Was Marian devotion common among laity back then?

I read on a website that Marian devotion was limited only to religious orders in the west. It said that in the east Marian devotion was very popular, but in the west not so much. Is there any truth to this?
If so, why did it become popular?

“In the West, by contrast, the Church’s life was badly shaken by historical events that radically altered the religious situation of Europe. Over a period of several centuries, successive barbarian invasions led to continuous political, social, and economic transformations, which finally coalesced in the formation of the Holy Roman Empire and the Carolingian renaissance. Also in contrast with the Christian East, where Marian devotion was clearly a popular phenomenon, devotion to Mary the West was expressed in limited circles, particularly in monastic environments. And in fact, the majority of Western Marian writers during these centuries belonged to the monastic tradition. They saw the Mother of God, not so much as a subject for doctrinal reflection, but as son, as someone with importance for the fives of the faithful. In particular the Benedictines considered her a marvelous model of the religious life, because Mary, in her purity and humility, showed them the to the heavenly homeland.”

“Back then” is a little vague. :slight_smile: What years are they specifically addressing? Anything past the 12th or 13th centuries is pretty easy to find…

A History of Everyday Life in Scotland” has a few pages that talk about it, although 276 and 278 are not part of the book preview.

The New Cambridge Medieval History” addresses it briefly from on p. 93-- talking about how in the 1200’s, it expanded to the point that the laypeople’s devotion was reflected in the architecture.

Mother of God” talks about the Marian confraternities that developed amongst the laypeople. While the monasteries tended to set the trends, the laypeople followed in their examples.

Are they talking about, say, lay devotion from the 4th century to the 12th century?

Ah, had a chance to look at the original article.

The end of the 700’s to the end of the 1400’s is the time period they’re looking at for the whole book.

The Carolingian Renaissance was from the second half of the 700’s to the 800’s. (Think “Charlemagne.”)

I’m curious if there are a few typos in the article-- “fives” for “lives”, “son” for “soon”. Which makes me wonder about reconciling “In the eighth century, the Christian **West **was still deeply under the influence of the impetus that the Council of Ephesus had given to Marian devotion. Shrines dedicated to the Theotókos sprang up in almost every place…” with “In the West, by contrast, the Church’s life was badly shaken by historical events that radically altered the religious situation of Europe…” two paragraphs later.

It looks like it’s the follow-up book to “Mary and the Fathers of the Church: The Blessed Virgin Mary in Patristic Thought”, which had excellent reviews. So it looks like the author knows his stuff. :slight_smile: The problem is just from focusing on one tiny little snippet describing a specific point in history, and being concerned that it’s trying to make wide generalities over a broad time period.

Thanks midori:)

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