Mary
Part 6 Mary and Piety

Chapter m61 Marian Devotions

Preliminary Questions

Bibliography

Marialis Cultus

The Rosary

The Seven Joys of Mary

The Seven Sorrows of Mary

May Crowning

To Think About

Preliminary Questions

Do you have a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary? Are there prayers to her that you say daily? Which of her feasts do you enjoy most? In what ways do you express your devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary? Do you think the Second Vatican Council has caused a lessening of devotion to Mary? Why or why not? Describe the way you feel about her role in your salvation.

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Bibliography

Pope Paul Vi,  Marialis Cultus, Apostolic Exhortation for the Right Ordering and Development of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. (February 2, 1974)  Text available in English at  http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Paul06/p6marial.htm

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Marialis Cultus

1.  The Apostolic Exhortation has 2 major divisions:  First of all, Paul VI refutes the opinion that the Second Vatican Council discouraged devotion to the blessed mother.   He shows how the liturgy itself has abundant celebrations honoring Mary.  (Numbers 1-14)  His conclusion is found in number 15.

15. The examination of the revised liturgical books leads us to the comforting observation that the postconciliar renewal has, as was previously desired by the liturgical movement, properly considered the Blessed Virgin in the mystery of Christ, and, in harmony with tradition, has recognized the singular place that belongs to her in Christian worship as the holy Mother of God and the worthy Associate of the Redeemer.

2.  The second half of the Exhortation encourages non-liturgical forms of devotion to the blessed mother.  The Holy Father has 5 principles which are to guide and direct authentic devotion to Mary.  [These same 5 principles can, mutatis mutandis, be applied to all forms of devotion.]  The 5 principles are: 

Principle 1.  PRIMACY OF CHRIST.  In the first place it is supremely fitting that exercises of piety directed towards the Virgin Mary should clearly express the Trinitarian and Christological note that is intrinsic and essential to them.   In the Virgin Mary everything is relative to Christ and dependent upon Him.  (#25)

Note for example the Catholic belief that Jesus being true God and true man is the one, unique mediator between God and man.   Grace is free, unmerited, gift.  etc/

Principle 2.  BIBLICALLY BASED.  Every form of worship should have a biblical imprint. (#30) 

Principle 3.  LITURGICAL YEAR.  Devotions with consideration for the liturgical seasons should be so arranged as to be in harmony with the sacred liturgy.  (#31)

E.g. Each Friday evening, a parish might have a "Novena to the Seven Sorrows of Mary".  This devotion is not appropriate on the Friday within the Octave of Easter.  Perhaps during Easter the parish might celebrate a "Novena to the Seven Joys of Mary". 

Principle 4.  ECUMENICALLY SENSITIVE.  Because of its ecclesial character, devotion to the Blessed Virgin reflects the preoccupations of the Church herself. Among these especially in our day is her anxiety for the re-establishment of Christian unity. In this way devotion to the Mother of the Lord is in accord with the deep desires and aims of the ecumenical movement, that is, it acquires an ecumenical aspect.  (#32)

Principle 5.  CULTURALLY AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY SOUND.  Devotion to the Blessed Virgin must also pay close attention to certain findings of the human sciences.  Woman's equality and co-responsibility with man in the running of the family are being justly recognized by laws and the evolution of customs.  (#34) 

3.  In the concluding section of the exhortation, the Holy Father draws attention to 2 devotions in particular,  The Angelus (#41) and the Rosary (#42-54).

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The Rosary

(The following is taken from Franciscan's at Prayer number 619-22)

Rosaries, chaplets and crowns are a combination of repetitive prayer and meditation on the life of Jesus.  They grew out of the popular adaptation of the Psalter and the common practice of repeating prayers.  By the early fifteenth century, we find evidence of the structure of the fifteen decade rosary, which has been closely identified with the Dominicans.  In the following century, the rosary with the fifteen mysteries and accompanying prayers prevailed over the other forms of the devotion which were in use.

Each decade comprises one Our Father, ten Hail Mary's, and one Glory.  There is no one method of introducing the decades.  One way is to preface the first decade with the Apostles Creed, one Our Father, three Hail Mary's and one Glory.  The Dominican approach is to begin the rosary as one begins the Liturgy of the Hours.  In a communal celebration, the procedure may include the following: hymn, invitation to prayer, the rosary with biblical lessons, concluding prayer and hymn.

Pope Paul VI has given the following practical approach: "The recitation will be grave and suppliant during the Lord's Prayer, lyrical and full of praise during the tranquil succession of Hail Mary's, contemplative and recollected meditation on the mysteries and full of adoration during the doxology."  (Marialis Cultus, 50) It is not necessary to meditate on the traditional mysteries.  The American bishops suggested the creation of new sets of mysteries taken from the public life of Jesus (Behold Your Mother, 97-98)

1. The Annunciation  As Christ came into the world, he said: Behold! I have come to do your will, O God. (Heb 10:5-7)  Is 7:10-14/Lk 1:26-38

2. The Visitation  Come, all you who fear God, and hear the great things the Lord has done for me. (Ps 65:16) Is 40:1-10/Lk 1:39-45/Jn 1:19-13

3. The Nativity  The Lord said to me: You are my Son; this day I have begotten you. (Ps 2:7) MI 5:1-5/Mt 2:1-12/Lk 2:1-20/Gal 4:1-7

4. The Presentation With my own eyes I have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of all the nations. (Lk 2:20-31) Lk 2:22-32/Heb 9:6-14

5. The Finding in the Temple I have not spoken on my own; no, the Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to speak. (Jn 12:49) Lk :41-50/ Jn 12:44-50/1 Cor 2:6-16

 

1. The Agony in the Garden Am I not to drink the cup the Father has given me. (JN 18:11) Mt 26:36-46/Mk 14:26-42/Lk 22:39-53/Jn 18:1-2

2. The Scourging Attend to my cry for I am brought low indeed. (Ps 142:7) Is 50:5-9/Mt 27:15-26/Mk 15:6-16

3. The Crowning with Thorns Like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers he was silent and opened not his mouth. (Is 53:7) Is 52:13-53:10/Mt 16:24-28/Mt 27:27-31/Mk 15:16-19/Lk 23:6-11/Jn 19:1-7

4. The Way of the Cross If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny his very self, take up his cross, and follow in my steps. (Mk 8:34) Mk :31-38/Mk 15:20-25/Jn 19:17-22/Phil 2:6-11

5. The Death of Jesus God is one. One also is the mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all. (1 Tim 2:5-6 Mk 15:33-39/JN 19:17-37/Acts 22:22-24/Heb (:11-14

 

1. The Resurrection The Lord led his people to freedom and they shouted with joy and gladness, alleluia. (Ps 104:43) Mt 28:1-10/ Mk 16:1-8/Lk 24:1-11/Jn 20:1-10/Rom 6:1-14/1 Cor 15:1-11

2. The Ascension Jesus said: Father, I want the men you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they may see the glory you have given me . (Jn 17:24) Mt 28;15-20/ Lk 24:44-53/Acts 1:1-11/Eph 2:4-7

3. The Coming of the Holy Spirit You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.  You will be my witnesses to all the world. (Acts 1:18) Acts 2:1-11/Acts 4:23-31/Acts 11:44-48/Jn 14:15-21

4. The Assumption Because we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also come to life with him. Jn 11:17-27/1 Cor 14:20-28/1Cor 15:42-50/1 Cor 15:51-57/Rv 21:1-6

5. The Glorification of Mary Blessed are you for your firm believing, that the promises of the Lord would be fulfilled.  (Lk 1:45) Mt 5:1-12/Rv 7:1-4, 9-12/Rv 21:1-6

In October 2002, the month of the Holy Rosary, Pope John Paul II issued an apostolic letter in which he announced the creation of a new set of Mysteries.  "The Rosary clearly belongs to the kind of veneration of the Mother of God described by the Second Vatican Council: a devotion directed to the Christological center of the Christian faith, in such a way that when the Mother is honored, the Son...is duly known, loved and glorified."  The new Mysteries center around decisive events in the life of Christ. Our Holy Father calls them "The Mysteries of Light"  (The Luminous Mysteries) because Christ in his public life manifests himself as the "Mystery of Light." These events are:

1.  Christ's Baptism in the Jordan
2.  Christ's manifestation at the wedding of Cana
3.
  The proclamation of the Kingdom of God
4.
  The Transfiguration
5.
  The Institution of the Eucharist 

The Pope suggests that the luminous mysteries be prayed on Thursday. The joyful mysteries would be used on Monday and Saturday, the sorrowful on Tuesday and Friday, the glorious on Wednesday and Sunday.  

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The Seven Joys of Mary

(The following is taken from Franciscan's at Prayer number 623-4)

Like the rosary, the Franciscan Crown (the Rosary of the Seven Joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary) made its appearance in the fifteenth century.  It begins with the sign of the cross which is then followed by the seven decades, each made up of one Our Father and ten Hail Mary's. At the conclusion of the seven decades, two Hail Mary's are added. (According to tradition, the 72 Hail Mary's represent the 72 years of Mary's earthly pilgrimage.)

1. The Annunciation.  The virgin is with child and shall bear a son, and she will call him Emmanuel. (Is 7:14)

2. The Visitation.  All generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me. Holy is his name. (Luke 1:48-49)

3. The Nativity.  Daughter of Zion, exult; shout aloud, daughter of Jerusalem! Your King is coming, the Holy One, the Savior of the World. (Zec 9:9)

4. The Adoration of the Magi.  The Lord and Ruler is coming; kingship is his, and government and power. (Mal 3:1, 1 Chr 19:12;  Is 42:1-4, 6-7;  Is 60:1-6;  Mt 2:1-12;  Eph3:2-3, 5-6

5. The Finding in the Temple.  He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother meanwhile kept all these things in memory.  (Luke 2:51)

6. The Risen Christ appears to his Mother.  Christ has become our paschal sacrifice; let us feast with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Cor 5:7-8)

7. The Assumption and Glorification of Mary as Queen.  A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head.  (Rv 12:1)

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The Seven Sorrows of Mary

The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady

1. The Prophecy of Simeon
2. The Flight into Egypt
3. The Loss of Jesus in the Temple
4. Mary meets Jesus Carrying the Cross
5. The Crucifixion
6. Mary Receives the Dead Body of Her Son
7. The Burial of Her Son and Closing of the Tomb.

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May Crowning

What is the origin of May Crowning?  From the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Religion: "The association of Mary with May seems to have been the result of efforts begun in Italy in the 18th cent. to replace the 'Queen of the May' (a remnant of paganism prevalent throughout medieval Europe and still surviving) with Mary. The Jesuits in particular popularized the devotion." The May Crowning Rite is available from the USCC publishers. Gordon E. Truitt, Senior Editor, NPM.

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To Think About

 

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Copyright: Tom Richstatter, Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist, Cincinnati Ohio, Order of Friars Minor. All Rights Reserved.  This page was created by Fr. Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M.  Every effort has been, and is being made, to acknowledge sources when the ideas are not my own.  Any failure to comply with the United States Copyright Act (Title 17, United States Code) will be corrected immediately should I become aware of it.  This site was updated on 09/11/14 .  Your comments on this site are welcome at trichstatter@franciscan.org