Our admiration of and devotion to Mary all relate properly to maintaining Christ at the center. St John Paul also proposes that Mary is not associated with a certain aristocracy among us, but with those her Son came to serve–the one who were truly in need of mercy.
The above titles which we attribute to the Mother of God speak of her principally, however, as the Mother of the crucified and risen One; as the One who, having obtained mercy in an exceptional way, in an equally exceptional way “merits” that mercy throughout her earthly life and, particularly, at the foot of the cross of her Son; and finally as the one who, through her hidden and at the same time incomparable sharing in the messianic mission of her Son, was called in a special way to bring close to people that love which He had come to reveal: the love that finds its most concrete expression vis-a-vis the suffering, the poor, those deprived of their own freedom, the blind, the oppressed and sinners, just as Christ spoke of them in the words of the prophecy of Isaiah, first in the synagogue at Nazareth (Cf. Lk. 4:18) and then in response to the question of the messengers of John the Baptist.(Cf. Lk. 7:22)
Dives in Misericordia, the second encyclical of Pope John Paul II, is available online here, and is copyright © 1980 – Libreria Editrice Vaticana