Beginning Again From Mary
Beginning Again from Mary
At times, it is our non-Christian brothers and Sisters who suggest ways of encounter in dialogue between different religions. This is what happened some time ago when Magdi Allam, an Islamic Egyptian and Egyptian, vice-director of Corriere della Sera
, a widely circulated Italianl daily paper, proposed to the Muslims who live in Italy that they visit the Marian sanctuaries of this Nation.
The journalist presented his proposal on the pages of the newspaper where he works and said that he is convinced that the Virgin Mary presents a point of encounter between Christians and Islamics. “Mary is a figure that is present in the Koran, which dedicates an entire sura ” to her.” He said “She is cited about thirty times and in the Muslim countries there are Marian sanctuaries that are objects of veneration and pilgrimage by faithful Christians and Muslims.”
He asked a question that is also a provocation for us: “If this is happening in Muslim countries, why can't it happen in those that are Christian, especially in an historical time in which we need to point out the symbols, values and figures that unite religions, spirituality, and cultures “he emphasized. In concrete terms, Magdi Allam said that the Marian pilgrimage to Loreto ( Italy , could represent a moment of encounter and spiritual aggregation between Muslims and Catholics around Mary, a religious figure that is venerated by both religions.
Many of us believe that Mary could open the Church to ever broader horizons of the world and build bridges of dialogue between cultures and religions. The writer Vittorio Messori, author of the book-interview with John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, has joined Magdi Allam's appeal, says that Muslim-Christian dialogue could “begin anew from Mary.”
The Formative Plan of the FMA, Rooted in the Covenant, opens us to an interesting prospect when it invites us express today the unexpected in Mary's life. Many words and events of her life are not noted because, as we read in the text, “ They could be discovered and realized in time.”
The opening of dialogue between different religions and faith represents, perhaps, one of the most fruitful aspects of the unexpected in the life of Mary that we are called to realize in our time. Even these are pages that we are invited to write in the Third Millennium, in our globalized context marked by the closeness of multiple cultures and religious. Mary, mother and educator, teaches us to live and to carry out “the beatitudes of believers and to dedicate ourselves to an apostolic action that is a bearer of hope” (Const.44).
Beginning Anew from Mary, we will be able to increase dialogue with many brothers and sisters, present in all Nations of the world. Who live in the uncertainty of human mobility, in the precarious situation of migration, in the impact of a different culture. Let us do so in a climate of reciprocal, trust, in the spirit of solidarity that frees us from being closed up, from prejudice, and from nationalism.