The Church in the Philippines has always been characterized as “Pueblo Amante de Maria” – a people in Love with Mary. The Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines has underlined this “Pueblo Amante de Maria” as “the outstanding characteristic of the Church in the Philippines” [cf. CBCP Pastoral Letter ‘Ang Mahal na Birhen’, AMB (1974)”, Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, PCP-II (1991), Catechism for Filipino Catholics, CFC (1997).]
The Pastoral Letter ‘Ang Mahal na Birhen’ (1974) emphasizes that deep devotion to the Mother of God has been the strongest force keeping our faith alive (cf. AMB 67). Mary has been and remains the central inspiring force in bringing about a deeper evangelization of the masses of our people. Devotion to Mary is “the safeguard for the preservation of our Catholic Faith, and the principle of deeper and fuller evangelization” (AMB 72-73)
The Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (1991) pointed to “Mary as the Model of Discipleship,” as the “Church of the Philippines, as a “pueblo amante e Maria” – “a people in love with Mary” – will always to continue to seek her intercession and learn from her way of life what we need to be as a community of disciples” (PCP-II, 153)
The Catechism for Filipino Catholics (1997) tells us of the role of “the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Faith- Journey of the Filipino Catholics”.
- The outstanding characteristic of the Church in the Philippines is to be a “Pueblo amante de Maria” – a people in love with Mary (CFC 45)
- The typically “Filipino” approach to Christ, therefore, is with and through Mary (CFC 46). Devotion to Mary has always been intimately intertwined with Christ
- Marian Devotion and pity seem co-natural t us Filipinos (CFC 47)
- Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Ang Mahal na Birhen, has greatly helped many simple Filipinos to remain Catholics (CFC 48)
The Mariological Society of the Philippines will be harnessing to channel our Marian Devotion towards renewal of Christian life, individually and collectively, as nation, and thus live our call to be witness and bearers of our faith to the while of Asia and probably the rest of the entire world.