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As Marialis Cultus would seem to assert, ideally Marian spirituality and Marian devotion are united, yet they are distinct. Pope Paul VI wrote of a Marian “spiritual attitude” that Mary is “a most excellent exemplar of the Church in the order of faith, charity and perfect union with Christ, that is, of that interior disposition with which the Church, the beloved spouse, closely associated with her Lord, invokes Christ and through Him worships the eternal Father.” Humble handmaid of the Lord (Lk. 1:38), she is “a teacher of the spiritual life for individual Christians.” Of “exercises of piety,” constituting “different forms of devotion to the Blessed Virgin,” he wrote that “love for the Church will become love for Mary, and vice versa, since the one cannot exist without the other.” She is the woman whom “the faithful honor [as] the Mother of the Lord” in whose fiat, in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, “mankind begins its return to God,” recognizing “in the glory of the all-holy Virgin the goal towards which it is journeying.”


Copyright © 2014, Mariological Society of America



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