2013-05-31 - “Pope Francis is very devoted to Mary. The very next day after his election he went to the Basilica of St Mary Major to pray to Mary to ask for her grace to carry out his Pontificate”, says Fr. Denis Kulandaisamy, OSM (Order of Servants of Mary or Servites) professor of Mariology at the Pontifical Theological Faculty Marianum.

On Friday Pope Francis leads faithful in the recitation of the Rosary for the conclusion of the Marian month of May, a traditional devotion that is echoed worldwide in homes, parishes and shrines.

Since the beginning of his pontificate the Holy Father has constantly referred to Christ’s Mother as our model in Christian life. In his homilies Pope Francis has spoken about her central role in our salvation history, in being among the first witnesses to the Resurrection and in building the early Church. Above all he has held Mary up as a model for the dignity of all women who are ‘fundamental in the life of the Church’, often ‘the first to give the Christian proclamation’ to new generations of faithful.

“Paul VI said we cannot be Christian if we are not Marian”, Fr. Denis tells Emer McCarthy. “She is the one who brings us Jesus, the second person of the Trinity. Talking about Mary we must also talk about the dignity of women in the Church: The woman who gave us Christ is a symbol of the world where women are not respected, not given proper importance or dignity. If we as Catholics want to give proper devotion to Mary, that devotion must be into practice in our day to day life”: