Mary: Who She Is and Why She Matters

Who is Mary and why does she matter? Theologian and author Dr. Robert... Read more


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To Jesus through Mary ... Why?

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We recently received a letter from Tennessee with a question in response to "And let it begin with me: A 'Hail Mary' play for peace" (Marian Helper, Winter 2016-17). Linda writes:

... the Rosary says more Hail Marys than Our Fathers or Glory Be to the Fathers. I don't understand why more is given to Mary. My Bible teaches me we have one mediator (see 1 Tim 2:5-6) ... Jesus did not teach that I must come through His mother, Mary. I know that Jesus came to us through the Virgin Mary, from God the Father. ... Please help me to understand why I should go to Mary instead of directly to the Lord Himself when He tells me to come directly to Him.

We responded: Many thanks for your letter! We're always glad to hear from readers.

Yes, there are more Hail Marys in the Rosary than Our Fathers or Glory Be to the Fathers because we walk with the Blessed Virgin as we pray it. Scripture tells us that Our Lady pondered the events of Christ's life (see Lk 2:19). Tradition tells us that she's the one who created the Stations of the Cross, a devotion that allows us to spiritually accompany Christ through His Passion, Death, and Resurrection. Similarly, the Rosary guides us to pray and meditate, pondering the mysteries of the Incarnation in our hearts, asking the Blessed Virgin Mary to pray for us as we imitate her pondering prayer. Further, we fulfill Scriptural prophecy whenever we pray the Hail Mary, for Mary foretold in her Magnificat, "Behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed" (see Lk 1:48). We quote Scripture in the first half of the prayer (see Lk 1:28, 42), and ask for Mary to pray for us in the second half of the prayer.

You ask, "Why must I go through Mary to obtain my salvation through Jesus?" The simple answer is that you certainly must go through Jesus to obtain your salvation, which means that you will go through the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church (see Rom 12:4-5; 1 Cor 12:12-27). You cannot separate Jesus, the Head of the Body (see Col 1:18), from the members of the Body. To accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior is to accept the members of the Body as your brothers and sisters, and to accept the Blessed Virgin Mary as your mother (see Rev 12:17), for she is the mother of Jesus, the Head — and what mother would refuse to pray for her children in need?

Now, certainly we can and we must pray directly to Jesus; our salvation comes from the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity; Jesus is God and Mary is not. No, you don't need to preface every prayer by saying, "To Jesus, through Mary." But we can and should ask other members of the Mystical Body to pray for us. Jesus is the one Mediator; other believers are members of Jesus' Mystical Body; when we speak to a Christian, we are, in a mystical sense, speaking to Jesus (see Acts 9:4-5). We share in His mission of mediation to the world (see 1 Cor 12:12-27). ... The Church is the Mystical Body; the Church is also the New Israel. Jesus came as the Son of David (see Mt 1:1; Lk 18:38), as the King of Kings in the new Israel, and the sons of David always had their mother as queen in their kingdom. The role of the Queen Mother (gebirah) was of intercessor to the king on behalf of the poor of the kingdom. In the new and everlasting kingdom of Christ, the Blessed Mother is our intercessor and advocate (see Jn 2).

And certainly, we owe her honor, for we serve Jesus and imitate Him. Jesus will not disobey His own law; He honors His Father and mother (see Eph 6:1-2). ... Indeed, we are her children, too. She who gave birth to the Messiah, the One who would rule all nations with an iron rod (see Rev 12:5) is also the mother of "the rest of her offspring, those who keep God's commandments and bear witness to Jesus" (Rev 12:17).

And so we pray to Jesus, and we ask the Blessed Virgin Mary's intercession. We try to love Mary like Jesus does, and to love Jesus like Mary does.

For more on the teachings of the Church about the Blessed Mother, see Dr. Robert Stackpole's Mary: Who She Is and Why She Matters.

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NSA - Oct 18, 2021

False Logic is the most dangerous of wolves, worse than ISIS. At least when ISIS is through with someone, their victim is dead. A heretic on the other hand, infects thousands, who then go on to infect more.

I know plenty of Catholics who know the Bible quite well. We also know the Bible passages which support the Blessed Virgin and the sacraments. God chooses to help people using Mary and the sacraments, and the protestants oppose all of this in the name of God. Of all of the devil's tricks, this is the most cunning.

The lowliest Catholic child who believes that the Eucharist is the actual Body of Christ and that Mary is the Mother of God outshines the oldest, loudest Bible-thumping protestant any day. He might not take the time to memorize the location of each Bible verse in order to show off and try to make Catholics feel small, but he knows and loves his heavenly Mother.

The protestant is good at memorizing Bible quotes but the true meaning always seems to escape him. The protestant will know that, in the Old Testament, a man was killed for not supporting the ark properly. They will know the exact verse off the top of their head. But say to this same person, "Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant, so it only makes sense that we honour her more than the Israelites honoured the first, inferior ark" and they just cannot get it. It's like trying to explain one plus one equals two to a Chatty Cathy doll. The doll regurgitates what it has been programmed to repeat...but it has no common sense and it cannot comprehend even the most basic concept.

The most learned and zealous protestants cannot stand the concept of apostolic succession. It hurts their pride. Obedience only matters if it means obedience to their particular Bible interpretation. They are a nation of rebels.

I know that there are Catholics who really belong among one of the many, numerous, countless protestant sects. False Logic is proof enough of this. I know that there are humble hearted protestants who really belong in the Catholic Church. I have no issue with these people. However, if someone accuses the Mother of Jesus of not being the Mother of God, expect her children to defend her. Children defend their earthly mothers all the time. We will do the same for our heavenly Mother.

- Sep 26, 2020

God is so pure that he needed an unblemished host. One conceived WITHOUT SIN in order to house his only son. Mary became the covenant the NEW ARK. She, because of her obedience and purity, was doorway to our salvation. She's blessed because she was pure in heart and deeds. Just as her son was. Even the Angles exalt her! No, we don't worship her, but we honor her and strive to be LIKE her because she was everything we SHOULD be!

- Aug 22, 2020

God could have used any Godfearimg virgin, but God chose Mary. Who are you to speak on behalf of God.The last entity to attempt to fill God's shoes was Lucifer. All blessings from the father must first pass through the Virgin Mary.

Bruce - Jan 4, 2020

Claiming that Mary is not the Mother of God is a heresy called Nestorianism, refuted by the Church Fathers in the fifth century.

False Logic - May 31, 2019

Mary is the mother of the 100% human part of Jesus. Jesus was made of the seed of David, born of a virgin according to the flesh. Mary is Not the mother of the 2nd person of the Trinity, who is eternal and through whom all things are created including her. There is one God in three persons, Mary is not the mother of God, that expression was oringally used to defend the deity of Jesus, it’s now been twisted to make Mary, a human creation (Yes blessed above women, it had to be someone and that person is blessed) God was in no way dependent on Mary, God could have used any Godfearing virgin. I was raised Catholic, alterboy, youth retreat leader, catholic grade school, Jesuit HS, Vincentian Collage, Eucharistic minister in my 20’s, I have a ton of Catholics in my circles, some are my best friends, so I say this with knowledge- Catholics, have no biblical knowledge. Those of you over 40 raised catholic had a bible in your house that was spiritual relic, never read, never taught in the home, and you all experience a great struggle to read the scriptures. Why do average born-again bible church goers have more bible knowledge than Catholics, priests, bishops, cardinals and I’d argue the pope as well? It’s not that they are any better, more holy, or any of that. When you’re “born-again” reading scripture is like breathing, you have to do it. everyday I have to open my bible, when you don’t it’s like the excesise junky that hasn’t gotten a workout in. The Bread of Life is the Word of God. Repent, believe the Gospel, you’ll be changed in a second and the scriptures will come alive to you. By definition a god is a divine being, a divine-human offspring, or a human being who has been given divine powers through death or translating into the non-physical realm, whom has powers above human restrictions, can hear prayers from anywhere, anytime, in any language and interact by bestowing good or negative benefits. There is one God. Finally the catholic catechism changes the 10 commandments, compare Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. with the 10 commandments in your catechism. The catholic heirarchy removes the 2nd commandments and makes the 10th commandment into two commandments. Please consider your faith and if you’ve always just trusted in the Catholic Church because that’s how you were raised, ask God to validate it and read your bible. Much love and God bless.

Camille - Jan 28, 2019

Protestants think if we give honor to Mary, we are taking away from Jesus, like a whole pie missing a piece. Jesus still gets the whole pie, and Our Blessed Mother always points us to her Son.
In Luke 1:48-49, 1. God chose Mary, 2. all will call her blessed, 3. He has done great “things” for me, and holy is His Name.
Be it done unto me, is Mary’s, YES to do God’s Will.

- Jan 27, 2018

I hope she is only women who could understand her Son and the plan of God for her son Jesus Christ