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40

Part One

to him as righteousness.”

8

Because he was “strong in his faith,”

Abraham became the “father of all who believe.”

9

147

The Old Testament is rich in witnesses to this faith. The

Letter to the Hebrews

proclaims its eulogy of the exemplary faith of

the ancestors who “received divine approval.”

10

Yet “God had

foreseen something better for us”: the grace of believing in his Son

Jesus, “the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.”

11

Mary—“Blessed is she who believed”

148

The Virgin Mary most perfectly embodies the obedience

of faith. By faith Mary welcomes the tidings and promise brought

by the angel Gabriel, believing that “with God nothing will be

impossible” and so giving her assent: “Behold I am the handmaid

of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word.”

12

Elizabeth greeted her: “Blessed is she who believed that there

would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

13

It is for this faith that all generations have called Mary blessed.

14

149

Throughout her life and until her last ordeal

15

when Jesus

her son died on the cross, Mary’s faith never wavered. She never

ceased to believe in the fulfillment of God’s word. And so the

Church venerates in Mary the purest realization of faith.

II.

“I K

now

W

hom

I H

ave

B

elieved

16

To believe in God alone

150

Faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God. At

the same time, and inseparably, it is a

free assent to the whole truth

that God has revealed.

As personal adherence to God and assent to

his truth, Christian faith differs from our faith in any human

person. It is right and just to entrust oneself wholly to God and to

8

Rom

4:3; cf.

Gen

15:6.

9

Rom

4:11, 18; 4:20; cf.

Gen

15:5.

10

Heb

11:2, 39.

11

Heb

11:40; 12:2.

12

Lk

1:37-38; cf.

Gen

18:14.

13

Lk

1:45.

14 Cf.

Lk

1:48.

15 Cf.

Lk

2:35.

16

2 Tim

1:12.

839

494, 2617

506

969

507, 829

222