“Mondays with Mary” – 5 Quotes from Pope St. John Paul II on Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom

Since yesterday was the 12th anniversary of Pope St. John Paul II’s entrance into eternal glory, I thought I would combine his words on Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom with Mary in Old Testament (a series I have been writing recently) for today’s “Mondays with Mary.” Before we focus on the late Holy Father’s words, let us turn our gaze to understanding the Old Testament Marian symbol – “Created Wisdom.”

In the Old Testament, we see some rather transcendent passages on the idea of Wisdom, which focuses on the divine Person, the Father’s Word, who exists and works before all of creation is formed, most notably, Sirach 24:3-21 and Proverbs 8:22-35. The Church in the liturgical texts has used these transcendent scriptures for two Marian feasts since the seventh and tenth centuries – The Assumption of Mary into Heaven and The Nativity of Mary. In the Lectionary, these passages are commonly used for the Masses for the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, headed as “Mary, Seat of Wisdom.”

Since the seventh century, the Church has employed these texts to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This did not happen through simple accommodation, but through the simple and basic understanding of the texts, which “evidently is found in the letter of the text, but at the same time surpasses it, widens it, and enriches it.”

We see then that through the writings of the sacred author, “Wisdom, by way of reflection and participation is ascribed to Mary, the Mother of the Word of God, who from eternity was predestined, as Ineffabilis Deus, in one and the same decree with the Incarnation of divine Wisdom.” Understanding this, it is clear that Mary shares and plays a fundamental role in the mission of the Incarnation as well as the perquisites of the Word who dwelt among us, the hypostatic Wisdom incarnate. Wisdom, which was uncreated, was now incarnate in Mary, making her the epicenter of Life and Truth. She is truly “Created Wisdom.”

Madonna as Seat of Wisdom, 1199

Now that we have come to an understanding of the Marian symbol – “created wisdom”, let us turn our attention to five quotes by Pope St. John Paul II that focus on the Marian title, Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom –

1. “The prophecy and the promise of faith, whose fulfillment was awaited by the whole people, the Israel of divine election, and the whole of humanity: This was Mary’s mystery. Joseph did not know this mystery. She could not transmit it to him, because it was a mystery beyond the capacity of the human intellect and the possibilities of human language. It was not possible to transmit it by any human means. It was only possible to accept it from God – and believe. Just as Mary believed. – Termi, Italy, 1981

2. “Beloved young people! Continue to live in the truth and for the truth! May the Blessed Virgin, the Seat of Wisdom, Mother of the Word who enlightens every man, assist you, enlighten you, and comfort you.” – Rome, Italy, 1979

3. “To succeed in your intentions, entrust yourselves to the Blessed Virgin Mary always, but especially in moments of difficulty and darkness. ‘From Mary we learn to surrender to God’s will in things. From Mary we learn to trust even when all hope seems gone. From Mary we learn to love Christ, her Son and the Son of God…Learn from her to be always faithful, to trust that God’s Word to you will be fulfilled, and that nothing is impossible with God.’” – Washington, D.C., 1979

4. “The cross is the living book from which we learn definitively who we are and how we must act. This book is always open in front of us. Read, reflect, enjoy this new wisdom. Make it your own and you will walk also along the paths of knowledge, culture, and university life, spreading light in a service of love, worthy of children of God.

And look also the Blessed Virgin, standing by the cross of Jesus (Jn. 19:25) where she is given to us as our mother: she is our hope, the seat of true Wisdom.” – Rome, Italy, 1980

5. “Be faithful to the Mother of fair love. Have trust in her, as you shape your love and form your young families. May Christ always be there for you “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” – Krakow, Poland, 1979

Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom…Pray for Us.

Pope St. John Paul II…Pray for Us.

“Mondays with Mary” – Pope St. John Paul II on Our Lady of the Rosary

Tomorrow, October 7, is the Marian feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, and although I have written quite extensively on this topic in the past, it’s fitting yet again to draw upon the words of one of our most recently declared saints, and for many of us, our beloved saint, Pope John Paul II. His love for the Rosary and the Blessed Virgin Mary has inspired many Catholic Christians across the globe to also have a devotion to Mary through the Rosary. If you follow the Facebook page, My Mother Mary, you will see that the administrators every day whether they are home or traveling always find the time to pray the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As prayer should, it has become ingrained into their daily lives.

Since its inception through the development of St. Dominic and the Dominicans, the Holy Rosary has been on the lips of many saints, through both prayer and teaching. It’s the one Marian prayer that focuses deeply and profoundly on the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. In his document, Marialis Cultus (For the Right Ordering and Development of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary), Pope Paul VI, says,

“As a Gospel prayer, centered on the mystery of the redemptive Incarnation, the rosary is therefore a prayer with a clearly Christological orientation. Its most characteristic element, in fact, the litany-like succession of Hail Mary’s, becomes in itself an unceasing praise of Christ…The Jesus that each Hail Mary recalls is the same Jesus who the succession of the mysteries proposes to us – now as the Son of God, now as the Son of the Virgin…at one time there was a custom, still preserved in certain places, of adding to the name of Jesus in each Hail Mary reference to the mystery being contemplated” (#46).


Now that we have briefly drawn upon Pope St. John Paul II’s successor, let us turn our attention to five statements from the Polish Pope on Our Lady of the Rosary –

1. “You show your devotion to Mary by celebrating her feasts, by daily prayer in her honor and especially the rosary, and by imitating her life. May that devotion grow stronger every day” (Manila, Philippines, 1983).

2. “Turn to Mary most holy, your heavenly, Mother; pray to her with fervor, especially by means of the rosary; invoke her daily, in order to be authentic imitators of Christ in our day” (Nuaro, Italy, 1985).

3. “Mary enters the house of her relative, she greets Elizabeth, and hears her words greeting. These words are familiar to us. We repeat them innumerable times, especially when we meditate on the mysteries of the rosary: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb’ (Lk. 1:42). That is how the wife of Zachary greets Mary” (Altotting, Germany, 1980).

4. “The rosary is the prayer through which, by repeating the angel’s greeting to Mary, we try to draw considerations of our own on the mysteries of Redemption from the Blessed Virgin’s meditation. Her reflection began at the moment of the Annunciation and continues in the glory of the Assumption” (L’Osservatore Romano, 1983).

5. “…In harmony with the tradition of many centuries, the Lady of the message indicates the rosary, which can rightly be defined as “Mary’s prayer”: the prayer in which she feels particularly united with us. She herself prays with us. The rosary prayer embraces the problems of the Church, of the See of St. Peter, the problems of the world. In it we also remember sinners, that they may be converted and saved…”(Fatima, Portugal, 1982).

As we celebrate Our Lady of the Rosary tomorrow, let us keep in our hearts and minds the words of Pope St. John Paul II, asking for his intercession and the intercession of Mary under her title of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Also, feel free to share this post and these quotes on your social media sites in order to evangelize the world of the importance of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

All Praise and Glory to Jesus Christ Now and Forever! Amen.


Bunson, Margaret R., John Paul II’s Book of Mary. Our Sunday Visitor. 1996.

“Mondays with Mary” – 7 Quotes by Pope St. John Paul II on Our Lady of Sorrows

Today in the Western lung of the Catholic Church, we celebrate a great Marian feast known as Our Lady of Sorrows. This traditional devotion, which helps us understand Mary’s role in the suffering of Our Lord Jesus Christ began in 1814 by Pope Pius VII, although many of the Church Fathers and other saints wrote on how Mary is united with Christ in his suffering and how we are to suffer with Christ as well. For a more complete understanding of this feast, please read my post on the topic from a previous “Mondays with Mary.”

Knowing my love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary as well as Pope St. John Paul II, who also had a great devotion to the Our Lady, I provide you seven quotes from the great 20th century Pope and Saint focusing on Our Lady of Sorrows. These quotes come from letters, addresses, homilies, and papal audiences.

Blessed John Paul II

It’s my hope that you will share this blog post with your family and friends as well as take some of these quotes and use them on your social media sites.

1. “Together with Mary, let us seek to be sharers in this death which brought forth fruits of “new life” in the Resurrection: a death like this on the cross was infamous, and it was the death of her Son! But precisely there, at the foot of the cross, “where she stood, not without a divine plan,” did not Mary realize in a new way everything that she had already heard on the day of Annunciation?”

2. “Turn your eyes incessantly to the Blessed Virgin; she, who is the Mother of Sorrows and also the Mother of Consolation, can understand you completely and help you. Looking to her, praying to her, you will obtain that your tedium will become serenity, your anguish change into hope, and your grief into love. I accompany you with my blessing, which I willingly extend to all those who assist you.”

3. “‘When a woman is in travail, she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she is delivered of the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world’ (Jn. 16:21). The first part of Christ’s words refer to the “pangs of childbirth” which belong to the heritage of original sin; at the same time these words indicate the link that exists between the woman’s motherhood and the Paschal Mystery. For this mystery also includes the Mother’s sorrow at the foot of the cross – the Mother who through faith shares in her Son’s amazing “self-emptying”: ‘This is perhaps the deepest ‘kenosis’ of faith in human history.”

4. “The Exultet of Easter tells us that he is “the light which knows no decline,” “qui nescit occasum”! Seek the light of the soul. Through it, suffering united with that of our Lord and of the Virgin Mary at the foot of the cross opens the way to eternal life, for oneself and for others.”

Our Lady of Sorrows.Carlo Dolci

5. “‘Together with Mary, Mother of Christ who stood beneath the cross, we pause beside all the crosses of contemporary man and we ask all of you who suffer to support us. We ask precisely you who are weak to become a source of strength for the Church and humanity. In the terrible battle between the forces of good and evil revealed to our eyes by our modern world, may your sufferings in union with the cross of Christ be victorious.’”

6. “‘Standing by the cross of Jesus was hit mother’ (Jn. 19:25). The Virgin, with her mother’s grief, participated in a quite particular way in the Passion of Jesus, cooperating deeply with the salvation of mankind. Like Mary, each of us can and must unite with the suffering Jesus in order to become, with his own pain, an active part in the redemption of the world which he effected in the Paschal Mystery. With these wishes, may my comforting blessing, strengthened by Mary’s motherly help, accompany you and those who lovingly assist you in daily offering.”

7. “Today’s liturgy makes use of the ancient poetic text of the sequence which begins with the Latin words Stabat Mater:

‘By the cross of our salvation/Mary stood in desolation/While the Savior hung above/All her human powers failing,/Sorrow’s sword, at last prevailing,/ Stabs and breaks her heart of love…/Virgin Mary, full of sorrow,/From your love I ask to borrow/Love enough to share your pain./Make my heart to burn with fire,/Make Christ’s love my own desire,/Who for love of me was slain.’

The author of this sequence sought, in the most eloquent way humanly possible, to present the “compassionof the Mother at the foot of the cross. He was inspired by those words of Sacred Scripture about the sufferings of Mary which, though few and concise, are deeply moving.”

Our Lady of Sorrows…Pray for us. Pope St. John Paul II…Pray for us.

This blog post is dedicated to the Saint John Paul II Facebook Group, founded 2nd May, 2011. May we all through the power of the Cross and the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and our beloved Pope St. John Paul II, pray for the many great sufferings occurring in the world today.