In 2005 we saw the death of John Paul II. February 2013 saw the abdication of Benedict XVI. And March 2013 will see the election of the 266th successor of Saint Peter.
Of recent memory, our past Holy Father’s have had a very deep Marian devotion. Leo XIII authored more than 10 encyclicals on the holy rosary. His encyclicals were relatively short (typically 3-5 printed pages) when compared to the writings of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Pius XII solemnly proclaimed that Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven, making it a dogma of the Church. Paul VI’s great Marian legacy was his Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus (On the right ordering of Marian devotion). John Paul II was known for his great Marian devotion, from his motto, Totus Tuus, to the creation of the five Luminous mysteries.
This blog, Mary and the Pope, will compile the Marian references of the 266th successor of St. Peter, whoever the Holy Spirit inspires the Cardinals to elect. As such, it will be a research and resource blog–a place where I compile sources, research, and commentary, which consequently becomes a resource to the online world. At the close of each year, I would like to focus on the overall themes of the Holy Father’s Mariology, as expressed in the given year. Additionally, when time permits, I will also comment on the Marian devotion of other popes after reading their works. In this interregnum period though, I hope to reflect on the Marian thoughts of Pope Benedict XVI, especially in the days following his abdication.