Pope Francis on Saturday 24 October met the students and staff Rome’s Pontifical Theological Faculty “Marianum” and shared with them a reflection on Mary’s motherhood and womanhood.
According to Pope Francis, Mary is the model of mother and woman. Her school is one of faith and life, and she teaches well the alphabet of human and Christian life.
The Pope made the comment to some 200 students and professors of the Pontifical Theological Faculty “Marianum” of Rome, run by the Order of Servants of Mary (The Servites). This prestigious academic institution on Mariology also publishes Marianum, a well-known journal on Marian theology.
By going to the heart of her mystery, the Pope said, we can discover the wonders of her motherhood and her womanhood. Elizabeth recognised her as “mother of the Lord”, the Pope said, and Jesus wanted us to walk in life with the best of mothers.
Mary’s motherhood builds fraternity
“Our Lady made God our brother, and as a mother can make the Church and the world more fraternal,” the Pope said. The Church needs to rediscover her maternal heart, which beats for unity; but she also needs our Earth, to become again the home of all her children.
Citing his latest encyclical, Fratelli tutti, he said, Our Lady “wants to give birth to a new world, where all of us are brothers and sisters, where there is room for all those whom our societies discard” (no. 278).
“We need motherhood, those who generate and regenerate life with tenderness, because only gift, care and sharing keep the human family together,” he said.
According to the Pope, a world without mothers, has no future. “Profits and profit alone do not give a future, on the contrary, they sometimes increase inequalities and injustices. Mothers, instead, make every child feel at home and give hope.”
As a mother, Mary teaches the art of meeting and walking together. In this regard, the Pope commended Marianum where different theological and spiritual traditions come together as in a large family, thus contributing also to ecumenical and interreligious dialogue.
Mary womanhood makes us a people
Speaking about Mary’s womanhood, the Pope said, “Just as the mother makes the Church a family, so the woman makes us a people.” This explains the natural popular piety to Our Lady, the Pope said, encouraging Mariology to follow and promote her, sometimes purify her, but always paying attention to the “signs of the Marian times” that run through our time.
In this regard, the Pope drew attention to the role of women, saying it is essential for the Church and for the world. He regretted that many women do not receive the dignity due them.
“The woman who brought God into the world, must be able to bring her gifts into history,” the Pope said.
He ended stressing, “Her genius and style are needed.”
With thanks to Vatican News, where this article originally appeared.