.- Cardinal Angelo Amato told attendees at a major Marian conference in Rome that “if you get lost, take the hand of Mary and she will lead you to Jesus.”
The Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints was addressing the 13th International Mariological Symposium, which concludes Oct. 7.
“For conversion to Christ you must go to the Virgin Mary so that she leads us back to Him,” he told the delegates, adding that Mary leads us to “drink from the cool waters of Jesus Christ.”
The International Mariological Symposium is organized by the “Marianum” Pontifical Theological Faculty and takes place every two years. Its aim is to “foster studies on the Mother of God in the context of today.”
This year’s topic for the four days of discussion has been “The figure of Mary in the Context of Faith, Reason and Sentiments; Theological and Cultural Aspects of Modernity.”
Cardinal Amato told CNA that the conference not only widens the Church’s knowledge of Mariology but “serves to deepen knowledge in relation to other issues such as Christology, the Trinity, grace, anthropology or the Bible.”
“Marian studies have grown very well and are of high quality,” he said, noting the high quality of conference contributors throughout the week.
“Mary acts in the world today in many different ways,” explained Fr. Gian Matteo Roggio of the Marianum Pontifical Theological Faculty in remarks to CNA.
He explained that whenever Christ is manifested in the liturgy, then Mary is there too because “Mary is in Christ, she is in the body of Christ.” Fr. Roggio said that Mary is also present today as a model of Christian life. “Mary acts also in the life of the believers, because she is an example.”
“The meaning of Mary is not only for the believer. Because she was a woman of freedom, she is for all men and all women,” he concluded.
The symposium will culminate with the award the “René Laurentin - Pro Ancilla Domini” prize for studies in the field. It is named after the internationally renowned French priest and mariologist. This year the prize will be given to the Italy-based International Association for Research in the Shrines.
On Friday, Oct. 7 the conference will be concluded by, amongst others, Cardinal Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the President of the Pontifical Council for Culture.