Saint John-Paul II, Pope from 1978 to 2005
Apostolic Letter « Mulieris dignitatem /The Dignity of women» § 31 (trans. © copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana)
"Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women "
"If you knew the gift of God" (Jn 4:10), Jesus says to the Samaritan woman during one of those remarkable conversations which show his great esteem for the dignity of women and for the vocation which enables them to share in his messianic mission… 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…
The Church gives thanks for all the manifestations of the feminine "genius" which have appeared in the course of history, in the midst of all peoples and nations; she gives thanks for all the charisms which the Holy Spirit distributes to women in the history of the People of God… The Church asks at the same time that these invaluable "manifestations of the Spirit" (cf. 1 Cor 12:4ff)… may be attentively recognized and appreciated so that they may return for the common good of the Church and of humanity.