Mary's Pope: John Paul II, Mary, and the Church since Vatican II

By Antoine Nachef | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWO
The Divine Maternity of Mary as the
Fundamental Characteristic of Her
Presence in God's Plan of Salvation

THE DIVINE MATERNITY 1 OF MARY
AND THE MYSTERY OF THE FULLNESS OF TIME

POPE JOHN PAUL II's main Marian document, the encyclical Redemptoris Mater (Mother of the Redeemer) starts with the statement:

The Mother of the Redeemer has a precise place in the plan of salvation, for "when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!"' (Gal 4:4-6). 2

This was the opening statement of the sixth encyclical of Pope John Paul II, issued March 25, 1987, and of which the Pope says: "I have been thinking of it for a long time. I have pondered it at length in my heart." 3 It is of great importance because it coincides with the opening of Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. 4 We should realize that Redemptoris Mater is the expression of the Holy Father's Marian devotion and doctrine that came to maturity after a lifelong devotion to Mary. It is a document that must be viewed as an answer to the questions

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