Father Luigi Gambero, internationally-known expert on early Christianity, presents a comprehensive survey of the development of Marian doctrine and devotion during the first eight centuries. Focusing on the lives and works of over thirty of the most famous Church Fathers and early Christian writers, Fr. Gambero has produced a clear and readable summary of the richness of the patristic age's theological and devotional approach to the Mother of God. The book contains numerous citations from the works of those men who developed the defining Christological and Mariological positions that have constituted the foundational doctrinal teaching of the Church. Each chapter concludes with an extended reading from the works of the patristic authors. A number of these texts have never before been published in English. The thought of the Fathers and early Christian writers continues to fascinate readers today. Their theological acuity and spiritual depth led them faithfully into the mysteries of Sacred Scripture. Their vast experience made them reliable and trustworthy witnesses to the faith of the people of God.