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English devotion to Mary must necessarily be of a different, calmer temperament than foreign equivalents

2 min • Digitized on May 9, 2023

From A Defense of the Teachings of Mary, page 105
By St. John Henry Newman

5. Now then we come to England itself, which after all, 1n the matter of devotion, alone concerns you and me; for though doctrine is one and the same every where, devotions, as I have already said, are matters of the particular time and the particular country.

I suppose we owe it to the national good sense, that English Catholics have been protected from the extravagances which are elsewhere to be found. And we owe it also to the wisdom and moderation of the Holy See, which, in giving us the pattern for our devotion, as well as the rule of our faith, has never indulged in those curiosities of thought which are both so attractive to undisciplined imaginations and so dangerous to grovelling hearts.

In the case of our own common people I think such a forced style of devotion would be simply unintelligible; as to the educated, I doubt whether it can have more than an occasional or temporary influence. If the Catholic faith spreads in England, these peculiarities will not spread with it.

There is a healthy devotion to the Blessed Mary, and there is an artificial; it is possible to love her as a Mother, to honour her as a Virgin, to seek her as a Patron, and to exalt her as a Queen, without any injury to solid piety and Christian good sense:—I cannot help calling this the English style.

I wonder whether you find any thing to displease you in the Garden of the Soul, the Key of Heaven, the Vade Mecum, the Golden Manual, or the Crown of Jesus. These are the books to which Anglicans ought to appeal, who would be fair to us in this matter. I do not observe any thing in them which goes beyond the teaching of the Fathers, except so far as devotion goes beyond doctrine.

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