Open main menu

Marialis Cultus (English: Marian Devotion) is the title of a Mariological apostolic exhortation by Pope Paul VI issued on February 2, 1974.[1] It is subtitled: "For the Right Ordering and Development of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary", and focuses Marian devotions, clarifying the way in which the Roman Catholic Church celebrates and commemorates Mary, the mother of Jesus. The exhortation sought to integrate devotion to Mary into the pastoral catechetical process, especially in liturgical catechesis, in a manner harmonious with the reforms of Vatican II. Mary must always be understood in relation to Jesus. The preparation of the document reportedly took 4 years.[2]

The exhortation has three parts:

  • Part 1 discusses the history of Catholicism's Marian devotions, as well as their rationale.
  • Part 2 focuses on what should/will take place in the Church's Marian devotions in the future
  • Part 3 touches on the Angelus and the Rosary prayers.

Marialis Cultus gives guidelines for devotions to Mary by the Church – that is, it attempts to make sure that all Marian liturgical celebrations and public expressions of devotion align with established doctrine. " [T]he history of piety shows how 'the various forms of devotion towards the Mother of God that the Church has approved within the limits of wholesome and orthodox doctrine' have developed in harmonious subordination to the worship of Christ."[3]

It is generally recognized that there are three elements in devotion to Mary: veneration, invocation, or calling upon her for her motherly and queenly intercession, and imitation.[4] The exhortation noted that every element of the church’s prayer life, including Marian devotions, should draw its inspiration from the Bible and harmonize with the liturgy.[5]

The conclusion to the document emphasizes the theological and pastoral value of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Peter Stravinskas, 2002, Catholic Dictionary, OSV Press ISBN 978-0-87973-390-2 pages 370-371
  2. ^ Frisk, M. Jean. Magisterial Documents: Marialis Cultus", International Marian Research InstituteUniversity of Dayton
  3. ^ Pope Paul VI. Marialis Cultus, February 2, 1974, Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  4. ^ Samaha S.M., John M., "TheVirgin Mary today — taking another look", Catholic Voices, Diocese of Oakland, May 11, 2009
  5. ^ McBrien, "Renewal of authentic Marian piety needed", Catholic Courier, Diocese of Rochester, New York Archived 2014-08-19 at the Wayback Machine