In the Heart of
the World

Be Church Like Mary

Day 2: Monday, Week 1


Vatican II, drawing on the Gospels and the writings from the Fathers of the Church, reflected on the place of Mary, mother and first disciple of Jesus, at the heart of the Church. It underlined that men and women consecrated in baptism to share in the missionary life of the church must do so with the same maternal love as Mary. (Constitution on the Church, Chapter 8, # 65, 1964)

The Church continuously recalls this exhortation in a variety of ways for the modern world.

  • According to tradition, the early Christian community, in seeing Mary, saw the church unfold before their very eyes. Mary was among all believers ‘like a mirror’ in which are reflected the marvelous works of God. (John Paul II, Mother of the Redeemer, # 25)
  • The maternity of Mary which becomes our inheritance is a gift to every Christian woman and man personally. (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, (Pope Benedict XVI), Mary the Church at the Source, p. 57)
  • The Church is not an institution but a person, a mother that must be awakened in the souls of Christian men and women. Mary shows the way. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, (Pope Benedict XVI), The Ecclesiology of Vatican II, p. 9)
  • Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys, in the 17th century, in keeping with tradition, saw Mary as Mother and Teacher to the new-born Church, which she formed and instructed in all kinds of good by her words and by her example. The virtues which she taught were in the reach of all. (Writings of Marguerite Bourgeoys, p. 77)


  • What implications do these affirmations about Mary have for my life?

© 2015. All Rights Reserved to Congrégation de Notre-Dame.
Images and text shown in these pages cannot be copied without their author's permission.