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BISsisterhood blog

Best Books About Mary

As Catholic women, we are blessed to have a supreme model for womanhood in our Mother Mary. She always points us to Christ, and so the more we learn about her, the more we ultimately learn about Him. But sometimes learning about Our Lady can feel intimidating or overwhelming. After all, there is so much information available about Mary, her life with Christ, her virtues, devotions to her, and more that deep diving into her legacy can seem daunting.

But have no fear, sisters! I’ve set out to offer you some of the best books about Mary, broken down into categories so you can really discover that for which you’re searching. Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but these books will give you a good foundation to continue you’re learning about Mary. So whether you’re already highly devoted to the Blessed Mother or you’re still trying to figure out this whole why-does-Mary-even-matter thing, there’s something here for you.

Marian Books for Beginners

These books provide a basic overview about Our Lady and her role in the life of Christ and the Church. They are especially great for converts, reverts, or anyone who doesn’t feel like they know much about Mary.

  • Introduction to Mary by Mark Miravalle: A look into how the doctrines of Mary affect us on a personal level, and how we can explain our veneration of Mary to our friends and family.
  • Hail, Holy Queen by Scott Hahn: Popular convert Scott Hahn takes a biblical angle in this book as he builds upon the scriptural and historical revelation of Mary and applies them to the Marian doctrines.
  • The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander: A spiritual classic, this beloved book approaches Mary in her humble and vulnerable humanity, reflecting on what really makes her so admirable in the hearts of Christians.
  • Behold Your Mother by Tim Staples: Having waded through the high waters of Protestantism’s rejection of Mary, Tim Staples points to the scriptural basis for Marian doctrines and explains the reverence for Mary in simple terms.
  • Meet Your Mother by Mark Miravalle: Hesitant about this whole Mary thing in the first place? Start right here. This book was written primarily for people with little to no knowledge about Mary. It’s truly and introduction and an invitation.

Books about Marian Apparitions

The books listed here explore the supernatural phenomenon of (approved) Marian apparitions throughout the ages. These books would be great for anyone desiring to know more about the appearances of Our Lady and the messages of hope and conversion she bears.

  • See How She Loves Us by Joan Carrol Cruz: A wonderful summary of 50 approved Marian apparitions, this book touches on lesser known apparitions as well as the most popular along with the miracles that accompany them.
  • Fatima for Today by Fr. Andrew Aposotli, CFR: This books details the events of the apparitions at Fatima, Portugal, the messages Our Lady delivered, and what they mean for us 100 years later.
  • Guadalupe Mysteries by Grzegorz Gorny and Janusz Rosikon: Read the story of Mary’s appearance to St. Juan Diego and the scientific findings of the infamous tilma imprinted with Our Lady’s image.

Books about Mary in Relation to the Church

A delicious cluster of insight, these books would be considered more “intermediate” Marian material. They take a deeper look into Mary’s life and role in the Universal Church. These Marian books are ideal for anyone ready to strap on their theological and philosophical hats!

  • Mary and the Fathers of the Church by Fr. Luigi Gambrel: Curious as to what the early Church fathers thought about Jesus’ mom? Read the works of 30 fathers to glean wisdom from the genesis of the Church.
  • The World’s First Love by Blessed Fulton Sheen: If you’ve ever heard recordings of Bishop Sheen speak, then you are aware of what kind of beauty and eloquence awaits you in his work on the Mother of God. This book will simultaneously stretch your brain and inflame your heart.
  • Under the Mantle by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC: Looking at other Catholic pillars of faith like the Eucharist, Divine Mercy, the Sacraments, and authority, Fr. Calloway shows us how Mary’s maternal role and intercession affects the entire fabric of Catholicism.
  • Keeping Mary Close by Mike Aquilina and Fr. Frederick W. Gruber: Another trip back to the time of the early Church, this book explores the evidence of Marian devotion from the first days of the Church through the writings, traditions, and art of the time.
  • Mary: The Church at the Source by Hans Urs von Balthasar and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (the future Papa Benny!): This book presents a view of Mary as both a representation of the Church at large and the mother of every believer, birthing Christ into their hearts.

Books about Marian Spirituality

This category is full of books that aid the Christian in growing in relationship with Mary. They’re wonderful resources for all of us as we seek to model the faith, hope, and love of Our Lady.

  • Mary and Me by Ginny Kubitz Moyer: A beautiful resource from a Blessed is She devotional writer, this book is comprised of reflections from 30 different women on how Mary speaks to the modern female experience. You’ll find comfort and camaraderie as these modern-day women reflect on Mary’s presence and influence through their greatest trials and most glorious triumphs.
  • True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort: A true Marian classic, this book has been beloved for centuries for its wealth of Marian insight and its encouragement to consecrate ourselves to Jesus through Mary.
  • Walking with Mary by Edward Sri: Follow Mary from the beginning of Christ’s life to His death on the Cross, drawing from the few yet mighty biblical passages in which she stars.
  • John Paul II’s Book of Mary compiled by Margaret Bunson: This book is a delightful compilation of Pope St. John Paul II’s writings and reflections on Our Lady’s maternal beatitude and his great personal love for her.
  • Take it to the Queen by Josephine Nabisco: Ok, so this is technically a children’s book, but we can all benefit from its beautiful illustrations and metaphors. Be enthralled by this tale that displays the reason for Mary’s intercession in our lives as Christians.

Books about Marian Consecration

  • Preparation for Total Consecration by St. Louis de Montfort: The most popular path of Marian consecration, this prayer book leads the reader to a deeper understanding of Our Lady and seeks to ignite a desire to offer everything they have and are to Jesus through Mary.
  • 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley: This Marian consecration (and my personal favorite) takes us on a journey through the Marian spiritualities of four Catholic saints: St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Teresa of Calcutta, and Pope St. John Paul II. It is profound yet easy-to-understand and embrace.
  • Total Consecration to Mary according to St. Maximilian Kolbe: Here’s the preparation for consecration as formulated by St. Maximillian Kolbe, a major Mary-lover.

Marian Prayer Books

  • The Imitation of Mary by Alexander De Rouville: This book reflects on Mary’s entire life from childhood to assumption and applies it to our life and circumstances. It is quite valuable for the Catholic woman seeking to live and love like Mary.
  • A Year with Mary: Daily Meditations on the Mother of God by Paul Thigpen: A year’s worth of reflections centered on the writings about Mary throughout the ages, this devotional is sure to enrich both your mind and your soul.
  • Mother Mary by Paraclete Press: You’ll love this coloring book full of pictures and scriptures representative of the Mother of God. Meditate on her life and wisdom while coloring and expressing your heart through creativity.
  • A Book of Marian Prayers by William G. Storey: Swim through moving Marian prayers centered on Christ from the time of the early Church to modern day.
  • The Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis de Montfort: Do you want to increase your love and devotion to the rosary? This books explains in detail how and why the rosary can be a most-powerful tool for reflecting on the life of Christ through the eyes of His mom.

Never Enough Mary

The wonderful thing about Mary is, like Christ, we can never know enough about her this side of heaven. As St. Bernard of Clairvaux said:

Of Mary, there is never enough!

We could spend the rest of our lives in study of hers and never exhaust the depth of its richness. The books listed here are just a taste of the vast resources we are blessed with in our modern era. There are many more books, encyclicals, studies, and devotionals written in honor of Our Lady, and I can’t wait to discover them all with you, sisters!

What’s your favorite book about Mary? What else would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by Olivia Spears. Find out more about her here.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Elle Griffin
    August 14, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Oh but you forgot my absolute favorite one! “Mary: A Flesh & Blood Biography of The Virgin Mother” by Lesley Hazelton. She’s not Catholic but she writes from an anthropological perspective that is completely beautiful.

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