This encyclical letter is Pope John Paul II’s most authoritative writing on the Blessed Virgin Mary. It follows from his encyclical letters on the Son (Redemptor Hominis), on the Father (Dives in Misericordia) and on the Holy Spirit (Dominum et Vivificantem). It figures so significantly in his papacy that he renamed the “Matilde Chapel” the Redemptoris Mater Chapel in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace in the Marian Year 1987-88. It was restored in November 1999 with a special mission to embody the encounter between the Christian East and Christian West.
This encyclical represents the Pope’s desire to develop a vision of the Church which, in her theology, liturgy, and spirituality, breathes with both lungs, that of the East and that of the West.
“Even more than his other encyclicals, Redemptoris Mater is a sustained reflection on Scripture. In large measure, the encyclical is a biblical meditation, an attentive listening to the inspired Word which speaks the truth about Mary.”
~Archbishop J. Michael Miller, C.S.B.