This simple yet comprehensive resource offers a concise overview of Mary, one of the most popular figures in all of Catholicism. It looks at the Mary of history, whose life is intertwined with the mystery of Jesus. It will reconstruct a picture that is quite different from the pious images to which so many of us are accustomed, and guide us to connect through her to her son, Jesus. The guide will show us the depth and breadth of how we see and approach Mary and remind us of how she has a special place in the liturgical life of the Church.
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About the Author
MARY CAROL KENDZIA is a director of product development at Franciscan Media. She is the author of The 5 W's of Our Catholic Faith: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How We Live It and coauthor of I Like Being in Parish Ministry: Music.
Table of Contents
About This Series v
Chapter 1 The Historical Mary 1
Chapter 2 Mary's Importance to Our Faith 12
Chapter 3 Images of Mary 19
Chapter 4 Feasts of Mary 26
Chapter 5 Praying the Rosary 35
Chapter 6 Other Prayers to Mary 47
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Valuable resource The Catholic Update Guide to Mary lists a dozen contributors who have, together, published more than 70 books on spiritual topics. Editor Mary Carol Kendzia draws from their works to produce a comprehensive overview of the Blessed Virgin, beginning with the way she is portrayed in Scripture. We learn that Mark’s view of Mary seems somewhat negative, citing Jesus’ response to news that she has arrived at the place where he is preaching: “Who are my mother and my brothers?” Like Mark, Matthew gives Mary no words, although he does place her in the genealogy of the messiah. At the same time, Matthew’s nativity account is focused entirely on Joseph. Luke describes Mary as “a woman of faith overshadowed by the Spirit at Jesus’ conception and at the beginning of the Church at Pentecost,” writes Kendzia. In addition we learn from reading Luke that Mary lived in Nazareth and was betrothed to Joseph, who was from the house of David. Kendzia explains the significance of that information and more. For example, no one else in the Bible was addressed by such an exalted title as “full of grace,” and Gabriel’s words “The Lord is with you” are used in the Old Testament to signify the call to a daunting task. John, who refers to Mary not by name but as the Mother of Jesus, mentions her at the beginning and end or Jesus’ ministry-Cana and Calvary. With these leads and an understanding of ancient Jewish culture, Kendzia fills in the biography of Mary as a Jewish peasant woman, probably living with extended family, spending up to 10 hours a day on domestic chores. We can assume that Mary was illiterate and had learned some “Latin as it slipped from the tongues of Roman soldiers, Greek as it was used in commerce and educated circles, and Hebrew as the Torah was proclaimed in the synagogue.” Chapters two through six address Mary’s role in the Catholic faith, images of Mary in art, feast days, and devotions and prayers in her honor. Each chapter ends with reflection questions. Catholic Update Guide to Mary is a valuable resource for individuals, faith sharing groups, and catechists.