Assumption of Mary Icon

Course Description

The first time we hear of Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the Gospels is at the end of Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus: “Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ” (Mt 1:16). So right from the very first chapter of the New Testament we see Mary receiving a central role in Salvation History. One could indeed say that we are all indebted to Mary for giving birth to our Saviour, Jesus. Mary has a prominent role in the preparation of the Messiah, for as it is mentioned in Luke’s Gospel the angel Gabriel appeared to her to announce that she would be the mother of the Saviour (see Lk 1:27). In other words, whenever Mary is mentioned in the Gospel accounts she it is always in relation to Jesus.

This course, therefore, will consider Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, in relation to Jesus and to his Church. The first part of the course will consider how she is described in the New Testament accounts. This inevitably leads us to consider Mary as she was prefigured in the great women of the Old Testament. The second part of the course will reflect on the great Marian proclamations of the Magisterium, emphasising the four great Marian Dogmas: the Mother of God (proclaimed by the Council of Ephesus in 431), Mary’s Perpetual Virginity (proclaimed by the Lateran Council of 649), the Immaculate Conception (proclaimed by Pope Pius IX in 1854), and the Assumption (proclaimed by Pope Pius XII in 1950). We will also consider the two Marian titles of Advocate and Mediatrix of all graces as proclaimed by the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, n. 62 (1964).

It is hoped that through this course you will gain a greater appreciation and love, not only for Mary, the Mother of all Christians, but also for her Son, Jesus Christ. For Mary says to us, just as she said to the first disciples: “Do whatever he tells you!” (Jn 2:5).

Course Objectives

  1. To fall more deeply in love with Jesus and his mother Mary.
  2. To gain a greater appreciation of the familial nature of the New Covenant.
  3. To see how Mary’s appearances in the New Testament have great importance.
  4. To gain an understanding of the four great Marian dogmas.
  5. To learn about the importance of the doctrines of Mary as Advocate and Mediatrix of all graces.

Course Duration

6 Weeks: 12 Hours (i.e., two hours, one night a week).

Recommended Reading

Texts Recommended for Purchase by Course Participants:

Hahn, Scott W. Hail, Holy Queen. New York: Doubleday, 2006.

Sri, Edward. Queen Mother: A Biblical Theology of Mary’s Queenship. Steubenville, OH: Emmaus Road Publishing, 2005.

Popular Level Reading:

Benedictine Monks of Solesmes, (eds.). Papal Teachings on Our Lady. Boston: St. Paul Editions, 1961.

Cantinant, J. Mary in the Bible. Westminister: Newman Press, 1965.

Carroll, E. Understanding the Mother of Jesus. Wilmington, ED: Michael Glazier, 1979.

Deiss, L. Mary: Daughter of Zion. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1972.

De La Potterie, I. Mary in the Mystery of the Covenant. New York: Alba House, 1992.

Gaventa, B. Mary: Glimpses of the Mother of Jesus. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 1995.

Grassi, J. Mary, Mother and Disciple. Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier, 1988.

Hahn, Scott W. Hail, Holy Queen. New York: Doubleday, 2006.

Lukefahr, O. Christ’s Mother and Ours. Liguori, MO: Liguori, 1988.

Macquarrie, J. Mother of All Christians. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1990.

Miravalle, M. Mary: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate. Santa Barbara, CA: Queenship Publishing, 1993.

Paredes, J. Mary and the Kingdom of God. Middlegreen: St. Paul Publications, 1991.

Pope Pius XII. Four Marian Encyclicals and the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1959.

Thematic Works for this Course:

Achtemeier, Paul J. Inspiration and Authority: Nature and Function of Christian Scripture. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 1999.

Béchard, Dean P. ed. and trans. The Scripture Documents: An Anthology of Official Catholic Teachings. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002.

Catholic Church. Catechism of the Catholic Church. Homebush: St Pauls, 1994.

_________. Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, New Revised Edition, vol. 1. Edited by Austin Flannery. New York: Costello Publishing Company, 1996.

Dauphinais, Michael and Matthew Levering. Holy People, Holy Land: A Theological Introduction to the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2005.

Farkasfalvy, Denis. Inspiration and Interpretation: A Theological Introduction to Sacred Scripture. Washington DC. The Catholic University of America Press, 2010.

Geisler, Norman L. and William C. Roach. Defending Inerrancy: Affirming the Accuracy of Scripture for a New Generation. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2011.

Hahn, Scott. A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God’s Covenant Love in Scripture. Michigan: Servant Publications, 1998.

_________. Scripture Matters: Essays on Reading the Bible from the Heart of the Church. Steubenville, Ohio: Emmaus Road, 2003.

Vanhoozer, Kevin J. (ed.) Theological Interpretation of the New Testament: A Book-by-Book Survey. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2005, 2008.

_________. (ed.) Theological Interpretation of the Old Testament: A Book-by-Book Survey. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2005, 2008.

Shea, Mark P. Making Senses out of Scripture: Reading the Bible as the First Christians Did. San Diego: Basilica Press, 1999.

Sri, Edward. The Bible Compass: A Catholic’s Guide to Navigating the Scriptures. West Chester, PA: Ascension Press, 2009.

Scholarly Level Reading:

Balthasar, Hans Urs von. Mary for Today. San Francisco: Ignatius, 1988.

_________. The Threefold Garland. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1982.

Balthasar, Hans Urs von., and Joseph Ratzinger. Mary: The Church at the Source. Translated by Adrian Walker. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005.

Bouyer, Louis. The Seat of Wisdom: An Essay on the Place of the Virgin Mary in Christian Theology. New York: Pantheon, 1960.

Brown, Raymond E. et al, eds. Mary in the New Testament. NY: Paulist, 1978.

Dickson, Charles. A Protestant Pastor Looks at Mary: What Does Mary Offer All Christians? Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 1996.

Doheny, William, J. Papal Documents on Mary. Milwaukee: Bruce, 1954.

Garrigou-Lagrange, Reginald. The Mother of the Saviour and Our Interior Life. Translated by Bernard J. Kelly. Dublin: Golden Eagle Books, 1949.

Gottemoller, Bartholomew. Mary: God’s Supreme Masterpiece. Santa Barbara, CA: Queenship Publishing Co., 1996.

Graef, Hilda. Mary: A History of Doctrine and Devotion. 2 vols. NY: Sheed and Ward, 1963. Republished in a combined paperback volume by Sheed & Ward of London, 1985.

Kiwin, G. The Nature of the Queenship of Mary. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Dissertation Services, 1973.

Lubich, Chiara. The Word of Life. London: New City, 1981.

National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Pastoral Letter Behold Your Mother, Woman of Faith. Washington: USCC, 1973.

O’Carroll, Michael. Theotokos: A Theological Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier, 1982.

Palmer, Paul, F., ed. Mary in the Documents of the Church. Westminster, MD: Newman, 1952.

Pope John Paul II. Encyclical Letter Mother of the Redeemer

[Redemptoris Mater]. Washington, DC: USCC, 1987.

_________. John Paul II’s Book of Mary. Compiled by Margaret R. Bunson. Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 1996.

Ratzinger, Joseph. Daughter Zion. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1983.

Semmelroth, Otto. Mary Archetype of the Church. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1963.

Shebeen, Matthias Joseph. Mariology. Translated by T.L.M.J Geukers. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2010.

Tavard, George. The Thousand Faces of the Virgin Mary. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1996.

Woodbury, Austin. The Assumption. Sydney: Aquinas Academy (unpublished text), 31st October, 1950.