Marian studies receive impetus and direction from many and diverse sources. One of the most important is what we call magisterial documents, writings by councils and popes. The International Marian Research Institute makes these documents available to the readers of its website. We collect and list, as much as possible, all of these writings about Mary of past and present. They are presented on our website in chronological and/or systematic order.
Beginning in 2005 with the newly elected Pope Benedict XVI, we decided to offer the students of Mary, and to our readers, ongoing and detailed information about the Marian thoughts of Pope Benedict. They were published in monthly increments, and we now continue to do the same for Pope Francis. Our goal is to capture all the Marian thoughts of our recent popes, not only such as they appear in official documents but also in the devotional and sometimes anecdotal expressions of their love for Mary. In this way, we hope to convey a fuller picture, both intellectual and existential, of the Marian portrait of the popes.