Theology of the Body news and discussion, Natural Family Planning Q & A and Prayer Community
Follow on Twitter


On the Dignity and Vocation of Women-_______ Pope John Paul II

On the Dignity and Vocation of Women
Pope John Paul II
August 15, 1988

"If You Knew the Gift of God"

31. "If you knew the gift of God"(Jn 4:10), Jesus says to the Samaritan woman during one of those remarkable conversations which allow his great esteem for the dignity of women and for the vocation which enables them to share in his messianic mission.

The present reflections, now at an end, have sought to recognize, within the "gift of God," what he, as Creator and Redeemer, entrusts to women, to every woman. In the Spirit of Christ, in fact, women can discover the entire meaning of their femininity and thus be disposed to making a "sincere gift of self" to others, thereby finding themselves.

During the Marian Year the Church desires to give thanks to the Most Holy Trinity for the "mystery of woman" and for every woman-for that which constitutes the eternal measure of her feminine dignity, for the "great works of God," which throughout human history have been accomplished in and through her. After all, was it not in and through her that the greatest event in human history-the incarnation of God himself-was accomplished?

Therefore the Church gives thanks for each and every woman: for mothers, for sisters, for wives; for women consecrated to God in virginity; for women dedicated to the many human beings who await the gratuitous love of another person; for women who watch over the human persons in the family, which is the fundamental sign of the human community; for women who work professionally, and who at times are burdened by a great social responsibility; for "perfect" women and for "weak" women-for all women as they have come forth from the heart of God in all the beauty and richness of their femininity; as they have been embraced by his eternal love; as, together with men, they are pilgrims on this earth, which is the temporal "homeland" of all people and is transformed sometimes into a "valley of tears"; as they assume, together with men, a common responsibility for the destiny of humanity according to daily necessities and according to that definitive destiny which the human family has in God himself, in the bosom of the ineffable Trinity.


  1. Who could read this and believe that the Church is so patriarchal to the exclusion of women?

    And, it's unfortunate that more women in our contemporary society do not get to hear this message.

    And, what a privilege we have to be able to hear this message over the noise of the ideas around us.

    For this I am grateful...

  2. I would also like to see, within the fringes of our Church, more women realize what a calling we have in the life of the Church, aside from the priesthood.

    If it was through Woman that Divine Life was conceived, that vocation should be satisfactory- to say the least!

    The theme keeps coming back: when women value themselves as female, and not as an inferior copy of a male, we can truly regain our dignity and respect for ourselves. Perhaps then respect for our fertility and all life will follow.