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Session 3

Mary and the Church in the Teachings of Paul VI, John Paul II and Francis

On October 14, 2016 we joined together, across the globe in real time, to listen and discuss three presentations on the subject of Mary and the Church in the teachings of PaulVI, John Paul II, and Francis.

These presentations began via teleconference promptly at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time. After a brief introduction, each presenter gave a 15-minute presentation on his or her topic. The session concluded with an hour of open discussion and final remarks at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.


Fr. Thomas Thompson, S.M.

Long-time director of the Marian Library

Topic: Pope Paul VI

Blessed Pope Paul VI was the familiar with the Marian ressourcement which occurred in the decade before Vatican II. Elected pope in the summer of 1963, he inherited the agenda for Vatican Council II as defined by John XXIII: central to the council was a major statement on the Church and its mission. As he gave papal approbation to Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium, he referred to Mary as “Mother of Christ, who is the head of the Mystical Body, the Church, and Mother of the Church and all its members.” For Paul VI, Mary was eminent member of the Church, its exemplar, mother and sister.

Danielle M. Peters, S.T.D.

Institute for Church and Life, University of Notre Dame

Topic: Pope John Paul II

St. John Paul II’s Mariology remained true to his Christ-centered Marian principle. Archbishop Wojtyła’s participation in the Second Vatican Council helped him appreciate the “second dimension” of Mary’s maternity, her spiritual motherhood, already initiated at the Annunciation and included in her fiat. The Polish Pope’s distinct Marian pastoral initiatives, above all the Entrustment to Our Lady, promoted her role as “Mother of the Church,” which is among his favored invocations. The conversation could explore additional aspects relevant to the theme (for example: the School of Mary and Mary, the Acting Person).

Rev. Alexandre Awi Mello, S.T.L.

Author of a book on Pope Francis and Mary

Topic: Pope Francis

Pope Francis surprises the world with his words and, above all, with his signs. On the first day of his pontificate he went to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, delivered flowers and entrusted his ministry to Maria. Is it a simple act of devotion or is there a marian perspective for his pastoral work? Which place has Mary in his personal history, his understanding of the Church and his pastoral view. The relationship between Mary and the Church deeply shapes the vision, the plan and the dream of Francis for the Church of our time.


International Marian Research Institute

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Dayton, Ohio 45469