"Your good will succors not only those who ask": the Compassionate Example of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dante Alighieri's "Divine Comedy"

By Lisa Tortolani.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 22, 2015 $US5.00

In the 700 years since Dante Alighieri wrote the “Divine Comedy”, his fictional poem has been lauded for its political, judicial, historical and even linguistic import. A close reading of the three canticles that make up this epic poem reveals that it is also theologically interesting for the way in which Dante invokes and portrays the Virgin Mary within the bounds of his Christian faith. Dante’s pilgrimage from the anguish of the dark wood to the joy of the beatific vision is a journey towards, and with, Mary: she sets the entire pilgrimage in motion and, ultimately, allows for the pilgrim to experience God. It is the position of this paper that Dante’s representation of the Virgin as ever-vigilant, as one who answers prayers before the need of one of her faithful is expressed, is an extraordinarily powerful image, and provides insight into her role in the “Divine Comedy”.

Keywords: Mariology, Poetry, Theological Resource

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 6, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.47-51. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 22, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 378.740KB)).

Lisa Tortolani

Boston College, Providence, RI, USA