Devotions for Disciples - Volume 1

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This is an excellent book to get you thinking. It gives you a passage of scripture and a few thoughts on that passage, but it doesn't go into great depth. I find that pattern to be very helpful in leading me to seek God's voice, because it helps me turn to Him to ask, "What does this mean in my life? Lisa Penny rated it it was amazing Oct 22, Autumn Costa marked it as to-read Nov 19, Jim Coyle marked it as to-read Jan 02, Zachariah Nicholovos marked it as to-read Dec 24, The 12th and 13th centuries saw an extraordinary growth of the cult of the Virgin in Western Europe, inspired in part by the writings of theologians such as Bernard of Clairvaux.

At the height of the pilgrimage movement in the 11th and 12th centuries, hundreds of people were traveling almost constantly from one Marian shrine to the next. By the 14th century, Mary had become greatly popular as a compassionate intercessor and protector of humanity, and during the great plagues such as the Black Death her help was sought against the just judgment of God. By the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation had introduced a tide against Marian venerations in Europe.

The ensuing Marian pilgrimages have continued to date and the Marian Basilica on Tepeyac Hill remains the most visited Catholic shrine in the world.

Marian culture continues to develop within the Catholic Church. In this document, which was subtitled For the Right Ordering and Development of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary Paul VI not only discussed the history of Marian devotions but also overviewed their rationale and provided suggestions for their future direction, emphasising their theological and pastoral value. Roman Catholic devotions have relied on the writings of numerous saints throughout history who have attested to the central role of Mary in God's plan of salvation.

Early saints included Irenaeus of Lyons in the 2nd century who was perhaps the earliest of the Church Fathers to write systematically about the Virgin Mary, and he set out a forthright account of her role in the economy of salvation. In the Middle Ages, Bernhard of Clairvaux highlighted her virginity and humility as the basis for her veneration. His approach of "total consecration to Jesus Christ through Mary" had a strong impact on Marian devotion both in popular piety and in the spirituality of religious institutes.

The earliest Christian feasts that relate to Mary grew out of the cycle of feasts that celebrated the Nativity of Jesus. By the 7th century a feast dedicated to Mary was celebrated just before Christmas in the churches of Milan and Ravenna in Italy.

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Catherine of Siena , adopted the custom of dedicating Saturday to Mary. These may include the singing of Marian anthems, crowning of statues of Mary with floral wreaths, readings from scriptures , a sermon , and or presentation by local choirs. The Roman Catholic Church celebrates three Marian solemnities which are also holy days of obligation in many countries during the liturgical year [99] in liturgical order :.

Among the other prominent Marian feast days and memorials in the General Roman Calendar of the Catholic Church are: [99]. A large number of titles to honor Mary or ask for her intercession are used by Roman Catholics.

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Titles used to refer to the Virgin Mary throughout history, at times reflect the changing attitudes towards her. Domina lady , Regina queen and Stella Maris star of the sea are some of the early titles of Mary, of which Regina is the earliest. Domina and Sella Maris are found in Jerome who perhaps originated the etymology of Mary as Stella Maris in the 5th century.

While the early emphasis in Stella Maris was on Mary as the Star that bore Christ, by the 9th century, the attention had focused on Mary herself, as indicated in the hymn Ave Maris Stella. By the 11th century, Mary herself had emerged as the star that acted as a guiding light. Among the most prominent Roman Catholic Marian titles are: []. The Liturgy of the Hours includes several offices to be sung, including Compline. At the close of this office, one of four Marian antiphons is sung. These songs, Alma redemptoris mater , Ave Regina caelorum , Regina caeli , and Salve Regina , have been described as "among the most beautiful creations of the late Middle Ages".

One of the earliest Marian compositions is the popular Salve Regina in Latin from a Benedictine monk, which exists in several Gregorian versions. Hermann of Reichenau July 18, — September 24, , composed the Alma redemptoris mater and hymns to Mary became part of daily life at monasteries such as the Benedictine Abbey of Cluny in France. While the date of the composition of Ave Regina caelorum is uncertain, conjecture that it antedates the fourth century seems to be without any warrant of external or internal evidence. It is found in the St.

Alban's Book of the twelfth century. It is difficult to trace the beginning of non- Gregorian Marian liturgical music.

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Over the centuries, Marian master pieces have continued to appear, e. Mozart 's Coronation Mass. Some of the best poetry written in honor of the Blessed virgin comes from this period of the Middle Ages. The earliest known Marian prayer is the Sub tuum praesidium , or Beneath Thy Protection , a text for which was rediscovered in on a papyrus in Egypt dated to c. Beneath your compassion, We take refuge, O Mother of God: do not despise our petitions in time of trouble: but rescue us from dangers, only pure, only blessed one.

The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary probably originated as a monastic devotion around the middle of the eighth century. During the 11th century, as the number of monasteries grew, so did Marian prayers.

There is little or no trace of the Hail Mary as an accepted devotional formula before about All the evidence suggests that it took its rise from certain versicles and responsories occurring in the Little Office or Cursus of the Blessed Virgin which just at that time was coming into favour among the monastic orders. Two Anglo-Saxon manuscripts at the British Museum, one of which may be as old as the year , show that the words "Ave Maria" etc. Official recognition of the Ave Maria in its complete form was finally given in the Roman Breviary of Three Hail Marys is a traditional Roman Catholic devotional practice of reciting three Hail Marys as a petition for purity and other virtues.

The practice of saying three Hail Marys in the evening somewhere about sunset had become general throughout Europe in the first half of the fourteenth century and it was recommended by Pope John XXII in The practice was observed by Franciscans and eventually developed into the Angelus prayer. The Angelus is a prayer commemorating the Incarnation.

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It originated with the 11th-century monastic custom of reciting three Hail Marys during the evening, or Compline bell. It was traditionally recited in Roman Catholic churches, convents, and monasteries three times daily: am, noon, and pm and is usually accompanied by the ringing of the Angelus bell, which is a call to prayer.

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In the 12th century Bernard of Clairvaux gave sermons De duodecim stellis , from which an extract has been taken by the Roman Catholic Church and used in the Offices of the Compassion and of the Seven Dolours. Saint Bernard wrote: "Take away Mary, this star of the sea, the sea truly great and wide: what is left but enveloping darkness and the shadow of death and the densest blackness? Anselm of Lucca d. Bernard ; and also in the large book "De laudibus B.

The mostly anonymous Middle English Lyrics of the Later Middle Ages show passionate forms of personal worship, known as affective devotion.

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The lyrics, reflecting the theology, depict Mary as not just the woman but also the ideal that all humanity should strive for. The term " devotions " is commonly understood to refer to those external practices of piety by which the faith of an individual finds expression. A wide range of Marian devotions are followed by Catholics ranging from simple Rosary recitations to formalized, multi-day Novenas to activities which do not involve any prayers, such the wearing of scapulars or maintaining a Mary garden.

Following their joint growth in the 18th and 19th centuries, by the early 20th century the Rosary and the devotional Scapular had gained such a strong following among Catholics worldwide that the Catholic Encyclopedia of stated: " Like the Rosary, the Brown Scapular has become the badge of the devout Catholic. The Mariological basis of the Scapular devotion is effectively the same as Marian consecration, as discussed in the dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium of the Second Vatican Council , namely the role of the Virgin Mary as " the mother to us in the order of grace " which allows her to intercede for " the gift of eternal salvation ".


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Roman Catholic tradition includes specific prayers and devotions as Acts of Reparation to the Virgin Mary for insults that she suffers. The Raccolta Roman Catholic prayer book approved by a Decree of , and published by the Holy See in includes a number of such prayers. These prayers do not involve a petition for a living or deceased beneficiary, but aim to repair the sins of others against the Virgin Mary.

For centuries, Marian devotions among Roman Catholics have included many examples of personal or collective acts of consecration and entrustment to the Virgin Mary; the Latin terms oblatio , servitus , commendatio , and dedicatio were used in this context.

The Catholic Church makes it clear that " Individuals declaring their "entrustment" to Mary seek her intercession before God through her son Jesus Christ, for she herself has no divine power. The official position of the Holy See is that while the Holy Office has approved a few apparitions of the Virgin Mary, Roman Catholics at large are not required to believe them.

However, many Catholics express belief in Marian apparitions. As a historical pattern, Vatican approval seems to have followed general acceptance of a vision by well over a century in most cases.

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