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Justice and Mary

Mary and Justice

– Father Johann Roten, S.M.

Mary is related to all things human. Being the mother of Jesus who has come among us to renew the face of the earth, Mary stands for all concerns that attempt to give this world a new heart, and mind, and face.

The painted wooden panels you see in this feature convey a message of fairness and justice. Beginning with the Magnificat and ending with St. Martin's generous sharing of his mantle, the six panels highlight attitudes and symbols explaining God's love for the poor and oppressed.

(Starting from the top left)

1. Visitation/Magnificat (Luke 1:52-53) 

2. Temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4:9) 

3. Parable of the Talents (Luke 19:13) 

4. Jesus chasing merchants from the Temple (Mark 11:15-17)
...without becoming slaves of consumerism and materialism...

5. Jesus crowned with thorns (John 19:2-5) 

6. St. Martin sharing his mantle 

The Magnificat proclaims the justice and love of God for the poor (1). The second panel shows Jesus' resisting and rejecting the allurements of Satan. He is our model in the fight against injustice and oppression (2). The combat against injustice begins with a sagacious use of our God-given talents (3), without becoming slaves of consumerism and materialism (4). Above all, we are given true dignity in Christ's suffering and death (5). Christ's solidarity with the outcasts opens our hearts and hands to the needy in simple and joyful service (6).

We find in Mary, the chanter of the Magnificat, hope and strength for our commitment to justice and peace. She is the blessed one because of her faith. Mary and Elizabeth, both pregnant with the hope of the world, are figures of comprehensive justice including not only social justice but also our ultimate justification before God.

These artifacts are part of a collection of 152 Wooden panels decorating the ceiling of a fifth-century church in Fillis/Graubünden (Switzerland) dedicated to St. Martin. The panels convey a medieval worldview of apocalyptic dimension dominated by the saving grace of the cross.

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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