Le sette parole di Maria (The Seven Words of Mary)
A great biblical scholar speaks about Mary
Mary speaks in an explicit way in only sixteen verses of the Gospels. These contain 154 Greek words in all, of which a full 102 are taken up by the Magnificat.If we keep to the textual dictation, the sentences pronounced by Mary are six: two at the Annunciation of the angel Gabriel; a more vast one at her visit to Elizabeth; one in the temple of Jerusalem before her twelve-year-old son in the company of the scribes; two, in the end, at Cana during the wedding feast.One can add another episode to this list: on Golgotha, the dying Jesus directly consults his Mother. “Woman, behold your son!” Mary, in this case, remains silent, but her silence is eloquent, a mute but efficacious “yes”, her seventh and final word, tacit but decisive because she introduces it in a new form of receptivity and maternity.
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GIANFRANCO RAVASI, cardinal, is president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and of the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology. An internationally famous biblical scholar, he has published two important biblical commentaries for EDB: The Book of the Psalms (three volumes, 11° ed. 2008) and The Canticle of Canticles (4°ed. 2008).