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Mary and the Fathers of the Church: The Blessed Virgin Mary in Patristic Thought Paperback – September 25, 2006
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"A marvelous window onto Marian doctrine and devotion in the East and the West during that formative period for Church teaching. The text is equally accessible to scholar and first-time student, greatly aided by the fine translation. Highly recommended for all." --- Fr. Peter Stravinskas
"Solid and majestic scholarship such as this lets the Fathers speak to our own age when Mary's glory is neglected by skeptics and pantomimed by the superstitious." --- Fr. George Rutler
"A well-known patristics scholar presents a work of much-needed information on post-biblical developments in Marian devotion."
--- Fr. Johan Roten, S.M.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian
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"For myself, hopeless as you consider it, I am not ashamed to still take my stand upon the Fathers, and do not mean to budge. The history of their times is not yet an old almanac to me. Of course, I maintain the value and authority of the 'Schola', as one of the loci theologici; nevertheless I sympathize with Petavius in preferring to the 'contentious and subtle theology' of the middle age, that 'more elegant and fruitful teaching which is molded after the image of the erudite Antiquity.' The Fathers made me a Catholic, and I am not going to kick down the ladder by which I ascended into the Church. It is a ladder quite as serviceable for that purpose now, as it was twenty years ago. Though I hold, as you know, a process of development in Apostolic truth as time goes on, such development does not supersede the Fathers, but explains and completes them. And, in particular, as regards our teaching concerning the Blessed Virgin, with the Fathers I am content." Blessed John Henry Newman
Cardinal Newman said it better than I could.
Anyone coming in with the impression that the Catholic and Orthodox Church's devotion to Mary is a recent invention instead of one which was held by the earliest Christians will see in the writings of St. Justin Martyr, Origen, etc. that this was not the case. In addition, one can see from the paintings in the catacombs where the early Christians were forced to hide to practice their faith, many depictions of the Virgin and the prominent place she held in early Christian thought.