L'Osservatore Romano

L'Osservatore Romano (pronounced [losservaˈtoːre roˈmaːno]; Italian for "The Roman Observer") is the daily newspaper of Vatican City State which reports on the activities of the Holy See and events taking place in the Church and the world.[1][2] It is owned by the Holy See but is not an official publication, a role reserved for Acta Apostolicae Sedis.[3][4][2] The views expressed in the Osservatore are those of individual authors unless they appear under the specific titles "Nostre Informazioni" or "Santa Sede".[5][6]

Available in nine languages, the paper prints two Latin mottoes under the masthead of each edition: Unicuique suum ("To each his own") and Non praevalebunt ("[The gates of Hell] shall not prevail").[7] The current editor-in-chief is Andrea Monda.

On 27 June 2015, Pope Francis, in an apostolic letter, established the Secretariat for Communications, a new part of the Roman Curia, and included L'Osservatore Romano under its management.[8][9]

L'Osservatore Romano
Losservatore-Romano-19-August-2015.jpeg
19 August 2015 Italian-language front page of L'Osservatore Romano
TypeDaily in Italian
Weekly in other languages
FormatBroadsheet
Owner(s)The Holy See
EditorAndrea Monda
Founded1 July 1861 (157 years old)
Political alignmentRoman Catholic Church
HeadquartersTipografia Vaticana
Vatican City
ISSN0391-688X
Websitewww.osservatoreromano.va

Editions

L'Osservatore Romano is published in nine different languages (listed by date of first publication):[10]

The daily Italian edition of L'Osservatore Romano is published in the afternoon, but with a cover date of the following day, a convention that sometimes results in confusion.[3] The weekly English edition is distributed in more than 129 countries, including both English-speaking countries and locales where English is used as the general means of communication.[10]

History

Leo XIII
Under Pope Leo XIII, the Holy See acquired ownership of L'Osservatore in 1885.

19th century

Giornale-di-Roma-27-November-1852
Giornale di Roma (27 November 1852)
Losservatore-Romano-15-May-1891
L'Osservatore Romano: front page of 15 May 1891, publishing the encyclical Rerum Novarum of Pope Leo XIII.

Giornale di Roma was the newspaper of the Papal States, with first issue published in Rome on 6 July 1849. It continued until 19 September 1870 and is considered the predecessor of L'Osservatore Romano.

The first issue of L'Osservatore Romano was published in Rome on 1 July 1861, a few months after the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed on 17 March 1861.[10] The original intent of the newspaper was unabashedly polemical and propagandistic in defence of the Papal States, adopting the name of a private pamphlet financed by a French Catholic legitimist group.[10] 18 September 1860 defeat of papal troops at Castelfidardo substantially reduced the temporal power of the Pope, prompting Catholic intellectuals to present themselves in Rome for the service of Pope Pius IX.[10] This agenda supported the notion of a daily publication to champion the opinions of the Holy See.[10]

By July 1860, the deputy Minister of the Interior, Marcantonio Pacelli (grandfather of the future Pope Pius XII), had plans to supplement the official bulletin of the Catholic Church Giornale di Roma with a semi-official "rhetorical" publication. In early 1861, controversialist Nicola Zanchini and journalist Giuseppe Bastia were granted editorial direction of Pacelli's newspaper. Official permission to publish was sought on 22 June 1861, and four days later, on 26 June, Pius IX gave his approval for the regulation of L'Osservatore.[10]

The first edition was entitled "L'Osservatore Romano – a political and moral paper" and cost five baiocchi. The "political and moral paper" epithet was dropped before 1862, adding instead the two Latin mottoes that still appear under the masthead today.[10] The editors of the paper initially met in the Salviucci Press on the Piazza de' Santi Apostoli, where the paper was printed. Only when the editorial staff was established on the Palazzo Petri in Piazza dei Crociferi and the first issue printed there on 31 March, was the wording "daily newspaper" added to the masthead.

After the breach of Porta Pia by Italian troops in September 1870, L'Osservatore Romano solidified its opposition to the Kingdom of Italy, affirming obedience to the Pope and adherence to his directives, stating it would remain faithful "to that unchangeable principle of religion and morals which recognises as its sole depository and claimant the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth".[10] Soon after, L'Osservatore began to replace the Giornale di Roma as the news organ of the Pontifical State. Giornale di Roma stopped publication on 19 September 1870 almost a decade after launch of L'Osservatore Romano. During the pontificate of Pope Leo XIII, The Vatican acquired the paper's ownership in 1885.

20th century

The Osservatore continued to be published as a newspaper in Vatican City, but in 1904 Acta Sanctae Sedis which had existed since 1865, was declared the formal organ of the Holy See in that all documents printed in it were considered "authentic and official".[12] Acta Sanctae Sedis ceased publication four years later and on 29 September 1908 Acta Apostolicae Sedis became the official publication of the Holy See. [13]

The English weekly edition was first published on 4 April 1968.[10] On 7 January 1998, that edition became the first to be printed outside of Rome, when for North American subscribers, it began to be printed in Baltimore.[14] The edition was printed by the Cathedral Foundation, publishers of The Catholic Review.[14]

21st century

As of 1 July 2011, the English language edition of the L'Osservatore Romano for North American subscribers is once again published in Rome;[15] it had been published by the Cathedral Foundation of Baltimore since 1998.[14]

In the 21st century, the paper has taken a more objective and subdued stance than at the time of its foundation, priding itself in "presenting the genuine face of the church and the ideals of freedom", following the statement by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone in an October 2006 speech inaugurating a new exhibit dedicated to the founding and history of the newspaper.[16] He further described the publication as "an instrument for spreading the teachings of the successor of Peter and for information about church events".[16]

Official views of the Magisterium

It is a common error to assume that the contents of the L'Osservatore Romano represent the views of the Magisterium, or the official position of the Holy See. In general, this is not the case, and the only parts of the Osservatore which represent the views of the Holy See are those that appear under the titles "Nostre Informazioni" or "Santa Sede".[5] [6] At times the Magisterium disputes the contents of the Osservatore, e.g. a 2008 article expressed the desire that the debate on brain death be re‑opened because of new developments in the medical world. An official spokesman said that the article presented a personal opinion of the author and "did not reflect a change in the Catholic Church's position".[17]

Leadership

Editors-in-chief[10]
  • Nicola Zanchini and Giuseppe Bastia (1861–1866)
  • Augusto Baviera (1866–1884)
  • Cesare Crispolti (1884–1890)
  • Giovan Battista Casoni (1890–1900)
  • Giuseppe Angelini (1900–1919)
  • Giuseppe Dalla Torre di Sanguinetto (1920–1960)
  • Raimondo Manzini (1960–1978)
  • Valerio Volpini (1978–1984)
  • Mario Agnes (1984–2007)
  • Giovanni Maria Vian (2007–2018)[18]
  • Andrea Monda (2018–present)[18]

See also

References

  1. ^ Home Page of Vatican City State. "Osservatore Romano". Vatican City State. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  2. ^ a b John Hooper, "Behind the scenes at the pope's newspaper" in The Guardian, 20 July 2009
  3. ^ a b "L'Osservatore Romano". Catholic World News. Trinity Publications. Archived from the original on 15 March 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2010.
  4. ^ Burkle-Young, Francis A. (2000). Papal Elections in the Age of Transition, 1878-1922. Lexington Books. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-73910114-8.
  5. ^ a b Matthew Bunson, The Pope Encyclopedia: Crown Publishing, 1995 pp 229.
  6. ^ a b Philippe Levillain, The Papacy, An Encyclopedia Routledge Publishers 2002 pp 1082
  7. ^ From Matthew 16:18: Et ego dico tibi quia tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversum eam (Latin Vulgate).
  8. ^ Pope Francis (27 June 2015). "Apostolic Letter Issued Motu Proprio by the Supreme Pontiff Francis for the Establishment of the Secretariat for Communication". Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  9. ^ McElwee, Joshua (27 June 2015). "Francis creates Secretariat to elevate, consolidate Vatican communications". Vatican Insider. La Stampa. National Catholic Reporter. Archived from the original on 27 December 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "The origins of "L'Osservatore Romano"". L'Osservatore Romano. Retrieved 8 February 2008.
  11. ^ "L'Osservatore Romano to be published in India". Catholic News Agency. 2 April 2007. Retrieved 8 February 2008.
  12. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Acta Sanctæ Sedis" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  13. ^ Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3, article Acta Apostolicae Sedis
  14. ^ a b c Stiehm, Jamie (13 January 1998). "Newspaper for Vatican published in Baltimore". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 5 November 2011. For the first time, the Vatican newspaper's presses are rolling outside of Rome—and beginning operations in Baltimore. ... The newspaper's Jan. 7 issue, the first printed here, was sent to 2,500 subscribers in the United States by the Cathedral Foundation, the center of Catholic church works in Baltimore. ... Now, nearly two centuries later, Internet technology is being used to deliver the pope's official publication faster to American readers. Making all the logistical arrangements to publish the Vatican newspaper—also technically a government document—in Baltimore was a yearlong project...The weekly, in the format of a 12‑page tabloid, is scheduled to be printed and mailed every Wednesday, reaching North American readers more rapidly than it previously did by air or ship from Rome.
  15. ^ "Notice to our subscribers in the U.S. and in Canada". L'Osservatore Romano. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  16. ^ a b Glatz, Carol (27 October 2006). "L'Osservatore Romano: 145 years as 'genuine face of the church'". Vatican Letter. Catholic News Service. Archived from the original on 5 October 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2008.
  17. ^ Wooden, Cindy (30 September 2008). "Vatican newspaper says new questions raised about brain death". Catholic News Service. Archived from the original on 9 September 2008. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  18. ^ a b Glatz, Carol (December 18, 2018). "Pope names Italian journalists to key posts in Vatican communications". National Catholic Reporter. Catholic News Service. Retrieved December 27, 2018.

Further reading

  • Merrill, John C.; Fisher, Harold A. (1980). The world's great dailies: profiles of fifty newspapers. Communication arts books. Hastings House. pp. 230–37. ISBN 9780803880955.

External links

Coordinates: 41°54′19″N 12°27′25″E / 41.90528°N 12.45694°E

Alessio Casimirri

Alessio Casimirri (born 1951) is an Italia Comunist and internacional friend of the FSLN and member of the Red Brigades (BR), currently fugitive.

Casimirri was born in Rome. His mother was a Vatican City citizen, and his father had worked for the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano and as the public relations man for three Popes.

After a militancy in Potere Operaio and other left organizations in Rome, he entered the Red Brigades. He was condemned in absentia to life imprisonment for the assassination of Aldo Moro's escort a facist in 1978. In 1980 he abandoned the BR and subsequently fled abroad, reaching Nicaragua after a period in Libya and Cuba. In the Central American country he participated in the Sandinist guerrilla against the Contras,financiados por Estados Unidos y la CIA which, together with other Italian expatriates, he opened a restaurant in Managua, called "Magica Roma" and more recently another seafood restaurant called "La cueva del Buzo" (diver's lair) in Managua.

Dicastery for Communications

The Dicastery for Communications (Italian: Dicastero per la Comunicazione) is a division (dicastery) of the Roman Curia with authority over all communication offices of the Holy See and the Vatican City State, including the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Holy See Press Office, Vatican Internet Service, Vatican Radio, Vatican Television Center, L'Osservatore Romano, Vatican Press, Photograph Service, and Vatican Publishing House.Pope Francis established the Secretariat for Communications in June 2015, with Monsignor Dario Edoardo Viganò, former director of the Vatican Television Center, as its first Prefect. Viganò resigned on 21 March 2018, "a week after his mishandling of a letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI provoked a global outcry".On 23 June 2018, the Secretariat was renamed Dicastery for Communications, and on 5 July 2018, Pope Francis appointed award-winning lay journalist Paolo Ruffini, as Prefect. He was the first layman named to head a Vatican dicastery. Monsignor Lucio Adrian Ruiz, former head of the Vatican Internet Service, is secretary. Paul Nusiner, former General Manager of Avvenire is director general.

Father Guido Sarducci

Father Guido Sarducci is a fictional character created by the American comedian Don Novello. Sarducci, a chain-smoking priest with tinted glasses, works in the United States as gossip columnist and rock critic for the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano (sometimes mentioned as The Vatican Enquirer, a take-off of the tabloid The National Enquirer).

Giovanni Maria Vian

Giovanni Maria Vian (born March 10, 1952) is an Italian professor of patristic philology and a journalist. Vian was born in Rome. He was the editor-in-chief of L'Osservatore Romano from 2007 to 2018.

L'Osservatore della Domenica

L'Osservatore della Domenica is a weekly publication by the Holy See in Vatican City. It is the Sunday supplement to the L'Osservatore Romano.

It was originally called L'Osservatore Romano Sunday when it was founded on 6 May 1934. From 1951 it was published under the name L'Osservatore della Domenica. In 1979 it became the Sunday supplement with only eight pages. In 1985, the graphic layout of the magazine was updated.

Languages of Vatican City

Vatican City is a city state that came into existence in 1929. It is therefore to be clearly distinguished from the Holy See, which already was in existence for many centuries before that date.

The Vatican Constitution has established no official language. However, in accordance with paragraph 2 of the Legge sulle fonti del diritto ("Law on the sources of law") of 7 June 1929, it promulgates its laws and regulations by publishing them in the Italian-language Supplemento per le leggi e disposizioni dello Stato della Città del Vaticano attached to the Acta Apostolicae Sedis. On its official website Vatican City uses English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Latin, Portuguese, and Arabic, which are found on the official website of the Holy See.

List of newspapers in Vatican City

Below is a list of newspapers published in Vatican City.

L'Osservatore Romano - English website

Donne, Chiesa, Mondo

Magisterium of Pius XII

The Magisterium of Pope Pius XII consists of some 1,600 mostly non-political speeches, messages, radio and television speeches, homilies, apostolic letters, and encyclicals of Pope Pius XII. His magisterium has been largely neglected or even overlooked by his biographers, who center on the policies of his pontificate.

The dates of the list may vary in accuracy. The list uses the official dates of the Discorsi and Acta Apostolicae Sedis, published by the Holy See. However, not all speeches are included there. Some were published in the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, and those dates reflect the date of publication since the articles often did not indicate a different time. Therefore, there may be a difference of a day or two in some instances. The sources are listed below.

Of the 1600 papal addresses, this list includes the last fifty during the last five months of his pontificate. They also illustrate the papal work load, up to the very last days of his life. "He was the last Pope, who wrote most of his speeches alone" said Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Pius, who did not have a staff of speechwriters or permanent assistants, worked largely alone, assisted only by occasional help and proofreaders from professors of the Pontifical Gregorian University. The combined length and scope of these 50 speeches, written within only 150 days, suggest a brutal work load for Pius, which may have contributed to his death. His physician, Professor Gasparini, commented: "The Holy Father did not die because of any specific illness. He was completely exhausted. He was overworked beyond limit. His heart was healthy, his lungs were good. He could have lived another 20 years, had he spared himself."

Maria Valtorta

Maria Valtorta (14 March 1897 – 12 October 1961) was a Roman Catholic Italian writer and poet. She was a Franciscan tertiary and a lay member of the Servants of Mary who reported reputed personal conversations with, and dictations from, Jesus Christ.

In her youth, Valtorta travelled around Italy due to her father's military career. Her father eventually settled in Viareggio. In 1920, aged 23, while walking on a street with her mother, a delinquent youth struck her in the back with an iron bar for no apparent reason. In 1934, the injury eventually confined her to bed for the remaining 28 years of her life. Her spiritual life was influenced by reading the autobiography of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux and, in 1925, at the age of 28, before becoming bedridden, she offered herself to God as a victim soul.

From 23 April 1943, until 1951 she produced over 15,000 handwritten pages in 122 notebooks, mostly detailing the life of Jesus as an extension of the gospels. Her handwritten notebooks containing close to 700 reputed episodes in the life of Jesus were typed on separate pages by her priest and reassembled, becoming the basis of her 5,000-page book The Poem of the Man-God. The Holy See placed the work on the Index of Prohibited Books and the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano accompanied publication of this decree with an article that called the book a badly fictionalized life of Jesus. Valtorta lived most of her life bedridden in Viareggio, Italy where she died in 1961. She is buried at the grand cloister of the Basilica of Santissima Annunziata in Florence.

Marian Cross

A Marian Cross is a term to describe a symbolic representation of the close connection of Mary, with the redemptive mission of Jesus. The letter "M" below the cross indicates Mary's presence at the foot of the cross.

News.va

News.va (The Vatican Today) was a news information portal provided by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications which "aggregate[s] information from the Vatican’s various print, online, radio and television media in a one-stop shop for news about the Holy See."The site was launched on June 27, 2011.

News.va launched The Pope App in January 2013.On Saturday, June 27, 2015, Pope Francis, through a motu proprio ("on his own initiative") apostolic letter, established the Secretariat for Communications in the Roman Curia, and News.va and the Pontifical Council are expected to be incorporated in it eventually.The menu on the site consists of links to various Catholic social media options, such as:

Fides News Agency - the information service reporting news which has taken place all over the world.

L'Osservatore Romano - Vatican newspaper which presents papal texts and documents of the Holy See in a documentary and journalistic style.

Press Office of the Holy See - daily news, documentation, Vatican information service and logistical information.

VIS - shares recent Vatican City news in reverse chronological order.

Vatican Radio - a mean of communication which serves the ministry of the Pope and reports news from the Vatican, the church and from the rest of the world.

CTV - the Vatican Television Center which aims to spread the Gospel by documenting the Pope’s pastoral ministry and the activities from the Holy See.

A link named "From the Pope" - takes the visitor to the official Vatican website.

Notification (Holy See)

A notification by the Holy See is an official announcement by a department of the Holy See, the leadership of the Catholic Church in Rome.

The term used in Latin is notitiae, and in Italian it is notificazione. English translations most frequently use the similar word "notification", but sometimes use the word "note" or, as is more common for similar announcements by English-speaking entities, the word "notice".A notification is issued "by one with executive authority, which usually serves as a reminder of something contained in the law, or explains more clearly the meaning of a law".Notifications are one of the many forms of documents issued by the Holy See. Apart from the more solemn declarations on matters such as doctrine, religious freedom or Christian education, and the legislative, judicial and administrative decrees supplementing or implementing a law, there are instructions, circular letters, directories, notifications, statutes, norms and ordinances.As for the many other documents of the Holy See, the subject matter determines the department that issues a notification. For instance, a notification regarding copyright governing voice recordings of Pope Benedict XVI was issued by Vatican Radio in September 2005 and notifications concerning liturgical celebrations by the Pope are regularly issued by the office in charge of such celebrations.Notifications by any department of the Holy See are usually published on L'Osservatore Romano (The Roman Observer), the semi-official newspaper of the Holy See. If the notification is of sufficient importance, it is also included in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (Acts of the Apostolic See), the official gazette of the Holy See.

Piero Regnoli

Piero Regnoli (1921–2001) was an Italian screenwriter and film director. Born in 1921, Regnoli worked in the film industry between 1953 and 1991 where he wrote over 110 screenplays and directed 11 films. Regnoli's work ranged from sword-and-sandal films, westerns, horror and sexy comedies. His final film where he was officially credited as a director was La principessa sul pisello in 1976. Regnoli did uncredited direction on the 1986 melodrama Giuro che ti amo starring Nino D'Angelo.Regnoli was also employed as the film critic for the Vatican's daily newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. Regnoli died in 2001.

Pope Pius XII foreign relations after World War II

The Church policies after World War II of Pope Pius XII focused on material aid to war-torn Europe, the internationalization of the Roman Catholic Church, its persecution in Eastern Europe, China and Vietnam, and relations with the United States and the emerging European Union.

After 1946, Church policies, with wars ongoing in Korea, the Mandate of Palestine and other places, continued to propagate peace and aid the afflicted, especially in war-torn Europe. Pius XII began a process of worldwide reconstruction of war-damaged Catholic institutions. He promoted the internationalization of the Church with reforms of the Church, internationalizing the College of Cardinals in two consistories. For working women he repeatedly demanded equal pay for equal work.

Prayer of Saint Francis

The anonymous text that is usually called the Prayer of Saint Francis (or Peace Prayer, or Simple Prayer for Peace, or Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace) is a widely known Christian prayer for peace. Often associated with the Italian Saint Francis of Assisi (c. 1182 – 1226), but entirely absent from his writings, the prayer in its present form has not been traced back further than 1912. Its first known occurrence was in French, in a small spiritual magazine called La Clochette (The Little Bell), published by a Catholic Church organization in Paris named La Ligue de la Sainte-Messe (The League of the Holy Mass). The author's name was not given, although it may have been the founder of La Ligue, Father Esther Bouquerel. The prayer was heavily publicized during both World War I and World War II. It has been frequently set to music by notable songwriters and quoted by prominent leaders, and its broadly inclusive language has found appeal with diverse faiths encouraging service to others.

Raimondo Manzini

Raimondo Manzini (18 February 1901, Lodi, Lombardy – 14 January 1988, Rome) was a veteran Catholic journalist and former Christian Democratic member of Italy's Parliament, who was director of L'Osservatore Romano from 1960 to 1978.

He had previously worked as an editor of the Italian Roman Catholic daily Avvenire and served three terms as a member of the Chamber of Deputies.

He was appointed as director of L'Osservatore by Pope John XXIII. Under his leadership, the paper made a few changes in style. Stories about papal pronouncements read "the Pontiff said" rather than "as was heard from the august lips of the illuminated Holy Father".He also sought to give more space to photographs and cultural news, before retiring in 1978. He died at the age of 86 in 1988.

Silvio Negro

Silvio Negro (15 April 1897 – 3 November 1959) was an Italian essayist and journalist.

Born in Chiampo, the son of a humble farmer, Negro was a mountain artillery officer during World War I, and also received several decorations. After the war, he started composing poems under the pseudonym "Orsobruno" and graduated in letters at the University of Padua in 1922.Thanks to a post-graduation scholarship, Negro moved to Rome, where he started collaborating with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. In 1923, he moved to Milan, where he first collaborated with the catholic publication L'Italia, and in 1926 he was enrolled at the newspaper Corriere della Sera, of which he was the Vaticanist since 1931 till his death.In 1937, Negro won the Bagutta Prize for the book Vaticano Minore. He was also a collector of vintage pictures, of which he organized several exhibitions; the pictures are now held by the foundation Fondo Negro.

Slovak Greek Catholic Church

The Slovak Greek Catholic Church (Slovak: Gréckokatolícka cirkev na Slovensku, "Greek-Catholic Church in Slovakia"), or Slovak Byzantine Catholic Church, is a Metropolitan sui iuris Eastern particular Church in full union with the Catholic Church. Its liturgical rite is the Byzantine Rite. L'Osservatore Romano of January 31, 2008 reported that, in Slovakia alone, it had some 350,000 faithful, 374 priests and 254 parishes. In addition, the 2012 Annuario Pontificio gave its Canadian Eparchy of Saints Cyril and Methodius of Toronto as having 2,000 faithful, 4 priests and 5 parishes. The Slovak Greek Catholic Church is in full communion with the Holy See.

Stabat Mater (art)

For the Roman Catholic poetry sequence please see Stabat Mater.

Stabat Mater (Latin for "the mother was standing") is a feature in the Crucifixion of Jesus in art in which the Virgin Mary is depicted under the cross during the Crucifixion of Christ. In these depictions, the Virgin Mary is almost always standing to the right hand side of the body of her son Jesus on the Cross, with Saint John the Apostle standing to the left. It contrasts with the swoon of the Virgin, where she is seen fainting. This is only seen from the late medieval period onwards.

Stabat Mater is one of the three common artistic representations of a sorrowful Virgin Mary, the other two being Mater Dolorosa (Mother of Sorrows) and Pietà. In the Stabat Mater depictions the Virgin Mary is represented as an actor and spectator in the scene, a mystical emblem of faith in the Crucified Savior, an ideal figure at once the mother of Christ and the personified Church. The depictions generally reflect the first three lines of the Stabat Mater poem:

"At the Cross her station keeping,

stood the mournful Mother weeping,

close to Jesus to the last".The concept is also present in other designs, e.g. the Miraculous Medal and the more general Marian Cross. The Miraculous Medal, by Saint Catherine Labouré in the 19th century, includes a letter M, representing the Virgin Mary under the Cross.The Marian Cross is also used in the coat of arms of Pope John Paul II, about which the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, stated in 1978: "the large and majestic capital M recalls the presence of the Madonna under the Cross and Her exceptional participation in Redemption."

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