Publishers Weekly

December 31, 2021

“McManus (The Healing Power of the Sacraments) offers a nice little historical overview of the place of Mary in Christian theology. The author first examines the role of Mary as the ‘first and perfect disciple.’ He examines Matthew 12:46-50, Mark 3:31-35 and Luke 8:19-21, where Jesus says that family relationship provides no special access to his kingdom. McManus contends that while Mark and Matthew present apparently negative answers to the question of Mary’s discipleship, Luke places the same event in an entirely different context and that, ‘in Luke’s mind, Mary is a model for disciples.’ McManus proceeds to examine the ways that early Christian writers like Ignatius of Antioch, Ambrose and Athanasius, the first to call Mary Theotokos, or Mother of God, emphasize the centrality of Mary’s life and spirituality to the work of Jesus. McManus also investigates the ways in which Protestant denominations incorporate Marian devotion into their worship. He provides a brief overview of the Holy Days devoted to Mary in the public worship of the Catholic Church, and he offers short descriptions of the many ways—rosary, novenas, Hail Marys, apparitions and pilgrimages—that contemporary Catholics engage in private Marian devotion. McManus contends that Mary’s Magnificat (Luke 1:47-49) provides a spirituality for the third millennium, for her song proclaims that ‘injustice will not have the last word . . . and she shares with us her faith vision of the reign of her Son at the heart of our world.’ McManus’s brevity and lucidity offer an easy-to-read guide to the many ways that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, has been understood in the past and present.”

We would love for you to receive our newsletter and update emails. Please subscribe here.