Mary and the Saints. RCIA Inquiry. What are the Catholic Church's views regarding Mary? It is important to note a couple of points: Whatever special graces Mary have are from God, not from her. She merely received them with humility.
Mary and the Saints
Many non-catholics believe that honoring Mary takes away from the honor due Jesus
“This most blessed of women, the mother of Jesus, is thus made His chief rival and competitor for the loyalty and devotion of the human heart.”
(Lorraine Boettner, Presbyterian author of Roman Catholicism)
Mary as Second Eve
The early Church Fathers realized that individual players in the Fall of man had NT counterparts
The Fathers made the obvious connection:
as Christ is the new Adam (1 Cor 15:45), Mary is the new Eve.
Irenaeus was a disciple of Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna, who was in turn a disciple of the apostle John. Following the persecution by Marcus Aurelius, Irenaeus became bishop of Lyons. He died between 202 and 203, probably as a martyr.
Justin the Philosopher (also Justin Martyr) was one of the earliest apologists for the Christian faith. A convert to Christianity, he produced a number of works during the middle of the second century, amongst them two Apologies addressed to the Roman emperors, defending and explaining Christianity as the true philosophy. The power of his arguments was to earn him his martyrdom. His feast day is celebrated on June 1.
Bishop of Milan from 374 to 397; born probably 340, at Trier, Arles, or Lyons; died 4 April, 397. He was one of the most illustrious Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and fitly chosen, together with St. Augustine, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Athanasius, to uphold the venerable Chair of the Prince of the Apostles in the tribune of St. Peter's at Rome.
Mary as the New Ark of the Covenant
St. Ambrose details several ways in which the Ark is a type of Mary.
(Ex 26:33, 40:20)
This typology forms the basis for doctrines like the Assumption which are not taught explicitly in scripture but are taught implicitly through typology.
Why we give honor to Mary?
God honored Mary above all creatures by making her the mother of his Son.
In honoring Mary the Catholic Church is following the example of God Luke 1:26-56
The Archangel Gabriel shows Mary great honor
Elizabeth “filled with the Holy Spirit” calls Mary blessed.
Mary herself prophesies that all ages will call her blessed.
Mary's divine motherhood was proclaimed at the Council of Ephesus in 431.
The solemn definition of Mary's Immaculate Conception is like Divine Motherhood and Perpetual Virginity part of the christological doctrine, but it was proclaimed as an independent dogma by Pope Pious IX in his Apostolic Constitution "Ineffabilis Deus" (December 8, 1854). Though highlighting a privilege of Mary it in fact stresses the dignity and holiness required to become "Mother of God." The privilege of the Immaculate Conception is the source and basis for Mary's all-holiness as Mother of God.
1. Mother of God
Mary's divine motherhood was proclaimed at the Council of Ephesus in 431.
Elizabeth calls Mary “mother of my Lord.”(Lk 1:43)
“Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emanuel, which means God with us.” (Mt 1:23)
“the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” (Lk 1:35)
“when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman.”(Gal 4:4)
Mother of God
Jesus is God and Mary was, therefore, the Mother of God.
This is more than merely a biological fact, but is a mystical reality which is true forever.
The role of Mary as Jesus' mother is an eternal role. Since the Church is the body of Christ, and Mary is the mother of Jesus, she is therefore the Mother of the Church.
To say that Mary is the mother of Jesus' physical nature but not His divine nature is to affirm the Nestorian heresy which proclaimed that Jesus had two natures.
2. Immaculate Conception
Pope Pius IX Dec 8, 1854
“The Most Holy Virgin Mary was, in the first moment of her conception, by a unique gift of grace and privilege of Almighty God and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ the Redeemer of mankind, preserved free from all stain of original sin.”
Mary was preserved from original sin and any stain of original sin from the first moment of her existence.
This privilege was given to Mary in view of Christ’s merits. Jesus was Mary’s savior and redeemer just as he is ours. In Mary Christ’s redemption preserves her from sin whereas in us it removes sin contracted.
This doctrine only deals with original sin. However the Church also teaches that Mary was never touched by personal sin.
3. Bodily Assumption
Pope Pius XII, November 1, 1950
“Mary, the immaculate perpetual Virgin Mother of God, after the completion of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into the glory of heaven.”
This doctrine does not say Mary died.
The overwhelming tradition of the Church including the Church Fathers , is that she did.
After Mary completed her earthly life, she was taken up into heaven, where both her body and soul were glorified.
Mary’s body did not undergo corruption.
Christ ascended on his own power, Mary was drawn up into heaven by God.
She was assumed bodily into heaven at her death. Since she was sinless there was no need for her to be judged with death, which is the penalty of sin.
Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate This is a much misunderstood doctrine. In choosing Mary to be the mother of Jesus, God also chose her to have a role in redemption. This is by virtue of the fact that she was Jesus' mother and she raised Him to adulthood as a godly man. As a result of her role as the mother of Jesus, who is God, her interactions with Jesus take on a unique spiritual dimension. Just as she brought our redeemer into this world through birth, so she has a role in the redemption process.
Assumption of Mary
Queen of Heaven
This means that Mary has a role in heaven that is above all the other humans and angels who reside there. Just as believers after death go to heaven where they rule and reign with Christ, Mary also rules and reigns as Christ as Queen of Heaven. She was chosen by God to have a preeminent role in heaven by virtue of her being the mother of Jesus.
Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary A mystical meditation on Mary's virtues.
The Rosary A prayer to Mary to intercede on our behalf. Protestants who are critical of Catholicism typically claim that the Rosary is a meditation on Mary which dishonors Christ, but this is not the case. Praying the Rosary brings one closer to Christ and to Mary.
The expression perpetual virginity, ever-virgin, or simply "Mary the Virgin" refers primarily to the conception and birth of Jesus.
From the first formulations of faith, especially in baptismal formulas or professions of faith, the Church professed that Jesus Christ was conceived without human seed by the power of the Holy Spirit only.
Here lies the decisive meaning of expressions such as "conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary," "Mary's virginal conception," or "virgin birth."
The early baptismal formula (since the 3rd century) state Mary's virginity without further explaining it, but there is no doubt about its physical meaning.
Later statements are more explicit. Mary conceived "without any detriment to her virginity, which remained inviolate even after his birth" (Council of the Lateran, 649).
Although never explicated in detail, the Catholic Church holds as dogma that Mary was and is Virgin before, in and after Christ's birth.
It stresses thus the radical novelty of the Incarnation and Mary's no less radical and exclusive dedication to her mission as mother of her Son, Jesus Christ.
Vatican II reiterated the teaching about Mary, the Ever-Virgin, by stating that Christ's birth did not diminish Mary's virginal integrity but sanctified it .
The Catechism of the Catholic Church ponders the deeper meaning of the virgin bride and perpetual virginity (499-507). It also maintains that Jesus Christ was Mary's only child. The so-called "brothers and sisters" are close relations
In this scene Jesus gives to ``the disciple whom he loved'' the care of his mother.
That disciple is St. John, but symbolically also every Christian (cf. the method of exegesis employed in Hebrews 7, especially verse 3: details not mentioned in scriptures are taken to lack existence).
Those who maintain that Mary had other children forget that such a fact would make Jesus' giving of his mother to the care of St. John meaningless.
It is silly to maintain both that Jesus' action here had no other significance than that he merely wanted someone to look after his mother and that Mary had other children.
Mr. Pablo Cuadra
1. Canonization is a process used bythe Church to determine whether a person is worthy of being declared a saint.
*A miracle is required for
the process to continue to the
next step known as
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, Where there is hatred, let me sow love;where there is injury, pardon;where there is doubt, faith;where there is despair, hope;where there is darkness, light;where there is sadness, joy; O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Mr. Pablo Cuadra
Canon 1247 states:
“But as for me, I know that my redeemer lives, and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust;
And from my flesh I shall see God; my inmost being. Whom I myself shall see: my own eyes, not another's, shall behold him.”
Holy Men and Women of God
Pray for us.
Have a blessed All Saint’s Day!