Mary, Woman of Faith (2)

– in the teaching of three Popes

Mary Focus II

“During this Year, it will be helpful to invite the faithful to turn with particular devotion to Mary, model of the Church, who ‘shines forth to the whole community of the elect as the model of virtues’.” (Note with pastoral recommendations for the Year of Faith, I,3)

pope_johnpaul[John Paul II, General Audience, 6 May 1998] 2. If we wish to contemplate the depth of Mary’s faith, the Gospel account of the wedding feast at Cana is a great help. Faced with the lack of wine, Mary could have sought some human solution to the problem at hand, but she does not hesitate to turn immediately to Jesus: “They have no wine” (Jn 2:3). She knows that Jesus has no wine available; it is therefore likely that she is asking for a miracle. And her request is all the more daring since until that moment Jesus has not worked any miracles. By acting in this way, she is doubtless obeying an inner inspiration, since, according to the divine plan, Mary’s faith must precede the first manifestation of Jesus’ messianic power, as it preceded his coming to earth. She already embodies the attitude that was to be praised by Jesus for true believers in every age: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (Jn 20:29).

5. (…) In saying that Mary stood at the foot of the Cross, the Evangelist John (cf. 19:25) shows us that Mary remained full of courage at that critical moment. It was certainly the hardest stage in her “pilgrimage of faith”. But she could stand there because she had remained firm in her faith. Put to the test, Mary continued to believe that Jesus was the Son of God and that by his sacrifice he would transform the destiny of mankind.

ITALY VATICAN POPE[Benedict XVI, General Audience 19.12.2012] In the greeting of the Angel Mary is called “full of grace”. In Greek, the term “grace”, charis, has the same linguistic root as the word “joy”. In this term too the source of Mary’s exultation is further clarified: her joy comes from grace, that is, from being in communion with God, from having such a vital connection with him, from being the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, totally fashioned by God’s action. Mary is the creature who opened the door to her Creator in a special way, placing herself in his hands without reserve. She lived entirely from and in her relationship with the Lord; she was disposed to listen, alert to recognizing the signs of God in the journey of his people; she was integrated into a history of faith and hope in God’s promises with which the fabric of her life was woven. And she submitted freely to the word received, to the divine will in the obedience of faith.

(…) we encounter patches of light, but we also encounter stretches in which God seems absent, when his silence weighs on our hearts and his will does not correspond with ours, with our inclination to do as we like. However, the more we open ourselves to God, welcome the gift of faith and put our whole trust in him — like Abraham, like Mary — the more capable he will make us, with his presence, of living every situation of life in peace and assured of his faithfulness and his love. However, this means coming out of ourselves and our own projects so that the word of God may be the lamp that guides our thoughts and actions.

[Francis on Twitter]


  • Mary is the one who says “Yes”. Mary, help us to come to know the voice of Jesus better, and to follow it.  (22.04.2013)
  • Let us ask Our Lady to teach us how to live out our faith in our daily lives and to make more room for the Lord. (4.05.2013)
  • We must learn from Mary, and we must imitate her unconditional readiness to receive Christ in her life. (18.05.2013)