VATICAN CITY, MAY 2, 2005 (Zenit.org).- At the start of May, the month traditionally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, Benedict XVI invited the faithful to “contemplate Christ with Mary’s eyes.”
After addressing some 50,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray the Regina Caeli on Sunday, the Pope took up the legacy of Marian devotion left by his predecessor.
“With his words and even more so with his example, Pope John Paul II taught us to contemplate Christ with Mary’s eyes, valuing especially the prayer of the holy rosary,” he said.
In an interview with ZENIT, Discalced Carmelite Father Jesús Castellano Cervera, a consultor to the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, explained some of the characteristic features of the relationship between the new Pope and the Virgin Mary.
“In his first words, the Pope said with filial simplicity that Mary is always by our side,” Father Castellano said. “We must be very careful about the appropriate way to express ourselves about Mary. A synthesis of his thought is found in his book entitled ‘Mary’ […]. When John Paul II wrote the encyclical ‘Redemptoris Mater,’ Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, together with Hans Urs von Balthasar, wrote a beautiful introduction to read that text.”
“I see an interior ‘Marian profile’ in him, in his way of being and of receiving, of witnessing, an internalized and personalized Marian devotion,” added the professor of sacramental theology and spirituality at Rome’s theological faculty Teresianum.
Father Castellano added: “A Marian Pope is not only one who expresses an intense exterior Marian devotion, but also — and this is, perhaps, Benedict XVI’s characteristic — one who expresses a profound communion with the Mother of the Lord and of the Church, reliving her sentiments and attitudes, with a spiritual paternity which also has the Marian and maternal tone of a love that is respectful and friendly to all.”