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Magisterial Documents: Mysterium Fidei

Magisterial Documents: Mysterium Fidei

Encyclical Letter on Eucharistic Doctrine and Worship Pope Paul VI
3 September 1965

The full document is available on the internet.

Brief History

Though Mysterium Fidei is not a Marian document, it is mentioned here because of its impact in the field of catechetics. Articles 52 and the pro forma conclusion are, on occasion, found in textbooks. Mysterium Fidei was quoted in the textbooks to stress the true human identity of Jesus Christ present in the Eucharist.
The doctrine taught on Mary is twofold:

1) St. Ambrose is quoted to give an example of miracles described in Scripture. These include "Christ's birth of the Virgin Mary." (MF 51) The Berengarius' oath, which professes belief in Christ's presence in the Eucharist, is quoted in full. The Marian text states "after the consecration, there is present the true body of Christ which was born of the Virgin." (MF 52)

2) In the conclusion, in addition to linking Mary with the Eucharist, Mary's intercession is asked: "May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary from whom Christ our Lord took the flesh which under the species of bread and wine "is contained, offered and consumed, (CIC, 1917, Can. 801) ... intercede before the Father of mercies [Christ] so that from this same faith in, and devotion toward, the Eucharist may result and flourish a perfect unity of communion among all Christians." (MF 75)


I. Introduction 1-8
II. Reasons for Pastoral Concern and Anxiety 9-14
III. The Holy Eucharist Is a Mystery of Faith 15-25
IV. The Mystery of the Eucharist Is Verified in the Sacrifice of the Mass 26-33
V. In the Sacrifice of the Mass Christ is Made Sacramentally Present 34-45
VI. Christ Our Lord Is Present in the Sacrament of the Eucharist by Transubstantiation 46-55
VII. Latreutic Worship of the Sacrament of the Eucharist 56-63
VIII. Exhortation to Promote the Cult of the Eucharist 64-77

Core Marian Passages:

  1. May the most blessed Virgin Mary, from whom Christ the Lord took the flesh that "is contained, offered, received" (81) in this Sacrament under the appearances of bread and wine, and may all the saints of God and especially those who were more inflamed with ardent devotion toward the divine Eucharist, intercede with the Father of mercies so that this common belief in the Eucharist and devotion to it may give rise among all Christians to a perfect unity of communion that will continue to flourish. Lingering in Our mind are the words of the holy martyr Ignatius warning the Philadelphians against the evil of divisions and schisms, the remedy for which is to be found in the Eucharist. "Strive then," he says, "to make use of one single thanksgiving. For there is only one flesh of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and only one chalice unto the union of His blood, only one altar, only one bishop . . ." (Epistle to the Philadelphians4; PG 5.700). 75
  3. Fortified by the most consoling hope of blessings that will accrue to the whole Church and to the whole world from an increase in devotion to the Eucharist, as a pledge of heavenly blessings We lovingly impart Our apostolic blessings to you, Venerable Brothers, and to the priests, religious and all who are helping you, as well as to all the faithful entrusted to your care. 76


AAS 32 (1965): 754-774
NCWC, 1965 [NCCB]

© This material has been compiled by M. Jean Frisk and Danielle M. Peters, S.T.D.
Copyright is reserved for The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.
Most recently updated in 2018.

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