02 August 2019
From the Marian Roots to the Ecclesial Vision
The doctoral thesis of Secretary Awi Mello investigates Pope Francis’ thought and practice in regard to popular Marian piety and devotions
“María-Iglesia: Madre del pueblo misionero”: is the title of the thesis for the Ph.D in Mariology recently awarded to Father Alexandre Awi Mello, Secretary of our Dicastery at the Inernational Marian Research Institute of the University of Dayton (Ohio).
The work, published in Buenos Aires by the publishers Agape Libros, covers the life and Marian activities of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, showing how he learnt popular Marian piety and devotions through his family roots, the Argentinian and Latin American theological-pastoral background and his close contact with Gods Faithful People.
The book contains a collection of Bergoglio’s Marian writings during the various stages of his life, interviews with the Pope and people close to him, and shows how Marian piety became a real contribution for implementing his vision of Church.
The phrase “Mother of the Missionary People” sums up, in the Author’s opinion, the Popes vision of both Mary and the Church, summarizing in this way the theological-systematic foundation of Pope Francis’s thought and practice regarding popular Marian piety.
The preface by Prof. Carlos María Galli, Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the Pontifical Catholic University in Argentina and a member of the International Theological Commission, describes a work that “helps us to understand the entire life and thought of Bergoglio/Francis, not just his Mariological reflection in the context of popular Marian piety. I will limit myself here to pointing out two strong, central theological points of Bergoglio’s thought that Awi helps us to understand” – we read in the preface –. “The first is the ecclesiology of God’s people; the second is the correlation Maria-Church”.
The historical, theological and pastoral conclusions of this study are fundamental for all those who wish to learn about the roots of Francis’ prophetic vision and put it into practice.
In addition, there is “È mia madre”, a book about Pope Francis’s Marian faith, edited by Father Awi and published in Italian last October. This is also now available in the Romanian Language.