Virgen Mar­a Jpii Ingl«s

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    IMMACULATE CONCEPTION DEFINED BY PIUS IX

    Pope John Paul II

    According to this dogmatic definition, it has been revealed by God that Mary was preserved from original sin from the moment of her conception

     At the General Audience of Wednesday, 12 June, the Holy Father continued his

    catechesis on the Immaculate Conception, this time discussing the dogmatic

    definition of the doctrine by ope ius I!" #We declare, pronounce and define that

    the doctrine $hich asserts that the %lessed &irgin 'ary, from the first moment of her

    conception, by a singular grace and pri(ilege of almighty God, and in (ie$ of the

    merits of Jesus Christ, )a(iour of the human race, $as preser(ed free from e(ery

     stain of original sin is a doctrine re(ealed by God and, for this reason, must be

     firmly and constantly belie(ed by all the faithful#, the ope said in his

     %ull Ineffabilis"Here is a translation of the Holy Father*s catechesis, $hich $as the 2+rd in the series on the %lessed &irgin and $as gi(en in Italian"

    1. Down the centuries, the conviction that Mary was preserved from every stain of

    sin from her conception, so that she is to be called all holy, gradually gained ground

    in the liturgy and theology. At the start of the 19th century, this development led to a

     petition drive for a dogmatic definition of the privilege of the Immaculate

    onception.

    Around the middle of the century, with the intention of accepting this re!uest, "ope

    "ius I#, after consulting the theologians, !uestioned the $ishops about the

    opportuneness and the possibility of such a definition, convo%ing as it were a &council in writing&. 'he result was significant( the vast ma)ority of the *+ $ishops

    gave a positive response to the !uestion.

    After such an e-tensive consultation, which emphasied my venerable "redecessor/s

    concern to e-press the hurch/s faith in the definition of the dogma, he set about

     preparing the document with e!ual care.

    Blessed Virgin is free from every stain of sin

    'he special commission of theologians set up by "ius I# to determine the revealed

    doctrine assigned the essential role to ecclesial practice. And this criterion influenced

    the formulation of the dogma, which preferred e-pressions ta%en from the hurch/s

    lived e-perience, from the faith and worship of the hristian people, to scholastic

    definitions.

    0inally in 12, with the $ull Ineffabilis, "ius I# solemnly proclaimed the dogma of

    the Immaculate onception( &... 3e declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine

    which asserts that the $lessed 4irgin Mary, from the first moment of her conception,

     by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God, and in view of the merits of 5esus

    hrist, 6aviour of the human race, was preserved free from every stain of original sin

    is a doctrine revealed by God and, for this reason, must be firmly and constantly

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     believed by all the faithful& 7D6 8+:.

    8. 'he proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate onception e-presses the

    essential datum of faith. "ope Ale-ander 4II, in the $ull )ollicitudo of 1**1, spo%e

    of the preservation of Mary/s soul &in its creation and infusion into the body& 7D6 8+1;:. "ius I#/s definition, however, prescinds from all e-planations about how the

    soul is infused into the body and attributes to the person of Mary, at the first moment

    of her conception, the fact of her being preserved from every stain of original sin.

    'he freedom &from every stain of original sin& entails as a positive conse!uence the

    total freedom from all sin as well as the proclamation of Mary/s perfect holiness, a

    doctrine to which the dogmatic definition ma%es a fundamental contribution. In fact,

    the negative formulation of the Marian privilege, which resulted from the earlier

    controversies about original sin that arose in the 3est, must always be complemented

     by the positive e-pression of Mary/s holiness more e-plicitly stressed in the

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    God&. "ope "ius I# adds that it must be &firmly and constantly believed by all the

    faithful&. onse!uently, whoever does not ma%e this doctrine his own, or maintains

    an opinion contrary to it, &is shipwrec%ed in faith& and &separates himself from

    atholic unity&.

    In proclaiming the truth of this dogma of the Immaculate onception, my venerable

    "redecessor was conscious of e-ercising his power of infallible teaching as the

    universal "astor of the hurch, which several years later would be solemnly defined

    at the 0irst 4atican ouncil. 'hus he put his infallible Magisterium into action as a

    service to the faith of God/s "eople and it is significant that he did so by defining

    Mary/s privilege.

    MARY IS THE VIRGIN MOTHER OF GOD Pope John Paul II

    From the very beginning, the Church has recognized the

    virginalmotherhood of ary, !ho conceived by the po!er of the "oly

    Spirit

     At the General Audience of Wednesday, 1+ )eptember, the Holy Father continued the

    catechesis he had begun the pre(ious $ee on the %lessed &irgin 'ary" In this tal he

    discussed the mystery of 'ary*s (irginal motherhood and the title officially attributed

    to her by the Council of -phesus in .+1" Here is a translation of the ope*s

    catechesis, $hich $as the second in the series on the %lessed &irgin and $as gi(en in

     Italian"

    1. In the onstitution /umen gentium, the ouncil states that &)oined to hrist the

    head and in communion with all his saints, the faithful must in the first place reverence the memory /of the glorious ever 4irgin Mary, Mother of our God and Bord

    5esus hrist/& 7n. 28:. 'he conciliar onstitution uses these terms from the @oman

    anon of the Mass, thereby stressing how faith in the divine motherhood of Mary has

     been present in hristian thought since the first centuries.

    In the newborn hurch Mary is remembered with the title &Mother of 5esus&. It is

    Bu%e himself who gives her this title in the Acts of the Apostles, a title that

    corresponds moreover to what is said in the Gospels( &Is this not ... the son of MaryC&,

    the residents of =aareth wonder according to the

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    #he motherhood of ary also concerns the Church

    8. In the disciples/ eyes, as they gathered after the Ascension, the title &Mother of

    5esus& ac!uires its full meaning. 0or them, Mary is a person uni!ue in her %ind( she

    received the singular grace of giving birth to the 6aviour of humanity she lived for a long while at his side and on alvary she was called by the rucified ne to e-ercise

    a &new motherhood& in relation to the beloved disciple and, through him, to the whole

    hurch.

    0or these who believe in 5esus and follow him, &Mother of 5esus& is a title of honour

    and veneration, and will forever remain such in the faith and life of the hurch. In a

     particular way, by this title hristians mean to say that one cannot refer to 5esus/

    origins without ac%nowledging the role of the woman who gave him birth in the 6pirit

    according to his human nature. Eer maternal role also involves the birth and growth

    of the hurch. In recalling the place of Mary in 5esus/ life, the faithful discover each

    day her efficacious presence in their own spiritual )ourney.

    . 0rom the beginning, the hurch has ac%nowledged the virginal motherhood of

    Mary. As the infancy Gospels enable us to grasp, the first hristian continuities

    themselves gathered together Mary/s recollections about the mysterious circumstances

    of the 6aviour/s conception and birth. In particular, the Annunciation account responds

    to the disciples/ desire to have the deepest %nowledge of the events connected with the

     beginnings of the risen hrist/s earthly life. In the last analysis, Mary is at the origin

    of the revelation about the mystery of the virginal conception by the wor% of the Eoly

    6pirit.

    'his truth, showing 5esus/ divine origin, was immediately grasped by the first

    hristians for its important significance and included among the %ey affirmations of

    their faith. 6on of 5oseph according to the law, 5esus in fact, by an e-traordinary

    intervention of the Eoly 6pirit, was in his humanity only the son of Mary, since he

    was born without the intervention of man.

    Mary/s virginity thus ac!uires a uni!ue value and casts new light on the birth of 5esus

    and on the mystery of his sonship, since the virginal generation is the sign that 5esus

    has God himself as his 0ather.

    Ac%nowledged and proclaimed by the faith of the 0athers, the virginal motherhood can never be separated from the identity of 5esus, true God and true man, as &born of

    the 4irgin Mary&, as we profess in the =iceneFonstantinopolitan reed. Mary is the

    only 4irgin who is also a Mother. 'he e-traordinary coFpresence of these two gifts in

    the person of the maiden of =aareth