Appeared in Summer 1990, Vol. XVI, No. 2

In his beautiful and timely encyclical, “Mother of the Redeemer” (Redemptoris Mater),1 Pope John Paul II proclaimed the 1987-88 Marian Year, the second of its kind in the history of the Church (the first being that of Pope Pius XII in 1954). Pope John Paul’s reasons included preparation for the coming of the third millennium of Christianity in the year 2000; the honoring of Mary, who preceded Jesus in history; commemoration of the 1200th anniversary of the seventh and last worldwide ecumenical council accepted by both the Greek and the Latin churches, that of the Second Council of Nicaea in 787 A.D.; and, very importantly, prayer for Christian unity through Mary, Mother of the Church.

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