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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.

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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 is a created human being, the same in all respects as every other human being except for the special graces that God chose to give her.
  • Mary is not God.

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 and Jesus are not in competition, but are different members of the same team.
  • Mary is the first and best Christian, who only leads us closer to her Son, Jesus.
  • Mary’s privileges come exclusively from God and reflect His love and mercy.
  • Mary’s role in salvation is taught from Genesis to Revelation and she is by God’s design, the spiritual mother of all Christians.

The OT prepared the way for the NT.

  • Persons in the OT prefigured, foreshadowed, anticipated, and symbolized persons and events in the NT.
  • “the New testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old testament is unveiled in the New”
  • (ccc 129)

Mary as Second Eve

The early Church Fathers realized that individual players in the Fall of man had NT counterparts

  • The angel Gabriel brought the words of life to Mary
  • Mary was Jesus mother and perfect disciple, who obeyed God and contributed greatly to Christ’s redemptive mission.
  • The devil a fallen angel brought the words of death to Eve
  • Eve our mother in the flesh, disobeyed God and cooperated greatly in Adam’s sin, which caused the fall of the human race

The Fathers made the obvious connection:

as Christ is the new Adam (1 Cor 15:45), Mary is the new Eve.


After the fall Genesis 3:15 prophecies a woman and her son who will be at total enmity with the serpent and his descendents.

  • The woman’s son will crush the serpent’s head.
  • Since the man who crushes the serpents head is obviously Jesus, the woman must be Mary
  • Genesis 3:15-17
  • Describes two teams
  • The fall team – Adam and Eve
  • The redemption team – Jesus and Mary

The early Church Fathers including St Justin and St. Irenaeus were quick to realize this:

  • The human race fell through Adam but Eve’s role was crucial
  • Jesus redeemed the human race but Mary’s role was likewise crucial.
  • Sacred Scripture continually shows Jesus and Mary together in the pivotal events of salvation

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.


Jesus definitively crushed Satan’s head on Calvary.

  • Calvary (Golgotha) means skull-place.
  • Satan intends to strike a lethal blow through the cross (“you strike at his heel”).
  • Instead Satan suffered the mortal wound (“he will strike at your head”)
  • Jesus destroyed the power of sin and death.
  • “Dying you destroyed our death
  • rising you restored our life,
  • Lord Jesus come in glory.”

Mary was at Christ’s side on Calvary

  • Jesus refers to her not as mother
  • but as woman the new Eve.
  • Mary is the woman of Gn 3:15
  • The woman of Jn 2 who launched Jesus’ ministry at Cana
  • The woman at the foot of the cross in Jn 19
  • And the woman of Rev 12 who fights against Satan with Jesus until the end.
  • The new Adam and the New Eve are on the same victorious team.

Mary as the New Ark of the Covenant

  • The Ark was the holiest object in the OT
  • It was sacred because it carried the stone tablets of the Law that God gave Moses on Mount Sinai
  • God gave meticulous instructions for constructing the Ark.
  • Made of indestructible acacia wood
  • Plated inside and outside with pure gold
  • Kept free from impurity and profanation (Ex 25)
  • God struck Uzzah dead because he dared to touch the Ark
  • (2 Sam 6:6-7)

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)

  • Mary’s womb contained the author of the Law
  • Mary bore the Gospel
  • Mary gave us the living Word of God Jesus
  • Mary shown forth inward and outward with the purity of virginity
  • The gold which Mary shone forth was mined in heaven
  • The Ark contained the Tables of the Law
  • The Ark bore the Law
  • The Ark carried the written Word of God
  • The Ark shown forth with the purest gold
  • The gold which adorned the Ark was mined on earth

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

Scripture Teaches

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.


That God graced Mary with sinlessness from her conception.

  • This grace was from God to prepare Mary as a suitable vessel to give birth to Jesus and to raise Him to adulthood as a Godly man.
  • Just as Adam and Eve were sinless by a special grace from God until they sinned, Mary was graced by God with sinlessness. She never sinned as Adam and Eve did because she was not allowed to be tempted by Satan as Eve was.
  • Perpetual Virginity That Mary never had sexual relations during her lifetime.

Immaculate Conception


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.


Perpetual Virginity

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.

the process of canonization
The Process of Canonization

Mr. Pablo Cuadra

Religion Class

what is canonization
What is Canonization?

1. Canonization is a process used bythe Church to determine whether a person is worthy of being declared a saint.

the servant of god candidate for sainthood
The Servant of God (candidate for Sainthood)
  • Someone considered to have lived a holy life
  • The process begins five years after a person’s death. (sooner with permission of the Pope).
  • In the 10th Century the process was established by Pope John XV
how does the process of canonization begin
How does the process of Canonization begin?
  • 1.The process begins at diocesan level.
  • 2. A person or a group people approach their bishop (ordinary) and suggest a candidate for sainthood. A petition is made to open the cause for this person’s canonization.
  • The candidate is given the title servant of God, while his or her cause is being investigated.
  • 3. A committee creates a report on the candidate.
  • 4.The report is sent to the Congregation for the causes of saints in Rome.
what does the congregation do with the report
What does the Congregation do with the report?
  • 1. The congregation researches the life of the candidate to make sure he or she practiced heroic virtue.
  • 2. The congregation for the causes of saints is made up of theologians and cardinals.
what happens after the congregation finish its report
What happens after the congregation finish its report?
  • 1. The report is sent to the Pope.
  • 2. If he accepts the report the servant of God is termed Venerable.
  • 3. This is the first step.
what happens during the second process of canonization
What happens during the second process of canonization?
  • A postulator (promoter) of the cause is authorized to examine the person’s
  • Life
  • Writings
  • Reputation
  • Miracles

*A miracle is required for

the process to continue to the

next step known as


what happens after a first miracle has been verified
What happens after a first miracle has been verified?
  • The venerable candidate is then beatified by the Pope and given the title Blessed.
  • The Blessed person can now be venerated by a group or region.
  • Beatification does not have a universal character like canonization.
  • The requirement of a miracle is not necessary in the case of martyrs.
  • A second miracle is required for the process to continue to the next step known as Canonization.
how is the process concluded
How is the process concluded?
  • With a solemn (great) declaration by the pope that the candidate is a saint (holy).
  • This declaration requires one more verified miracle.
  • Canonization has a universal character.
  • The Holy person can be venerated by the universal Church.
  • This declaration does not make a person a saint, the person is already a saint as a result of heroic virtue and cooperation with God’s grace.
canonization process in a nutshell
Canonization Process(in a nutshell)
  • First Step
  • A petition is made to open a cause for canonization for a servant of God.
  • 2. Second Step
  • The servant of God is declared “Venerable”
  • 3. Third Step
  • Beatification
  • *One miracle is required
  • Fourth Step
  • Canonization
  • *Second miracle is required
  • The Blessed is declared a saint in a solemn, public mass at the Vatican by the Pope.
prayer of st francis
Prayer of St. Francis

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.

solemnity of all saints november 1
Solemnity of All Saints November 1

Mr. Pablo Cuadra

Religion Class

what is all saints day
What is All Saints’ Day?
  • All Saints is a Solemnity (feast) in honor of All Saints known and unknown.
  • This Solemnity is celebrated on November 1.
  • All Saints is also an ancient Christian formulainvoking all the Saints known or unknown.
all saints day
All Saints’ Day
  • In the early Church, an all night vigil was celebrated on the anniversary of a martyr’s death for Christ.
  • The all night Vigil was followed by the celebration of the Eucharist over the tomb or place of martyrdom.
  • The anniversary of a martyr’s death was commonly referred in early Christianity as the Saint’s birthday.
other names for this solemnity
Other Names for This Solemnity
  • This solemnity is also known as:
  • A. All Saints’ Day
  • B. All Hallows
  • C. Hallowmas
  • (mass of the saints)
what is a solemnity
What is a solemnity?
  • A solemnity is a principal feast in the Liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • Solemnities commemorate an event in the life of Jesus, Mary or the saints.
  • The celebration of these special feast usually begins in the evening prior to the actual solemnity.
  • Some solemnities are also Holy Days of obligation, on which Catholics are required to attend the Eucharist.
  • A solemnity has the Character of a Sunday mass.
  • Two readings and psalm are read before the Gospel.
  • The Creed is recited
  • If a Solemnity falls on a Sunday, the Eucharist is celebrated with the readings and prayer proper of the feast, rather than the particular Sunday.
  • The readings for the Solemnity of All Saints’ Day are:
  • Revelation 7: 2-4; 9-14
  • Psalm 24: 1-2; 3-4; 5-4
  • 1 John 3: 1-3
  • Matthew 5: 1-12
all saints day1
All Saints’ Day
  • After this I had a vision of a great multitude,which no one could count,from every nation, race, people, and tongue.They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
  • Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,“Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.”He said to me,“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;they have washed their robesand made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”
  • Revelation 7: 9; 13-14
what is saint
What is Saint?
  • The word Saint comes from the Latin word “sanctus” which means Holy.
  • Every baptized Christian is called to Holiness.
  • In the Roman Catholic Church, All Saints Day honors those holy men and women who have attained the beatific vision in heaven.
  • We honor them whether they are known (canonized) or unknown (those who surrendered to the grace and will of God on this earth but are not officially recognized).
what is the meaning of beatific vision
What is the meaning of beatific vision?
  • Our Catholic faith teaches that the Beatific Vision is the eternal, direct perception of God enjoyed by those who are in heaven.
  • The Beatific Vision imparts supreme happiness or blessedness to the saints in heaven.
  • In contrast, the earthly human experience of God while alive is indirect (mediated), the Beatific vision is direct (immediate).
  • St. Thomas Aquinas defined the Beatific Vision as the ultimate end of human existence.
historical developments
Historical Developments
  • 4th Century: neighboring dioceses began to transfer relics and to celebrate the feast of specific martyrs in common.
  • May 13 (609 or 610) Pope Boniface IV consecrated the Pantheon at Rome to the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the martyrs.
  • Gregory III (731-741) consecrated a chapel in the basilica of St. Peter to all the saints and fixed the anniversary for November 1.
  • Gregory IV (827-844) extended this local feast to the entire Church.
all saints day2
All Saints’ Day
  • The solemnity of All Saints is a Holy day of obligation or a Feast of precept for all the faithful.
holy day of obligation
Holy Day of obligation

Canon 1247 states:

  • The faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass. Moreover they are to abstain from those works and affairs which hinder the worship to be rendered to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, or the suitable relaxation of mind and body.
all saints day3
All Saints’ Day
  • Did you Know?
  • With the prior approval of the Apostolic See, however, the conference of bishops can suppress some of the holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday.
holy days of obligation in the united states of america
Holy Days of Obligation in the United States of America
  • For the United States of America
  • After their general annual meeting in 1991, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) of the United States issued the following decree on Dec. 13.
  • In addition to Sunday, the days to be observed as holy days of obligation in the Latin-rite dioceses of the United States, in conformity with Canon 1246, are as follows:
  • Jan. 1, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.
  • Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter, the Solemnity of the Ascension.
  • Aug. 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • Nov. 1, the Solemnity of All Saints.
  • Dec. 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
  • Dec. 25, the Solemnity of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
how to prepare for all saints day
How to Prepare For all Saints’ Day?
  • Start with a reflection on the meaning of your baptism?
  • Make an examination of Conscience ( a deep introspection of your life’s actions, mistakes and sins)
  • Make arrangements at work to leave early in order to attend the services.
  • Pay special attention to the prayers, readings, homily. What is God saying to you?
  • Think of a concrete way you can relate the experience of All saints’ Day to another person.
  • Incorporate piety, devotion, prayer into your daily life.
  • Live by example be a role model of faith, remember the words of Jesus, “You are the light of the world” Matthew 5:14
  • Receive the Sacraments as often as possible, specially the sacraments of reconciliation and Eucharist.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and strength.
  • Pray for the grace of a happy death (to die in state of grace).
all saints day4
All Saints’ Day

“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.”

Job 19:23-27

Holy Men and Women of God

Pray for us.

Have a blessed All Saint’s Day!