The good people at Zenit have posted a translation of the pope’s remarks Friday to the docents and students of the Pontifical Theological Faculty Marianum in Rome.
I greet you and congratulate you on the 70th anniversary of your Theological Faculty’s foundation! Thank you Father Chancellor for your warm words. Since its birth, the “Marianum” has been entrusted to the care of the Servants of Mary. Therefore, I wish for each one of you to live the service on the example of Mary, “the handmaid of the Lord” (Luke 1:38), in a Marian style, a style that will benefit Theology, the Church, and you so much.
We can ask ourselves, does Mariology serve the Church and the world today? The answer, obviously, is yes. To go to Mary’s school is to go to the school of faith and life. She is a teacher because She is a disciple, She teaches well the human and Christian alphabet. But there is also another aspect related to today. We are living in the time of Vatican Council II. No other Council in history has given Mariology so much space as that dedicated to it in chapter VIII of Lumen Gentium, which concludes and in a certain sense summarizes the entire Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. This tells us that the times we are living are Mary’s times. However, we need to rediscover Our Lady according to the Council’s perspective. As the Council has brought back the beauty of the Church by turning to the sources and removing the dust that had been deposited on her over the centuries, so the wonders of Mary will be able to be rediscovered by going to the heart of her mystery. Two elements emerge there, well evidenced by Scripture: She is mother and woman. The Church is also Mother and woman.
…Perhaps the most ancient Mariological datum of the New Testament says that the Savior is “born of woman” (Galatians 4:4). Then, in the Gospel, Mary is the woman, the new Eve, who from Cana to Calvary intervenes for our salvation (cf. John 2:4; 19:26). Finally, She is the woman clothed with the sun who takes care of Jesus’ offspring (Cf. Revelation 12:17). As the Mother makes the Church a family, so woman makes us a people.
Not by chance popular piety draws naturally to Our Lady. It’s important that Mariology follows it with attention, promotes it, and at times purifies it, always remaining attentive to the “signs of the Marian times,” which run through our age. Among these is, in fact, the role of woman. But how many women don’t receive the dignity due to them! Woman, who brought God into the world, must be able to bring His gifts in history. There is a need for Her ingenuity and Her style. In particular, Mariology can contribute to bring to culture, also through art and poetry, beauty that humanizes and infuses hope. And it is called to seek more worthy spaces for woman in the Church, stemming from the common baptismal dignity.
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