Pope Francis, on the 4th December gave an address to the participants in the XXIV Public Session of the seven Pontifical Academies. His words are appropriate for us as Marists in this time of Advent:
Mary, a teacher of humanity
The Pope reflected on "Mary - way to peace among cultures" and recalled briefly on how different popes expressed veneration for Our Lady.
He recalled the dramatic experience of the two world wars that led Pope Pius XII to uphold Mary as a beacon of peace for a frightened humanity.
The Second Vatican Council, he continued, pointed to her as a "teacher of humanity" and a model for the Church in its mission to serve the "deepest aspirations of the human heart".
Victory of hope over anguish
Pope Saint Paul VI, the Holy Father said, highlighted the bond between the Blessed Virgin and the faithful and said she offers contemporary humanity, oppressed by anguish and loneliness, a serene and reassuring vision: the victory of hope over anguish, of peace over uneasiness.
"She represents the victory of hope over anguish, of communion over loneliness, of peace over upheaval, of joy and beauty over tedium and nausea, of eternal perspectives over temporal ones, of life over death", he said.
Bringing Mary into the crucial issues of our time
Pope Saint John Paul II, the Pope continued, was firm in his desire that Mariology be acknowledged and upheld in theological formation and in dialogue so it could play its due role in the crucial questions of our time.
Paul VI and John Paul II
Mariology and theology of the Word
Finally, the Pope mentioned the many instances in which Pope Benedict XVI urged scholars to investigate the relationship between Mariology and theology of the Word. In fact, he said, the Pontifical Marian Academy has always accompanied the universal Magisterium of the Church with Mariological input and contribution.
"These commitments are a clear testimony of how Mariology is a necessary presence for dialogue between cultures, and is capable of nourishing fraternity and peace," he said.