, Jeanne de Lestonnac, Pope Pius X, Catherine Labouré, Anthony Mary Claret, and Gemma Galgani.
Second Vatican Council
Vatican Two (1962-1965) issued a pastoral summary of Catholic doctrine on Mary, in Lumen Gentium. Mariologists had hoped for a dogma on Mary as Mediatrix, the foundations of which were laid by several popes, especially Leo XIII, Pius X, Benedict XV, and Pius XII. It was considered a "clear case". The preparations for the council included an independent schema "About the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God and Mother of the People." Some observers interpreted the renunciation of this document on Mary as minimalism; others interpreted her inclusion as a chapter into the Church document as underlining her role for the Church.
The Marian chapter has five parts which link Mary to the salvation mysteries. These continue in the Church, which Christ founded as his mystical body. Her role in relation to her son is a subordinated one. Highlighted are her personality and fullness of grace. The second part describes her role in salvation history. Her role as a mediator is detailed, as Mary is considered to secure to our salvation through her many intercessions after her assumption into heaven. The Council refused to adopt the title "mediator of all graces" and defined her simply as mediator.
Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix
The mariological concepts Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix are distinct from each other. They have not been dogmatically defined by the Church, but popular and ecclesiastical support for them has continued to grow in recent years. They have been referred to in papal encyclicals, and supported by various theologians, from the 19th century Father Frederick William Faber's book The Sorrows of Mary, to the highly respected 20th century mariologist (and advisor to the Holy Office) Father Gabriel Roschini. At Vatican II, Italian, Spanish and Polish bishops worked to define the dogma of these concepts, but others were not prepared to deal with the issues. Some resistance to them continues within Vatican circles.
In the early 1990s, the faithful gathered more than six million signatures from 148 countries, including those of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Cardinal John O'Connor of New York, and 41 other cardinals and 550 bishops, supporting a petition that urged Pope John Paul II to use Papal infallibility to declare Mary as Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix. On February 8, 2008 five Roman Catholic Cardinals issued a petition asking Pope Benedict XVI to declare dogmatically the Blessed Virgin Mary as both Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix. A lay movement called Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici (Voice of the People for Mary Mediatrix) provides petitions that can be signed by Roman Catholics at large and sent to the Pope in support of a formal dogmatic definition.
The concept Mediatrix has two meanings: Mary gave birth to the Redeemer, who is the fountain of all grace. Therefore she participated in the mediating of grace. Secondly, since Mary was assumed into heaven, she participates in the mediating of divine graces of her Son. Popes such as Leo XIII through Pius XII have traditionally supported both interpretations.
Saint Thomas Aquinas argued that only Christ can be the perfect mediator between God and mankind. He went on to say that others were called mediator because they assist and prepare the union between God and man. There is no question among Catholic theologians, that Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and the human race. (Tim. 2,5). This does not exclude a participation of Mary in the mediator mystery of her son.
In the 19th century, Mediatrix appears in the papal bull Ineffabilis Deus of Pope Pius IX and in several rosary encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII,. Pope Pius X used it in the encyclical Ad Diem Illum, and Pope Benedict XV introduced it in his new Marian feast day Mary Mediatrix of all graces established in 1921. Popes traditionally use encyclicals and feast days to promote Christian teaching. The Feast Day of Mary Mediatrix of all graces is viewed as a clear sign that Pope Benedict intended to promote the Marian role of mediatrix.
- Thus there is a mediation: Mary places herself between her Son and mankind in the reality of their wants, needs and sufferings. She puts herself "in the middle", that is to say she acts as a mediatrix not as an outsider, but in her position as mother. She knows that as such she can point out to her Son the needs of mankind, and in fact, she "has the right" to do so. Her mediation is thus in the nature of intercession: Mary "intercedes" for mankind.
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The concept of Co-Redemptrix refers to the important participation by Mary in the redemption process, although it is indirect or unequal to that of Christ. She gave free consent to give life to the Redeemer, to share his life, to suffer with him under the Cross and to sacrifice him for the sake of the redemption of mankind.
The concept of Co-redemption is of longstanding in Catholic tradition and thought. Church Father Irenaeus (d. 200) referred to Mary as causa salutis [cause of our salvation] given her fiat. It is a teaching which has been considered since the 15th century but never declared a dogma. The Roman Catholic view of Co-Redemptrix does not imply that Mary participates as equal part in the redemption of the human race, since Christ is the only redeemer. Mary needed redemption, which she received from Jesus Christ her son. Having been redeemed by Christ, she cannot be his equal part in the redemption process.
During the pontificate of Pope Pius X, papal teaching began to mention this aspect in official Church documents. Saint Pius stated in his encyclical Ad Diem Illum: "We are then, it will be seen, very far from attributing to the Mother of God a productive power of grace - a power which belongs to God alone. Yet, since Mary carries it over all in holiness and union with Jesus Christ, and has been associated by Jesus Christ in the work of redemption, she merits for us de congruo, in the language of theologians, what Jesus Christ merits for us de condigno, and she is the supreme Minister of the distribution of graces." Theologians disagree as to whether the Pontiff refers here to the concept of Mary as Co-Redemptrix or as Mediatrix of all graces.
Pope Benedict XV first described the term in his Apostolic Letter, Inter Soldalica, issued March 22, 1918. "As the Blessed Virgin Mary does not seem to participate in the public life of Jesus Christ, and then, suddenly appears at the stations of his cross, she is not there without divine intention. She suffers with her suffering and dying son, almost as if she would have died herself. For the salvation of mankind, she gave up her rights as the mother of her son and sacrificed him for the reconciliation of divine justice, as far as she was permitted to do. Therefore, one can say, she redeemed with Christ the human race."
Pope Pius XII repeated this argument with different accents in his encyclical Mystici Corporis (1943): "It was she, the second Eve, who, free from all sin, original or personal, and always more intimately united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father for all the children of Adam, sin-stained by his unhappy fall, and her mother's rights and her mother's love were included." In the Papal bull Munificentissimus Deus on the dogma of the Assumption, Pope Pius declares "the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination, immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, as the noble associate of the divine Redeemer."
Some prominent Mariologists openly express the opinion, that in the justified search for unity among Christians, Marian beliefs and devotions may be understated by some representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, starting with the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium. Cardinal Leo Scheffczyk said about the Marian chapter: "the coldness and reserve of this document can be explained, as it is openly admitted, in showing consideration for the ecumenical dialogues especially with Protestants. The success of this justifiable method, should not be overrated. And it does not stop theology, to say more." He disagreed with those who considered the document as not satisfying conservatives, liberals, Orthodox and Protestants. He stated the document contained visible elements for a Mariological bridging of positions, a bridging, which he concluded had so far not succeeded. According to the cardinal, "The decisive basic statements (on Mary) are compromises, which narrow the richness of the existing faith and invite diverging interpretations, such as the accusation, the Council eliminated the Mediatrix teachings."
Mother of the Church
|Roman Catholic Mariology|
A series of articles on
Alma Redemptoris Mater
At the beginning of Vatican II, Pope John XXIII changed the original title of a proposed council schema "About the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the People" to "About the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church". Some Council fathers opposed the new title, considering it too innovative. As the Council refused to discuss the Marian document and title, Pope Paul VI independently pronounced it at the closing of the third phase of the council. As former archbishop of Milan, he knew that his famous predecessor, Saint Ambrose of Milan (338 – 397), had used identical language, calling Mary Model of the Church in light of her faith, love and complete unity with Christ, and Mother of the Church because she gave birth to Christ.
Pope John Paul II
Pope Paul VI at the Second Vatican Council proclaimed the ancient title Mother of the Church. In 1987, Pope John Paul II repeated this title Mother of the Church in his encyclical Redemptoris Mater and at a general audience on September 17, 1997. The encyclical is a long and eloquent summary of modern Mariology, making some novel points: According to John Paul, the Mother of the Redeemer, has a precise place in the plan of salvation:
- The Church teaches that Mary appeared on the horizon of salvation history before Christ.
- If the greeting and the name "full of grace" say all this, in the context of the angel's announcement they refer first of all to the election of Mary as Mother of the Son of God. But at the same time the "fullness of grace" indicates all the supernatural munificence from which Mary benefits by being chosen and destined to be the Mother of Christ. If this election is fundamental for the accomplishment of God's salvific designs for humanity, and if the eternal choice in Christ and the vocation to the dignity of adopted children is the destiny of everyone, then the election of Mary is wholly exceptional and unique. Hence also the singularity and uniqueness of her place in the mystery of Christ.
- It is precisely in this ecclesial journey or pilgrimage through space and time, and even more through the history of souls, that Mary is present, as the one who is "blessed because she believed," as the one who advanced on the pilgrimage of faith, sharing unlike any other creature in the mystery of Christ.
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI addresses the issue, why Mariology is related to ecclesiology. On first sight, he argues, it may seem accidental, that the Council moved Mariology into ecclesiology. This relation helps to understand what "Church" really is. The theologian Hugo Rahner showed that Mariology was originally ecclesiology. The Church is like Mary.
The Church is virgin and mother, she is immaculate and carries the burdens of history. She suffers and she is assumed into heaven. Slowly she learnes, that Mary is her mirror, that she is a person in Mary. Mary on the other hand is not an isolated individual, who rests in herself. She is carrying the mystery of the Church.
Pope Benedict XVI lamented that this unity of Church and Mary was overshadowed in later centuries, which overburdened Mary with privileges and removed her into a far away distance. Both Mariology and ecclesiology suffered under this. A Marian view of the Church and an ecclesiological view of Mary in salvation history lead directly to Christ. It brings to light what is meant by holiness and by God being human.
Eastern Catholic differences
While Eastern Catholics respect papal authority, and largely hold the same theological beliefs as Roman Catholics, Eastern theology differs on specific Marian beliefs. Furtheremore, much of the literature and publications on Mariology, and centers for its study have been related to the Church of Rome.
Assumption of Mary
The traditional Eastern expression of this doctrine is the Dormition of the Theotokos which emphasises her falling asleep to be later assumed into heaven. The differences in these observances is for some Eastern Catholics superficial. However, many Roman Catholics object to this doctrine.
The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is a teaching of Eastern origin but expressed in the terminology of the Western Church. Original Sin as defined by St. Augustine of Hippo is a Western concept, so its absence is not an Easern expression. However, Eastern Catholics recognized from ancient times that Mary was preserved by God from sin. Eastern Catholics while not observing the Western feast, have no difficulty affirming it or even dedicating their churches to the Virgin Mary under this title.
Centers for Mariological studies
The formal study of Mariology within the circles associated with the Holy See took a major step forward between the Holy Year 1950 and 1958 based on the actions of Pope Pius XII, who authorized institutions for increased academic research into the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
- Pontifical Marian International Academy The PAMI is an international pontifical organization connecting all Promoters of Mariology, Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants and Muslim. John XXIII with the Apostolic Letter Maiora in Dies defined the purpose of the PAMI: to promote and animate studies of Mariology through International Mariological Marian Congresses and other academic meetings and to see to the publication of their studies. The PAMI has the task of coordinating the other Marian Academies and Societies that exist all over the world and to exercise vigilance against any Marian excess or minimalism. For this reason the Pope determined that in the Academy there be a Council that assures the organization of Congresses and the coordination of the Mariological Societies, Promoters and Teachers of Mariology.
- Academia Mariana Salesiana - He granted the foundation of the Academia Mariana Salesiana, which is a part of a papal university. The Academy supports Salesian studies to further the veneration of the Blessed Virgin in the tradition of Saint John Bosco.
- Centro Mariano Montfortano- Also in 1950, the Centro Mariano Montfortano was moved from Bergamo to Rome. The Centro promulgates the teachings of Saint Louis de Montfort, who was earlier canonized by Pius XII. It publishes the monthly Madre e Regina, which promulgates the Marian orientation of Montfort.
- Marianum was created in 1950 and entrusted to the Order of Servites. It is authorized to grant all academic degrees, including a doctorate in theology. Since 1976, every two years the Marianum organizes international conferences to find modern formulations which approximate the mystery of Mary.
- Collegamento Mariano Nazionale (1958)- the last Marian initiative of Pope Pius XII. It coordinates activities of Marian centres in Italy, and organizes Marian pilgrimages and Marian study weeks for priests. In addition it started Marian youth gatherings and publishes the journal Madonna.
Of these organizations, the Marianum is the most active marilogical centre in Rome. This Pontifical Catholic institute was founded by Father Gabriel Roschini (who directed it for several years) under the direction of Pope Pius XII in 1950. At the Marianum, one can get a Master's degree in Mariology (2-year academic program) and one can also get a doctorate in Mariology. This mariological facility has a library with more than 85,000 volumes on Mariology and a number of magazines and journals of theological and Mariological concern. Marianum is also the name of the prestigious journal of Marian theology, founded by Father Roschini in 1939.
In 1975, the University of Dayton in Ohio formed the International Marian Research Institute in affiliation with the Marianum to offer a doctorate in sacred theology (S.T.D.) and a licentiate in sacred theology (S.T.L.).
- Mark Miravalle, 1993, Introduction to Mary, Queenship Publishing ISBN 9781882972067
- Raymond Burke, 2008, Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, seminarians, and Consecrated Persons ISBN 1579183557
- Jenny Schroede, 2006, The Everything Mary Book ISBN 1593377134
- Msgr Joseph Pohle, 2009, Mariology Bibiolife ISBN 1110507682
- Paul Haffner, 2004, The mystery of Mary Gracewing Press ISBN 0852446500
- Mariology of the popes
- Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission
- Anglican Marian theology
- Islamic view of Virgin Mary
- Acts of Reparation to the Virgin Mary
- Protestant views of Mary
- Saint Louis de Montfort True Devotion to Mary ISBN 1593304706, also available as online text 
- Luigi Gambero, 1999, Mary and the Fathers of the Church, Ignatius Press ISBN 0898706866
- Michael Schmaus, Mariologie, Katholische Dogmatik, München Vol V, 1955
- K Algermissen, Boes, Egelhard, Feckes, Michael Schmaus, Lexikon der Marienkunde, Verlag Friedrich Pustet, Regensburg, 1967
- Remigius Bäumer, Leo Scheffczyk (Hrsg.) Marienlexikon Gesamtausgabe, Institutum Marianum Regensburg, 1994, ISBN 3-88096-891-8 (cit. Bäumer)
- Stefano De Fiores, (Marianum) Maria, sintesi di valori. Storia culturale di mariologia. Cinisello Balsamo 2005;
- Stefano de Fiores, (Marianum), Maria. Nuovissimo dizionario. 2 Vols. Bologna 2006;
- Mariology Society of America 
- Acta Apostolicae Sedis, referenced as AAS by year.
- Pope Pius IX, Apostolic Constitution
- Pope Pius XII, encyclicals and bulls
- Pope John Paul II, encyclical, apostolic letters and addresses
- Jenny Schroede, 2006 The Everything Mary Book ISBN 1593377134 page 219
- (Cf. Summa Theologiae, I, Q, 25, Art 6 as 4um).
- Msgr Joseph Pohle, 2009, Mariology Bibiolife ISBN 1110507682 page 3
- Raymond Burke, 2008 Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, seminarians, and Consecrated Persons ISBN 1579183557 page xxi
- At the center of this mystery, in the midst of this wonderment of faith, stands Mary. As the loving Mother of the Redeemer, she was the first to experience it: "To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator"! Pope John Paul II, in Redemptoris Mater, 51
- See Pius XII Mystici corporis Christi; John Henry Newman: Mariology is always christocentric, in Michael Testa, Mary: The Virgin Mary in the Life and Writings of John Henry Newman 2001; "Mariology Is Christology", in Vittorio Messori, The Mary Hypothesis, Rome: 2005
- Paul Haffner, 2004 The mystery of Mary Gracewing Press ISBN 0852446500 page 17
- Mystici Corporis , Lumen Gentium and Redemptoris Mater provide a modern Catholic understanding of this link.
- see Pius XII, Mystici corporis, also John Paul II in Redemptoris Mater: The Second Vatican Council, by presenting Mary in the mystery of Christ, also finds the path to a deeper understanding of the mystery of the Church. Mary, as the Mother of Christ, is in a particular way united with the Church, "which the Lord established as his own body."11 It is significant that the conciliar text places this truth about the Church as the Body of Christ (according to the teaching of the Pauline Letters) in close proximity to the truth that the Son of God "through the power of the Holy Spirit was born of the Virgin Mary." The reality of the Incarnation finds an extension in the mystery of the Church-the Body of Christ. And one cannot think of the reality of the Incarnation without referring to Mary, the Mother of the Incarnate Word. Redemptoris Mater 44
- "If we look at the Church, we have to have to consider the miraculous deeds which God performed with his mother." (Paul VI, Vatican II, November 21, 1964)
- Schmaus, Mariologie, München: 1955, 328
- Pope Saint Pius X, in Ad Diem Illum, section 5, 1904
- Mark Miravalle, 1993, Introduction to Mary, Queenship Publishing ISBN 9781882972067 page 51
- Schmaus, Mariologie, 174
- Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Cork, Ireland: Mercier Press Ltd., 1955
- Otto Stegmüller, Barock, in Marienkunde, 1967 566
- A Roskovany, conceptu immacolata ex monumentis omnium seculrorum demonstrate III, Budapest: 1873
- F Zöpfl, "Barocke Frömmigkeit", in Marienkunde, 577
- RG Giessler, die geistliche Lieddichting im Zeitalter der Aufklärung. 1928, 987
- Benedict Werkmeister, 1801
- such as Anton Weissenbach SJ, Franz Neubauer SJ,
- D Narr 417
- In 1790, monastery schools outlawed the praying of the rosary during mass as a distraction. (D Narr 417).
- Otto Stegmüller, 1967
- Vatican website </ref
- Pius IX in Bäumer, 245
- and to add the Immaculata to the Litany of Loreto.
- Bauer 566
- Civilta Catolica, February 6, 1869.
- Bäumer 566
- Lauretanische Litanei, Marienlexikon, St. Ottilien: Eos, 1988, p.41
- Irenaeus of Lyons, Adversus haereses 3:22
- Irenaeus, Book V, 19,3
- Tertullian, De Carne Christi 17
- Ambrose of Milan, CSEL 64, 139
- Ambrose of Milan, De Mysteriis, 59, PG 16, 410
- Ambrose of Milan, De Spiritu Sancto, III, 11,79-80
- Ambrose of Milan, Expositio in Lucam 2, 17; PL 15, 1640
- O Stegmüller, in Marienkunde, 455
- De Saca virginitate, 18
- De Sacra Virginitate, 6,6, 191.
- "Per feminam mors, per feminam vita", De Sacra Virginitate,289
- PG 76,992 , Adv. Nolentes confiteri Sanctam Virginem esse Deiparem, pp.76, 259
- Acta conciliorum Oecumenicorum, Vol.II,2,1,Nr.5 PL 54
- PL 54, 221, C 226
- Sermons, 9,PL54, 227,CF,and 205 BC
- Berhard of Clairvaux quoted in Doctor Mellifluus 31
- "Hom. II super 'Missus est'," 17; Migne, P. L., CLXXXIII, 70-b, c, d, 71-a. Quoted in Doctor Mellifluus 31
- PL 138, 441
- PL 183, 43
- Bernhard of Clairvaux, "Sermon", in Nat. Mariae, 7; Migne, P. L., CLXXXIII, 441-b. Pius XII, Doctor Mellifluus 30
- P Hitz, Alfons v. Liguori, in Marienkunde, 1967 130
- R Lauretin, Lourdes, Dossier des documents authentiques, Paris: 1957
- John De Marchi, The Immaculate Heart, New York: Farrar, Straus and Young
- "In virtue of considerations made known, and others which for reason of brevity we omit; humbly invoking the Divine Spirit and placing ourselves under the protection of the most Holy Virgin, and after hearing the opinions of our Rev. Advisors in this diocese, we hereby: 1) Declare worthy of belief, the visions of the shepherd children in the Cova da Iria, parish of Fatima, in this diocese, from 13 May to 13 October 1917. 2) Permit officially the cult of Our Lady of Fatima.1 ", Bishope of Lire-Fatima, October 13, 1930.
- J.M.Böhr, Marguerite Marie Alacoque, Regensburg, p. 101
- Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3)
- Miserentissimus Redemptor, Encyclical of Pope Pius XI http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_08051928_miserentissimus-redemptor_en.html
- van Houtryve, La Vierge des Pauvres, Banneux, 1947
- Agenzia Fides - Congregazione per l'Evangelizzazione dei Popoli
- Fulgens Corona, 10
- Schmaus Mariologie, 220-247
- Karl Rahner, Das neue Dogma, 1951, Hans Küng, 2008
- Bäumer 534
- October 31, 1942
- add encyclicals
- Leo Cardinal Scheffczyk, Vaticanum II, in Marienlexikon, 567
- Leo Cardinal Scheffczyk, Vaticanum II, in Marienlexikon, 569
- Gabriel Roschini, Compendium Mariologiae, Roma 1946.
- Vatican News on the Mediatrix Petition to the Pope http://www.zenit.org/article-21743?l=english
- EWTN article on Vox Popoli http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/MEDIATRI.HTM
- Vox Populi website http://www.voxpopuli.org
- This will be expanded with several quotes and sources
- Thomas Aquinas, Summa, III, 26,1
- Adjutricem, September 5, 1895 and Fidentem Piumque, September 20, 1896
- celebrated May 31
- Pope John Paul II's encyclical Redemptoris Mater http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031987_redemptoris-mater_en.html
- Mark Miravalle, 1993 "With Jesus": the story of Mary Co-redemptrix ISBN 1579182410 page 11
- Ott 256
- 1Tim 2,5
- Ott, Dogmatics, 256
- Ott, 256.
- Ad diem Illum, 14
- AAS, 1918, 181
- Mystici Corporis, 110
- Munificentissimus Deus 40
- Leo Cardinal Scheffczyk, "Vaticanum II", in Marienlexikon, 571
- Leo Cardinal Scheffczyk, "Vaticanum II", in Marienlexikon, 571
- Leo Cardinal Scheffczyk, "Vaticanum II", in Marienlexikon,570
- Leo Cardinal Scheffczyk, Vaticanum II, in Marienlexikon 568
- Leo Cardinal Scheffczyk, "Vaticanum II", in Marienlexikon 568
- Ambrose of Milan, De inst. Virg 98, PL 16, 328 and IV, 3,4,PL17,876
- Blessed Virgin Is Mother Of The Church
- Redemptoris Mater, 3
- Redemptoris Mater 9
- Redemptoris Mater 25
- Joseph Kardinal Ratzinger: Weggemeinschaft des Glaubens. Kirche als Communio. Festgabe zum 75. Geburtstag, hg. vom Schülerkreis, Augsburg 2002)
- http://www.east2west.org/doctrine.htm#dormition Comparison of the Assumption and the Dormition of Mary
- http://www.east2west.org/doctrine.htm#IC Explanation of the Immaculate Conception from an Easern Catholic perspective
- http://www.assumptioncatholicchurch.net/ Many Eastern Catholic churches bear the titles of Latin Rite doctrines such as the Assumption of Mary.
- Bäumer, Marienlexikon, 534
- Bäumer, Marienlexikon, 535
- at Viale 30 Aprile- 6, 00153, Rome
- University of Dayton Marian Institute