See also: Mary, Mothers, Collaboration Between Men and Women.
Called to service, not servitude
Woman: Help us grow, accompany, give tenderness... Translated from Spanish
There is only one model for your, Mary: the woman of faithfulness, the one who did not understand and yet obeyed. The one who, upon knowing that her cousin was in need, went running, the Virgin of promptness. The one who escaped as a refugee to a foreign country to save the life of her son... the one who helped her Son grow and accompanied Him, and when her son began to preach, she went behind him. She is the one who suffered everything that was happening to that young man, that big young man. She is the one who was besides that son and would tell Him about the problems that came up: 'Look: They have no wine'. The one that at the Cross was next to Him.
You (women) aspire to consolidate with your lives tenderness and fidelity. You are in the path of those women that followed Jesus in good times and bad. Women have that treasure of being capable of giving life, being capable of giving tenderness, being capable of giving peace and joy. A capacity to give life and to give tenderness that we men do not have...
The church is female, it is like Mary. That is the place for you. Being Church, forming Church, be next to Jesus, to give tenderness, to accompany, to let grow."
"May Mary, the Lady of the Caress, the Lady of Tenderness, the Lady of Readiness to serve, show you the way. ...May each of you find Jesus, the risen Jesus. And I tell you one thing: Do not be afraid! Look to Jesus, look at Mary and go forward!
Without Reciprocal Enrichment, Men and Women Cannot Know Who They Are.
Pope Francis, April 15, 2015, General Audience
Experience teaches it: to know himself well and to grow harmoniously, the human being is in need of reciprocity between man and woman. When this does not happen, the consequences are seen. We are made to listen to and to help one another. We can say that without the reciprocal enrichment in this relation – in thought and in action, in affections and in work, also in the faith – the two cannot understand in depth what it means to be a man and a woman. ...God has entrusted the earth to the alliance of man and of woman: its failure makes the world arid of affections and darkens the sky of hope. The signs are already worrying, and we see them. I would like to indicate, among many, two points that I believe must be attended with greater urgency.
The first. It is without doubt that we must do much more in favor of woman if we want to give back more strength to the reciprocity between men and women. In fact, it is necessary that women not only be more listened to, but that her voice has real weight, a recognized authoritativeness in the society and in the Church. The way itself with which Jesus considered women –we read it in the Gospel, it is so! -- in a context less favorable than ours, because in those times women were in fact in second place ...We have not yet understood in depth what things the feminine genius can give us, which woman can give to society and also to us. Perhaps to see things with other eyes that complements the thoughts of men. It is a path to follow with more creativity and more audacity.
A second reflection concerns the topic of man and woman created in the image of God. I wonder if the crisis of collective trust in God, which does us so much harm, and makes us become sick with resignation, incredulity and cynicism, is not also connected to the crisis of the alliance between man and woman. In fact the biblical account, with the great symbolic fresco on the earthly paradise and original sin, tells us in fact that the communion with God is reflected in the communion of the human couple and the loss of trust in the celestial Father generates division and conflict between man and woman.
From here comes the great responsibility of the Church, of all believers, and first of all of believing families, to rediscover the beauty of the creative design that inscribes the image of God also in the alliance between man and woman. The earth is filled with harmony and trust when the alliance between man and woman is lived well. And if man and woman seek it together between themselves and with God, without a doubt they will find it. Jesus encourages us explicitly to give witness to this beauty, which is the image of God.
John Paul II
Mulleris Dignitatis -Encyclical on the dignity and vocation of women
Appeal in behalf of women
¨I have drawn inspiration from the life and witness of great women within the Church throughout the centuries who have been pioneers within society, as mothers, as workers, as leaders in the social and political fields, in the caring professions and as thinkers and spiritual leaders
Letter to women
Role of women & Mary
God´s respect for women
To Honor Mary is to go to Jesus
Feminine identity & Mary
Christ's mission and women
Teachers of Peace
"God...willed that there should be a relationship of profound communion between man and woman, in a perfect reciprocity of knowledge and of the giving of self. In woman, man finds a partner with whom he can dialogue in complete equality.
Even though man and woman are made for each other, this does not mean that God created them incomplete. God 'created them to be a communion of persons, in which each can be a 'helpmate' to the other, for they are equal as persons ('bone of my bones') and complementary as masculine and feminine.' Reciprocity and complementarity are the two fundamental characteristics of the human couple... Reciprocity and complementarity are the two fundamental characteristics of the human couple.
Sadly, a long history of sin has disturbed and continues to disturb God's original plan for the couple, for the male and the female, thus standing in the way of its complete fulfilment. We need to return to this plan, to proclaim it forcefully, so that women in particular — who have suffered more from its failure to be fulfilled — can finally give full expression to their womanhood and their dignity. -World Day of Peace#3-4 Full Text
Pope Paul VI
"A woman's heart should be so hidden in God, that a man has to SEEK HIM FIRST to find her" -Maya Angelou.