In 1951, Pius XII (1939-1958) wrote: “Ingruentium Malorum” (on reciting the rosary). “We do not hesitate to affirm again publicly,” he wrote, “that We put great confidence in the Holy Rosary for the healing of evils which afflict our times. Not with force, not with arms, not with human power, but with Divine help obtained through the means of this prayer, strong like David with his sling, the Church undaunted shall be able to confront the infernal enemy.”
To know Christ, we need to return to Mary.
In 1985, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, admitted in the book-interview “The Ratzinger Report” with Vittorio Messori, that he thought the declaration that Mary is “the conqueror of all heresies” to be somewhat “exaggerated”.
He explained that “as a young theologian in the time before (and also during) the Council, I had, as many did then and still do today, some reservations in regard to certain ancient formulas, as, for example, that famous ‘De Maria nunquam satis’ [concerning Mary, one can never say enough].”
It must be noted that Joseph Ratzinger grew up in a very Marian environment. We learned in the book “My Brother the Pope” by his brother Msgr. George Ratzinger, that their grandparents were married at the Shrine of Our Lady of Absam, and that his own parents met through a personal ad that his father took out (twice) in the newspaper of the Marian Shrine of Altotting. The Ratzinger prayed the rosary together most nights, and in May they attended numerous celebrations of Mary and the rosary.
Yet, for all his familiarity with Mary and Marian devotion, he didn’t seem convinced.
As told in Ratzinger Report, the cardinal, as prefect of the Vatican’s doctrinal congregation, experienced a bit of a conversion. “Now,” he said, “in this confused period where truly every type of heretical aberration seems to be pressing upon the doors of the authentic faith now I understand that it was not a matter of pious exaggerations, but of truths that today are more valid than ever.”
“It is necessary to go back to Mary if we want to return to that ‘truth about Jesus Christ’,” he confirmed, “‘truth about the Church’ and the ‘truth about man’.”