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Liturgical feasts

September 8: Nativity of Mary. Theologies and cultures today on the mother of Christ

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04 September 2021

The liturgical feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary occurs on September 8. This year the 25th International Marian Congress, organized by the Pontifical Academy of Mary, will be held in Rome, September 8-12. The theme this year is Mary between Theologies and Cultures Today. Models, Communications, Perspectives. Mariology scholars from all over the world will meet and share their reflections, research and studies.

The literature on the mother of Christ is endless. Simona Segoloni Ruta’s recent book, Carne di donna. Raccontando Maria di Nazareth [Flesh of Woman. Telling the Story of Mary of Nazareth], published by ITL is a passionate and courageous narrative.

A professor of systematic theology at the Theological Institute of Assisi where she teaches ecclesiology, Mariology and Trinitarian theology, Segoloni Ruta is married, the mother of four children, and a believer. As such, she places “Scripture at the center of everything: not only the passages that speak of Mary, but all those which the Gospel passages in some way refer to or infer reference to them”. In addition, she also enters into the theme with her own human experience with the intention of “recovering, in the wake of feminist theologies and theologies elaborated in contexts of poverty, the concrete experience of Mary, her being woman, female, mother, wife, commoner”.

The form is narrative. Mary speaks in the first person. “I speak of her”, Segoloni writes, “starting from the critically studied data we have available, but also from my experience as a believer who interrogates and arranges the data according to what the Spirit who inhabits the Church and each person disposes”.

For a twenty-first century woman, being converted to the God of Jesus “also means realizing the oppression in which the system (which Jesus neither chose nor supported) holds her and which she rebels against. God wants me alive, in the totality of my person and my capacities.  Being female makes me neither inferior, nor marginal, nor dedicated to something specific chosen by others on the basis of my genital organs. I am a daughter of God enriched with the gifts he has chosen to give me, and from this point of view, just as there are neither slaves nor free people, neither Jews nor Greeks, there is also neither males nor females”. (DCM)