EMIL SIMEON ALLUE, Fordham University


The theological problem which the author of this dissertation intends to solve is presented in terms of an inquiry. It is a search into a historical period by examining one of its liturgical sources. The specific object of this inquiry is the Marian devotion which existed in Spain at the close of the patristic period. The author believes that the popular faith in the mother of God was chiefly manifested through the prayer formulas used during the liturgy of the Mass. The Morzarabic liturgy provides the author with the basic ground in investigating the Marian faith of the Visigoth period. Its prayer formulas, composed for its liturgical feasts, contain the outer expressions of a personal conviction about Mary, and provide a vehicle for the reaffirmation of Marian teachings. By delineating the image of Mary into her essential roles of mother and virgin, the author's task is to make more explicit the various Marian images employed in the liturgy of Spain during the Visigoth domination. The main source for this inquiry is the Liber Mozarabicus Sacramentorum edited by the liturgist Dom Marius Ferotin. Other historical sources, like Spanish patristics, liturgy, and Visigoth history, are also considered as general background. Besides these sources, the author tries to situate the images of Mary found in the Spanish sacramentary within the patristic context of Church tradition. The procedure adopted by the author is one of the analysis and synthesis. In his methodology, the author analyzes separately the two key concepts of the maternity of Mary and her virginity. This procedure brings out specifically in each case a clear and definite imagery of Mary. This analytical procedure is followed by a more detailed examination of all the prayers found in the two Masses composed for the Assumption of Mary. This chapter contains the theological explanation needed to understand the unity of the virgo-mater concept. The ultimate realization and completion of Mary's virginal maternity was her triumphant Assumption into the heavenly kingdom. Thus, the singular privileges of Mary's maternity and virginity cannot be separated from the total plan of salvation history. A theological synthesis follows the analytical part in which the author formulates the basic images and themes discovered in the prayers and their theological implications. The conclusions reached center on an image of Mary which is totally in accordance with scriptural, patristic, and ecclesian Mariology. The relevant aspect of these conclusions rests on its clarity of expression and explicitation of traditional Marian concepts. The Trinitarian and Christological values of the virginal maternity of Mary dominate Marian thought emphasized in its spiritual and pastoral terms. Mary's divine maternity not only is affirmed but is presented in strong Trinitarian terms within the historical context of salvation history, where Mary becomes the mother of the new age. In the incarnational aspect of salvation Mary acquires a singular relationship with her Son, who appears as the source and sustainer of her maternity and virginity. Mary's virginal privilege not only includes the traditional physical aspect, but even transcends it, embracing God's predilection for Mary from the very beginning and reaching out to eschatological times. The Christological and spiritual aspects of Mary's virginity are a positive contribution found in this inquiry. The image virgo-mater is a unifying Marian concept representing definitively the popular convictions of the Visigoth Christians on the singular position of Mary in relation to God and humanity.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation