John Paul II's Book of Mary, compiled by Margaret R. Bunson (Our Sunday Visitor, 1996, 207pp, $24.95 plus postage. Available from AD Books)
When in 1981 Pope John Paul II survived an assassination attempt, he credited his survival to the Blessed Virgin Mary. His love and devotion for her, which he has expressed repeatedly, perhaps dates back to the death of his own mother when he was eight years old.
The Holy Father's love for Mary is particularly evident in his prolific writings, where she emerges as the one who sustains the Church, fortifies his work as Pope and strengthens believers all over the world. It is not surprising that he bears on his coat of arms the letter "M".
In producing John Paul II's Book of Mary, Margaret Bunson has sifted through John Paul II's writings to provide the reader with an excellent cross section of his best reflections on the Mother of God.
The present volume is on a par with Bunson's other compilation, Pope John Paul II's Book of Saints, with its convenient arrangement of selections of the Holy Father's writings into topical chapters, which prompt the reader to search out more examples from his vast output.
Anthony Cappello is a Melbourne Catholic writer.