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Age of Mary

Age of Mary

– Answered by Father Johann Roten, S.M.

Q: What is meant by the expression "Age of Mary"?

A: The expression "age of Mary" was commonly used to designate the period between 1830-1950. But there is no doubt that we presently experience a resurgence of Marian devotion. It is due to the following factors:

- a rediscovery of religion in general;

- the need for a more explicitly articulated and practiced spiritual dimension of Christian religion;

- the search for a more personal and relational expression of devotion;

- the rediscovery of trans-rational values in human life;

- the need for healing and protection and affirmation, psychologically as well as spiritually;

- the rediscovery of popular religion as antidote against secularization;

- hunger and thirst for a better and deeper understanding of the riches of our religion;

- the multiplication of apparitions;

- the rediscovery of devotions and spiritual movements.

All of these factors have contributed or are the immediate expression of the renewed sense of the presence of Mary among us, prepared and accompanied by a renewed and enriched theology and liturgy.

Among the main elements of contemporary Marian spirituality I would like to mention:

1. its strong iconic character, i.e. devotion, identification with the Marian image from icons to medals and scapulars as an expression of personal and visual contact.

2. a strong narrative dimension which takes us to Mary as in pilgrimages to Marian sanctuaries or with her into the commemoration of our salvation history as in the prayers of the rosary and angelus.

3. a mystagogical development, meaning the growing importance of entrustment to Mary in acts of consecration in order for her to lead us closer to Jesus (Eucharist) or to associate us to her own mission. Not to forget a resurgence of intercessory devotions.

All About Mary includes a variety of content, much of which reflects the expertise, interpretations and opinions of the individual authors and not necessarily of the Marian Library or the University of Dayton. Please share feedback or suggestions with


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