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During the 1980s and 1990s the term “Two Hearts Alliance” appeared suddenly in certain Catholic circles without obvious antecedents. It inspired a popular movement for a time, even though Mariologists were unfamiliar with it. Investigation reveals that it can be traced to a phrase used by John Paul II in 1985, “the admirable alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.” Beginning at Fatima in 1986 and continuing to Rome in 1997, several symposia examined its roots and implications. It was said to have roots in the notion of Mary as the Associate (socia) of Christ, a notion reaching back to the Fathers of the Church. Some Mariologists saw the alliance as a renewal of the older forms of devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart by highlighting Mary’s cooperation with Christ in the entire work of Redemption from beginning to end. Mary the Associate of Christ thus joined the Divine Maternity as principal figures for presenting Mary’s place in the Church as described by Lumen Gentium. However, other Mariologists dismissed the entire concept of the Two Hearts as mere “devotionalism,” having no real value for scientific Marian theology because of its association with private revelation. The latter position prevails in the apparatus of academic theology while the former position continues to have influence outside of it.


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