Understanding Mary...easier said then done sometimes


WHY This Topic? Because Devotion to and Understanding Mary is Necessary for our Salvation.


Here are some interesting quotes about our Lady:


“The Blessed Virgin is all the more necessary for men to attain their final end. Consequently we must not place devotion to her on the same level as devotion to the other saints as if it were merely something optional.” –St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion, No. 39


"No one is saved but through you, O Mary." –St. Germanus of Auzerre 1 (450 AD)


“We may seek for graces but shall never find them without the intercession of Mary.” –St. Cajetan (1547 AD)


"Whoever asks and expects to obtain graces without the intercession of Mary, endeavors to fly without wings."--St. Antoninus of Florence (1459 AD)


"Go to Mary, for God has decreed that He will grant no graces otherwise than by the hands of Mary." –St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1153 AD)


"O Lady, since Thou art the dispenser of all graces, and since the grace of salvation can only come through Thy hands, our salvation depends on Thee." -St. Bernardine of Sienna (1444 AD)


"God will not save us without the intercession of Mary." –St. Bonaventure (1274 AD)

“It remains for us to receive Christ only through the hands of Mary.” –Pope St. Pius X (1914 AD)


True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis Grignon de Montfort (1716 AD)


“Anyone who does not have Mary for his mother, does not have God for his Father.” (30)

“The salvation of the world began through Mary and through her it must be accomplished.” (49)


“If devotion to the Blessed Virgin is necessary for all men simply to work out their salvation, it is even more necessary for those who are called to a special perfection.” (43)


The oldest preserved extant Marian prayer (hymn): ~250 AD, from the Coptic liturgy


Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, Sancta Dei Genetrix. Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus nostris, sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper, Virgo gloriosa et benedicta

Under thy protection We seek refuge O Holy Mother of God, despise not our petitions in our necessities but from all dangers deliver us always, O ever glorious and blessed Virgin.


Major Marian Dogmas


The following are already defined infallibly in an unmistakable manner:

[1] Theotokos, Mother of God

[2] Perpetual Virginity of Mary

[3] Her Immaculate Conception

[4] Her Glorious Assumption

Already defined infallibly by the ordinary and universal magisterium of the Church:

[5] Mary is Co-Redemptrix

[6] Mary is Mediatrix of all Graces

[7] Mary is Mother of the Church

[8] Mary is Queen of Heaven and Earth

Also very helpful in understanding our Blessed Mother are some of her oft repeated titles:

e.g. New Eve, Ark of the Covenant, Gate of Heaven, Refuge of Sinners, Help of Christians...


Definition of Terms


The following terms are useful for our understanding in order to understand where, why, and how Mary assists us to knowing and loving her son!


latria–Adoration, worship and homage due to God alone (because He is God).


dulia–Veneration, honor and reverence appropriately due to the excellence of a created person.

Note: Saints receive their dulia precisely because of their relation to God.

Note: The dulia shown to the saints does not end with the saints themselves, but ultimately is given to God through, with and in the saints.


hyperdulia–The highest, greatest dulia that can be given. It is reserved for Mary alone. e.g. The Rosary, Brown Scapular, Immaculate Heart of Mary, First Saturday, Study

Note: The external practices must always flow from an authentic interior spirit of trust and love


Protodulia: After Mary, that ‘first’ of veneration's which we give to St. Joseph.


WHAT are we seeking? We are seeking a True and Honest Devotion to Mary


Orthopraxy is always based upon orthodoxy. (cf. Acts 24:14, Rom 12:6; 2 Thes 2:10-12, James 2:14-19)

The two ‘extremes’ of heterodoxy with respect to Our Blessed Mother.

A Marian Excess–To think Mary IS God (i.e. Fourth Person of the Bl. Trinity) –Very rare

As long as you know she is not God, then no praise is adequate enough!

A Marian Defect or a Minimalism–Far too common today!

We do not honor, trust in her, or love her as we ought. As in all things, we ought to imitate Christ

Mary in the Scriptures


Genesis 3:15; 3:20; 6:9; 28:12; Exodus 3:1; Numbers 17:8-10; Judges 6:36-39; 1 Samuel (Kings) 2:1-10; Psalm 44 (Vulgate) | 45 (Hebrew); Proverbs 8; Song of Songs (Song of Solomon); Wisdom of Solomon 7-8; Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 24; Isaiah 7:14, 11:1; 61:10; 62:5 Ezekiel 44:2-3; Micah 5:1-3; 5:23

Matthew 1-2, 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-5, 6:3; Luke 1-2; 11:27-28; 8:19; John 2:1-12, 19:17-30; Acts 1:14-2:4; Galatians 4:4; Revelation 11:19-12:1-6; 13:-17


Interestingly, from the Council of Ephesus (431) reads in part: “If any one does not profess that Emmanuel is truly God, and that consequently the Holy virgin is the Mother of God—inasmuch as she gave birth in the flesh to the Word of God made flesh, according to what is written: ‘The Word was made flesh’—let him be anathema.”

This statement was reiterated and confirmed by several later councils, notably those of Chalcedon (451) and Constantinople (553).

Dogma of Mary’s Divine Motherhood Proved from Sacred Scripture

It is astonishingly clear and explicitly contained in Holy Scripture that Mary is the Mother of God:

· The Bible does not employ the formal term “Mother of God”

· The Bible does employ the formal term “the mother Jesus” or “the mother of our Lord”

· Foretold by Isaias: “Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel”

· Archangel Gabriel (Lk 1:31) “Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus”

· Since Mary gave birth to the Son of God, she is really and truly the Mother of God

· St. Paul Galatians (4:4) states: “When the fullness of time was come, God sent his son, made of a woman.”

· If the man Jesus, “made of a woman,” is the Son of God, then…

· The “woman” must be the mother of a Divine Son, and consequently, mother of God.

Primitive Christian Belief in the Divine Motherhood of Mary


· Long before the time when the faithful began to make their belief the subject of reflection

Recitation of the Apostles’ Creed:

· “Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost born of the Virgin Mary”

· Unequivocal assertion of two truths

· Blessed virgin Mary is the Mother of Christ, and

· She is really and truly the Mother of God

· Liturgical prayers

· Refer to her as “Deipara," and

· This word Deipara originates at Alexandria in the 3rd Century

·Christ’s relation as a man to His human mother is no doubt as real as Mary’s relation to her Divine Son. Christ’s relation as Son of God or Logos to His human mother is purely logical.

More to come in this series...thanks for stopping by!

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