Pontificia Academia Mariana Internationalis
The Pontificia Academia Mariana Internationalis (= PAMI) was founded as an international body which establishes contact among those scholars dealing with Mariology. It has the goal of sustaining studies dealing with Marian science and devotion in Catholic and Ecumenical circles. These studies need to be conducted with a rigorous scientific methodology according to the norms of the Church so that there may be a more accurate understanding, love and respect for the person of Mary in accord with her role in the mystery of Christ and the Church. It seeks to foster a deepening of Marian theology and devotion in the Christian churches and in the world.
This task is especially achieved by the celebration of International Marian-Mariological Congresses, by the publication of their reports, and the publication of Mariological collections.
L’origine della Pontificia Academia Mariana Internationalis va ricercata in due principali ragioni:
1. La “caratteristica mariana” dell’Ordine francescano impegnatosi in tutta la sua storia nello sviluppo della dottrina e della pietà nella Chiesa.
2. Il grande “movimento mariano” che, dopo la proclamazione dell’Immacolata Concezione (1854), si era dedicato alla definizione del dogma dell’Assunta.
Il 27 luglio 1946, l’Ordine dei Frati Minori nominava una Commissio Marialis Franciscana,con sede presso il Pontificio Ateneo Antonianum a Roma, con il fine di organizzare e dirigere tutte le attività mariologiche e mariane che si sarebbero fatte nell’Ordine specialmente in preparazione del primo centenario della proclamazione del dogma dell’Immacolata Concezione e di favorire gli studi per la successiva definizione dell’Assunzione di Maria. Questa Commissio fu affidata alla presidenza del P. Carlo Balić (1899-1977), titolare della cattedra di mariologia.
Gli statuti della Commissio stabilivano la creazione a Roma di una Academia Mariana con lo scopo di organizzare le conferenze scientifiche e di curare le edizioni della “Bibliotheca Mariana”. Tale Academia fu inaugurata ufficialmente il 29 aprile 1947 dal Ministro Generale P. Pacifico Perantoni durante il “Primo Congresso Mariologico dei Frati Minori d’Italia”. Sotto la guida del P. Balić, l’Academia si preoccupò dell’organizzazione di una serie di “Congressi Assunzionistici” (Roma 1947, Lisbona 1947, Madrid 1947; Montréal 1948; Buenos Aires 1948; Puy-en-Velay 1949; USA 1950). Con questi Congressi Balić constatò la necessità di una coordinazione tra gli studiosi di mariologia di tutto il mondo. Per questo motivo ebbe l’idea di trasformare l’Academia Mariana in ente di collegamento e di incontro tra tutti gli studiosi di mariologia.
Nel frattempo, da più parti era giunta alla Santa Sede la richiesta di organizzare un congresso mondiale in occasione della proclamazione del dogma dell’assunzione. La Santa Sede, volendo continuare la celebrazione dei grandi Congressi Mariani iniziati nel 1900 a Lione, e sospesi a causa delle due guerre mondiali, affidò questo Congresso all’Accademia Mariana che si presentò con il nome di Academia Mariana Internationalis.
The Pontifical International Marian Academy (PAMI) has its origins with the order of Friars Minor. On July 27, 1946, the Minister General created the Commissio Marialis Franciscana at the International College of St. Anthony in Rome. Its task was to coordinate and promote studies in favor of Marian doctrine and devotion in the order of Friars Minor. These studies especially dealt with the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which was celebrating its first centenary and the Dogma of the Assumption of Mary, which was about to be defined. For this reason various Congresses dedicated to the Assumption were held.
The first President of the Commissio was Friar Carlo Balic, who directed the Chair of Marian Studies at the Pontifical Atheneum Antonianum. The "Ordinationes peculiares" of this Commissio were approved by the General Definitorium on April 30, 1947, and asked for the institution of a Marian Academy in Rome. This Academy was given the specific task of organizing scientific debates and conferences as well as care for the publication of the "Bibliotheca Mariana". This Academy was officially inaugurated by the Minister General Friar Pacifico Perantoni on April 29, 1947 during the first Mariological Congress of the Italian Friars Minor. According to the Statuta pecularia it was the task of the Minister General, as Honorary President, to name the director of the Academy, which began working with the Commissio.
The activities of the Commissio-Academia gave Balic the possibility of getting to know many theologians and Marian scholars from around the world. It was during these Encounters dedicated to the Assumption that he met renowned Marian scholars of the Catholic world and had the chance to exchange ideas and opinions, making notes of differences, confusions and even contradictions. All of this stimulated him to transform the Commissio-Academia into an international body, open to all, for the coordination of Marian studies around the world. In this way, single Mariological institutions would be able to join their efforts as well as exchange ideas and research for Mariology.
In 1950 the Academia Mariana Internationalis was presented to the theological world with the celebration of the first International Mariological Congress and the eighth International Marian Congress. The Congresses of 1948 and 1958 followed and in this way the Academia proved its competence in organizing these great international gatherings. Given the fact that there needed to be special permission given each time that there was a celebration of an International Congress, the Holy See was asked to institute a permanent organ for the promotion and moderation of the Mariological-Marian Congresses. The Academia Mariana was proposed for this responsibility. On December 8, 1959, Pope John XXIII, with the motu proprio Maiora in dies gave the Academy the title of "Pontifical". In this way he instituted in it the permanent Committee charged with organizing the celebration of International Mariological and Marian Congresses. Said Committee, with the Statutes approved by Pope John Paul II, is the Council of the Academy.
The work of PAMI has a twofold purpose: to promote and favor the scientific studies of the Virgin Mary, be they speculative or historical-critical, and to organize periodic Marian Conventions and Congresses. The results of which are edited and published in Mariological Collections, be they historical or theological in nature.
It is the will of the Church that it be an International, yet centralized body for the coordination or Mariological work in various nations and in the single scientific entities. This task of coordination was highlighted by the pontifical document of Pope John XXIII: "It is our desire that this our Academy continue, as it has up till now, to work for the friendly union of forces and intent of all other Marian Academies and Societies existing in the world so as to contribute to the praise and honor of the Virgin Mary."
Fr. Charles Balić