Volume XI: Marian Devotions and the Last Things

Contemplating the Mystery of Faith

I take this opportunity, then, in having the honour of presenting this last volume of Magisterial Summaries, to offer a word of deep gratitude to Mr. George P. Morse and all of his associates at CUSP for this invaluable contribution.

To you, the reader, it is my hope that, having read through and meditated on the extracts of these official teachings, you will be drawn to a deeper appreciation of the faith of the Church. Especially as we stand on the threshold of the Third Millennium, these documents offer to us another font for contemplating the mystery of our faith in “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.”

Jozef Cardinal Tomko, Prefect, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples


This work covers two topics which, at first glance, are quite distinct, but which, on a deeper and more faith-inspired level, share much in common. For, as we read in the CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, “the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians.” (n. 966). By offering for our study and contemplation these official teachings both on “Marian Devotions” and on “The Last Things,” the compilers of these volumes bring to a conclusion the task they set out to perform some years ago, to present in a concise, readable manner the Official Teachings of the Catholic Church. Through their singular effort, and supported by our brother, James Cardinal Hickey, these volumes have been spread throughout the world, and have been of singular assistance especially to seminarians in countries where it would be almost impossible to procure these fundamental documents individually.

Table of Contents 

Part One  

  • Ubi Primum, Encyclical of Pope Pius IX on the Immaculate Conception, February 2, 1849 
  • Ineffabilis Deus, The Bull of Pope Pius IX, Defining the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, December 8, 1854 
  • Magnae Dei Matris, Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on the Rosary, September 8, 1892 
  • Adiutricem, Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on the Rosary, September 5, 
  • Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum, Encyclical of Pope St. Pius X, on the Immaculate Conception, February 2, 
  • Ingravescentibus Malis, Encyclical of Pope Pius XI on the Rosary, September 29, 1937 
  • Deiparae Virginis Mariae, Encyclical of Pope Pius XII on the Possibility of Defining the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a Dogma of Faith, May 1, 1946 
  • Munificentissimus Deus, Apostolic Constitution of Pople Pisu XII, Defining the Dogma of Faith that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, has been Assumed into Heaven in Body and Soul, November 1, 1950 
  • Ingruentium Malorum, Encyclical of Pope Pisu XII on Reciting the Rosary, September 15, 1951 
  • Fulgens Corona, Encyclical of Pope Pius XII on reciting the Rosary, September 15, 1951 
  • Grata Recordatio, Encyclical of Pope John XXIII on the Rosary, Prayer for the Church, Missions, International and Social Problems, September 26, 1959 
  • Lumen Gentium, Chapter 8, Vatican Council II, The blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, in the Mystery of Christ and the Church, November 21, 1964
  • Christi Matri, Encyclical of Pope Paul VI on Prayers for peace During October, September 15, 1966 
  • Signum Magnum, Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Paul VI on Venerating and Imitating the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church and Model of all Virtues, May 13, 1967
  • Marialis Cultus, Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Paul VI on Devotion to Mary, February 25, 1974 
  • Redemptoris Mater, encyclical of Pope John Paul II on the Mother of the Redeemer, March 25, 1987

Part Two 

  • Council of Constantinople, Anathematisms Against the Origenists, 543 
  • Eleventh Council of Toledo, Symbol of Faith, 675 
  • Fourth Lateran Council, Symbol of Lateran, 1215 
  • Second Council of Lyons, Profession of Faith of Michael Palaeologus, 1274 
  • Benedictus Deus, Apostolic Constitution, Pope Benedict XII, 1336 
  • Council of Florence, Decree for the Greeks, 1439 
  • Council of Trent, Twenty-Fifth Session, Decree on Purgatory, 1563 
  • Lumen Gentium, Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, November 21, 1964
  • Gaudium et Spes, Vatican Council II, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, December 7, 1965 
  • Recentiores Episcoporum Synodi, Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the Reality of Life after Death, May 17, 1979 

Lectio Divina Cordis

Divine Reading of the Heart


HEAR the words as you inwardly read  or speak

– Read –


ENTER  the silence to reflect on a core precept

– Meditate –


ANSWER to the knock at the heart’s door

– Speak –


REST silently without words or thoughts

– Contemplate –


TRUST: “Do not let your HEART  be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”   (John 13:1)

 – Trust in the process –

Lectio Divina (Latin for “Divine Reading”) is a traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God’s Word. It does not treat scripture as texts to be studied, but as the living word.

The focus of Lectio Divina is not a theological analysis of biblical passages but viewing them with Christ  as the key to their meaning.

Approaching the Magisterium Summaries from this perspective may lead to a deeper appreciation of its meaning and  an appreciation of how it may be applied to one’s life.

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