Companionship to Man Mary in History
We present here some passages from the Encyclical Letter of John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater:

Mary continues to “precede” the People of God. Her exceptional pilgrimage of faith represents a constant point of reference for the Church, for individuals and for communities, for peoples and nations and, in a certain sense, for the whole of humanity.
Those who, in every generation, amongst the different peoples and nations of the earth, accept with faith the mystery of Christ, the incarnate word and redeemer of the world, not only turn with veneration and fly with trust to Mary as their mother, but seek support for their own faith in her faith. Precisely this living participation in Mary’s faith is decisive for her special presence in the Church’s pilgrimage, as the new People of God in all the earth.
It can be said that Mary keeps on repeating to everyone the same words she spoke at Cana in Galilee: “Do what he tells you.” For He, Christ, is the one mediator between God and man; he is the “way, the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6); he is the one the Father has given to the world, so that man “may not die, but have eternal life.”(Jn 3:16) The Virgin of Nazareth has become the first “witness” of this salvific love of the Father and desires also to remain his humble servant always and everywhere.
Mary is present in the Church’s mission, present in the Church’s work, bringing the Kingdom of her Son into the world. This presence of Mary finds many different modes of expression in our present day, as throughout the Church’s history. It has also a varied range of action: through the faith and piety of the individual faithful, through the traditions of Christian families, or “domestic Churches,” through the attractive and radiant force of the great sanctuaries, in which not only individuals and local groups, but at times whole nations and continents look for the encounter with the Mother of the Lord. This is the call of the land of Palestine, spiritual home of all Christians, because the land of the Savior of the world and of his Mother. This is the call of so many temples which in Rome and in the world the faith of Christians have raised up down the centuries. This is the call of centers like Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima and others spread over various countries, among which how could I not recall that of my native land, Jasna Góra? One could even speak of a specific “geography” of Marian faith and piety, which includes all these places of particular pilgrimage of the people of God.