Vitorrio Messori, the most popular Italian Catholic writer has slammed so-called “adult” Catholics who want to minimize the role of the Virgin Mary, just days before the presentation of his new book “Hypothesis About Mary” in Spain.
The best-selling author of books such as “Crossing the Threshold of Hope,” addresses who Mary is for believers in his new work, the credibility of apparitions in Lourdes and Fatima and Mary’s role in Christian belief. The new book has yet to be translated into English.
Messori confesses that years ago he was asked to write a book about Mary, but the proposal “seemed extravagant.” However, little by little, he realized that “the Mother is discovered afterwards, when one has entered into a relationship with the Son…Then we realize that the discreet presence of Mary is essential.”
According to Messori, the fact that certain Catholics “are ashamed” of Mary is due “above all to a Protestant influence on Catholicism. Reformation theology has always been convinced that what is given to the Mother of God is taken away from the Son. In reality, the truth is the opposite: wherever Mary is eclipsed, Jesus disappears as well, either before or after. As almost five centuries of experience shows, the faith has been preserved much better between Catholics and Orthodox, who give Mary the role that is hers. The fact is that this Woman is the guarantor of the truth of the Incarnation: it is her flesh, it is her uterus that guarantees that God has truly been made man.”
“Many theologians,” he went on, “believe that Marian devotion isn’t ‘elegant,’ and they think that it is a sentimental deviation unworthy of adults. And it is true that, often times, devotion to Mary has been mere sentimentalism; but what I have tried to show in my book, where there is no rhetoric, is that there can exist a ‘manly’ devotion, in the truest sense of the word, like the Medieval knights for example.”
Starting with the Enlightenment, he said, “a culture understood only in an academic and scholastic sense has been exalted. In reality, while this culture can lead to pride, the humility of the ignorant according to the world makes him more willing to understand the Mystery of a God who wanted to become a child, who we know knew how to read but who we are not sure knew how to write.”
Therefore, in “Hypothesis About Mary,” Messori explains that he seeks to convey that “without Mary Christianity is incomplete. What’s more, without Mary the faith itself is in danger, is unbalanced and without strong roots… In fact, in the book I show how the Marian presence prevents the faith from falling into error. It is an essential element of equilibrium, it’s not an optional choice,” he said.