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Non-Catholics Section: Marian

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white bird (with branch)

Non-Catholics Section:

Marian

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Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Teaching that Jesus' Mother Mary Was Conceived Immaculately and Remained Sinless?

Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Teaching that Jesus' Mother Mary Remained a Virgin?

Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Teaching that Jesus' Mother Mary Was Assumed, Body & Soul, Into Heaven?

Do You Believe That the Catholic Church Recently Invented Marian Doctrines?

Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Practice of Giving Honor to Jesus' Mother Mary?

Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Teaching That Mary Intercedes For Christ's Followers?

Do You Reject Mary's Title 'Mother of God'?

Do You Reject All Marian Apparitions?

Do You Reject Marian Objects Such as the Rosary and Scapular?

Question

Comments

Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Teaching that Jesus' Mother Mary Was Conceived Immaculately and Remained Sinless?

Consider:

* Do you suppose that God instructed that the Ark be covered inside and outside with pure gold (see Ex. 25:11), but He would fail to fashion His own mother - whom He took His own flesh from - in a similar manner?

* Do you suppose that the "entire temple [a mere building] was overlaid with gold" (1 Kgs. 6:22), yet Christ would fail to prepare his own Mother - from whom He took His own flesh - in a comparable fashion?

* Considering that Christ is the "living temple", and considering that in the Old Testament God selected master craftsmen to help build His temple, how can you imagine that He wouldn't craft His own mother masterfully - as perfect as a human being can get?

* How could Mary be greeted by the angel as "full of grace" (Lk. 1:28) if she was not immaculate?

* Since we see from Rv. 21:27 that nothing unclean will enter the Lord's kingdom, how do you imagine that God could have entered Mary's womb if Mary wasn't fully pure?

* How is it you would make the mother of Christ a sinner? Do you not realize that if you propose that Jesus' mother Mary ever - even once - committed a sin, you make her a slave to the devil (cf. 1 Jn. 3:8, Jn. 8:34, Rom. 6:16)? How could the one who was foretold in Gen 3:15 crush the head of Satan if she had even once been under his control? How could she be always at enmity with the devil if she was once under his power? 

* The fact that Mary calls God her savior (see Lk. 1:47) in no way contradicts the doctrine of her Immaculate Conception. To use an analogy, a parent may be said to save a child's life by pulling him back from a certain fall at the edge of a cliff (e.g. preventing him from falling) or by giving him life-saving medical care after he has already fallen. In both cases, the parent has saved the child, but in one instance the child didn't actually fall. In like manner, God is Mary's savior by giving her special graces (in view of Christ's merits) so that she may not "fall".

* Since Adam and Eve came from the hands of God "immaculate", why is it so difficult for you to believe that Christ would likewise create His own mother immaculate - the very woman that He Himself would take His flesh from?

* Do you argue against Mary's perpetual sinlessness based on Romans 3:23 ("all have sinned")? Do you also dare (God forbid!) to imply that Jesus sinned? Clearly, this passage does not mean to imply that Jesus sinned. Therefore, the passage also does not exclude the possibility (the fact!) that His mother also never sinned.

* How is it that you can regard Jesus' mother Mary as a sinner, but the early Christians and most brilliant theologians wouldn't dare consider - much less utter - such blasphemy?

* Do you reject the Immaculate Conception because you think it means that Mary was born of a virgin? You should know that the Church certainly does not teach that - rather she teaches that "the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin". She was otherwise conceived and born as any other human being.


Closing Quotations...

"Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee." [Cant. 4:7 (Song. 4:7)]

"The second Eve is to be worthy of the second Adam, conquering and not to be conquered." (Dom Gueranger)

"Today, O Savior, you have given to pious Anne fruitful offspring of her womb, Your Immaculate Mother" (St. Andrew of Crete, a. 740 A.D.)

"You alone and your Mother are more beautiful than any others; For there is no blemish in you, nor any stains upon your Mother. Who of my children can compare in beauty to these?" (St. Ephraim, c. 370 A.D.)

"It was fitting that Jesus Christ should have such a mother as would be worthy of Him as far as possible; and she would not have been worthy, if, contaminated by the hereditary stain even for the first moment only of her conception, she had been subject to the abominable power of Satan." (Pope Pius XII, "Fulgens Corona", 1953 A.D.)

"Come, then, and search out Your sheep, not through Your servants or hired men, but do it Yourself. Lift me up bodily and in the flesh, which is fallen in Adam. Lift me up not from Sara but from Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled but a Virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free from every stain of sin." (St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, c. 387 A.D.)

"Believe in the Son of God, the Word before the ages, who was begotten of the Father apart from time and incorporeally, who in these last days was, for your sake, made Son of Man, both of the Virgin Mary in an indescribable and stainless way - for there is no stain where God is and whence salvation comes - whom man at the same time God also" (St. Gregory of Nazianz, Doctor of the Church, c. 381 A.D.)

"I consider that the blessing of a fuller sanctification descended upon her, so as not only to sanctify her birth, but also to keep her life pure from all sin; which gift is believed to have been bestowed upon none other born of woman. This singular privilege of sanctity, to lead her life without any sin, entirely benefited the queen of virgins, who should bear the Destroyer of sin and death, who should obtain the gift of life and righteousness for all." (St. Bernard)

"If any one does not, in accord with the Holy Fathers, acknowledge the holy and ever-virgin and Immaculate Mary as truly the Mother of God, inasmuch as she, in the fullness of time, and without seed, conceived by the Holy Spirit God the Word Himself, who before all time was born [begotten] of God the Father, and without loss of integrity brought him forth, and after His birth preserved her virginity inviolate, let him be condemned." (Pope St. Martin I, 649 A.D., emphasis added)

"It was due to His own infinite sanctity that God should suspend, in this instance, the law which His divine justice had passed upon all the children of Adam. The relations which Mary was to bear to the Divinity, could not be reconciled with her undergoing the humiliation of this punishment [of being stained by original sin]. She was not only daughter of the eternal Father; she was destined also to become the very Mother of the Son, and the veritable bride of the Holy Ghost. Nothing defiled could be permitted to enter, even for an instant of time, into the creature that was thus predestined to contract such close relations with the adorable Trinity: not a speck could be permitted to tarnish in Mary that perfect purity which the infinitely holy God requires even in those who are one day to be admitted to enjoy the sight of His divine majesty in heaven" (Dom Gueranger)

"Having excepted the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom, on account of the honor of the Lord, I wish to have absolutely no question when treating of sins - for how do we know what abundance of grace for the total overcoming of sin was conferred upon her, who merited to conceive and bear Him in whom there was no sin? - so, I say, with the exception of the Virgin, if we could have gathered together all those holy men and women, when they were living here, and had asked them whether they were without sin, what do we suppose would have been their answer?... I ask you, however excellent their holiness might have been when in the body, if they had been so questioned, would they not have declared in a single voice: 'If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us!'?" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 415 A.D., emphasis added)

"If anyone desires a confirmation of this it may easily be found in the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. For leaving aside tradition which, as well as Scripture, is a source of truth, how has this persuasion of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin appeared so conformed to the Catholic mind and feeling that it has been held as being one, and as it were inborn in the soul of the faithful? 'We shrink from saying,' is the answer of Dionysius of Chartreux, 'of this woman who was to crush the head of the serpent that had been crushed by him and that Mother of God that she had ever been a daughter of the Evil One' (Sent. d. 3, q. 1). No, to the Christian intelligence the idea is unthinkable that the flesh of Christ, holy, stainless, innocent, was formed in the womb of Mary of a flesh which had ever, if only for the briefest moment, contracted any stain. And why so, but because an infinite opposition separates God from sin? There certainly we have the origin of the conviction common to all Christians that Jesus Christ before, clothed in human nature, He cleansed us from our sins in His blood, accorded Mary the grace and special privilege of being preserved and exempted, from the first moment of her conception, from all stain of original sin." (Pope St. Pius X, "Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum", 1904 A.D.)

"The Immaculate Conception does not imply that Mary needed no Redemption. She needed it as much as you and I do. She was redeemed in advance, by way of prevention, in both body and soul, in the first instant of conception. We receive the fruits of redemption in our soul at Baptism. The whole human race needs redemption. But Mary was solidarized and separated from that sin-laden humanity as a result of the merits of Our Lord's Cross being offered to her at the moment of her conception. If we exempted her from the need of redemption, we would also have to exempt her from membership in humanity. The Immaculate Conception, therefore, in no way implies that she needed no redemption. She did! Mary is the first effect of redemption, in the sense that it was applied to her at the moment of her conception and to us in another and diminished fashion only after our birth. She had this privilege, not for her sake, but for His sake. That is why those who do not believe in the Divinity of Christ can see no reason for the special privilege accorded to Mary. If I did not believe in the Divinity of Our Lord - which God avert - I should see nothing but nonsense in any special reverence given to Mary above the other women on earth! But if she is the Mother of God, Who became Man, then she is unique, and then she stands out as the new Eve of Humanity - as He is the new Adam. There had to be some such creature as Mary - otherwise God would have found no one in whom He could fittingly have taken his human origin. An honest politician seeking civic reforms looks about for honest assistants. The Son of God beginning a new creation searched from some of that goodness which existed before sin took over. There would have been, in some minds, a doubt about the power of God if He had not shown a special favor to the woman who was to be His Mother. Certainly what God gave to Eve, He would not refuse to His Own Mother." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Teaching that Jesus' Mother Mary Remained a Virgin? 

Click Here For 'Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Teaching that Jesus' Mother Mary Remained a Virgin?'

Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Teaching that Jesus' Mother Mary Was Assumed, Body & Soul, Into Heaven?

Consider:

* Do you reject the doctrine of the Assumption since you think it is not biblical? Are you then unfamiliar with the biblical precedent of Enoch being taken to heaven without dying (see Gen. 5:24) or of Elijah being assumed to heaven on a chariot (2 Kg. 2:11, Heb. 11:5)?

* If Jesus' mother Mary is simply deceased, and not in heaven, and not crowned as queen of Heaven and earth, how do you explain the woman in the who Book of Revelation is "clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (Rv. 12:1) who "gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod" (Rv. 12:5)? How is it she is shown in continual battle against the serpent (cf. Rv. 12:13) if she is simply "deceased"?

* If Jesus' mother Mary had died and not been assumed to heaven, why is it that no one has ever claimed her relics? Why is it that they weren't even looked for? Are you unaware that the early Church greatly revered the relics of the saints? Can you not imagine how much more so would have Jesus' mother's relics have been treasured?

* Do you not see that the from the Immaculate Conception of Mary (see question above), that it would naturally follow that she would be assumed into heaven? Remember that death entered the world because of the devil, as punishment for sin, and that Mary has always been sinless and at enmity with Satan (see Gen. 3:15). "For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who are in his possession experience it." (Wisdom 2:23-24)

* Do you reject the doctrine of the assumption because you think the Catholic Church teaches that Mary went to heaven on her own power? If so, you should know that the Catholic Church does not teach this, but rather teaches that Christ ascended to heaven on his own power and that Mary was assumed to heaven by the power of God.


Closing Quotations...

"Arise, O Lord, into thy resting place: thou and the ark, which thou hast sanctified." [Ps. 131:8 (132:8)] 

"Jesus did not wish to have the body of Mary corrupted after death, since it would have redounded to his own dishonor to have her virginal flesh, from which he himself had assumed flesh, reduced to dust." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"We had closed Paradise; you opened again the entryway to the tree of life. We turn joys into sorrow; you turned sorrow back into the greatest of joys for us. And how would you, the Immaculate, taste of death? You are the bridge to life, you are the staircase to heaven" (St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church, c. 8th century A.D.) 

"God, the King of the universe, has granted you favors that surpass nature. As he kept you a virgin in childbirth, thus he has kept your body incorrupt in the tomb and has glorified it by his divine act of transferring it from the tomb." (Menaei Totius Anni, as quoted in Pope Pius XII's "Munificentissimus Deus")

"Let death pass you by, O Mother of God, because you have brought life to men. Let the tomb pass you by, because you have been made the foundation stone of inexplicable sublimity. Let dust pass you by; for you are a new kind of formation, so that you may be mistress over those who have been corrupted in the very stuff of their potter's clay" (St. Germain I of Constantinople, a. 733 A.D.)

"And who, I ask, could believe that the ark of holiness, the dwelling place of the Word of God, the temple of the Holy Ghost, could be reduced to ruin? My soul is filled with horror at the thought that this virginal flesh which had begotten God, had brought Him into the world, had nourished and carried Him, could have been turned into ashes or given over to be the food of worms." (St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church)

"Following the footsteps of his distinguished teacher, the Angelic Doctor, despite the fact that he never dealt directly with this question, nevertheless, whenever he touched upon it, always held together with the Catholic Church, that Mary's body had been assumed into heaven along with her soul. Along with many others, the Seraphic Doctor held the same views. He considered it as entirely certain that, as God had preserved the most holy Virgin Mary from the violation of her virginal purity and integrity in conceiving and in childbirth, he would never have permitted her body to have been resolved into dust and ashes." (Pope Pius XII, "Munificentissimus Deus", 1950 A.D.) 

Do You Believe That the Catholic Church Recently Invented Marian Doctrines?

Consider:

* If you believe the Catholic Church recently invented Marian doctrines, it seems that you are confusing the holding of a doctrine with the formal proclamation of a doctrine. For example, consider that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was not formally promulgated until 1854, however it is clear that the Church has always maintained this belief. Prior to this time, it was it was celebrated in the liturgy, it was referred to by popes, and it was even mentioned in the Council of Trent. Similarly, the doctrine of the assumption was not formally proclaimed until 1950, but it was not a "new invention". In fact, there are very ancient records treating of the assumption (or "dormition"), and it has been a part of the Rosary for many years before the dogma was formally promulgated. In like manner, the Church has always held belief in the Holy Trinity, even though the doctrine of the Holy Trinity was not formally expounded for years (e.g. when it was disputed). Would you also mean to imply that the Church didn't believe in the Trinity before it was formally defined? If a business organization had certain procedures that it followed for years before putting them in the company manual, would you argue that the company didn't have the procedures until they were written down - or rather that they were written down because they were already in existence?

* Are you unaware that Marian art and inscriptions may be found in the catacombs (burial places for the earliest Christians)? If Marian doctrine was recently invented, how do you explain the ancient art and inscriptions?


In Closing...

"The Church, even before the solemn proclamation of the grand dogma, kept the feast of this eighth day of December; which was, in realty, a profession of her faith. It is true that the feast was not called the 'Immaculate Conception', but simply the 'Conception of Mary'. But the fact of such a feast being instituted and kept, was an unmistakable expression of the faith of Christendom in that truth. St. Bernard and the angelical doctor, St. Thomas, both teach that the Church cannot celebrate the feast of what is not holy; the Conception of Mary, therefore, was holy and immaculate, since the Church has, for ages past, honored it with a special feast. The Nativity of the same holy Virgin is kept as a solemnity in the Church, because Mary was born full of grace; therefore, had the first moment of Mary's existence been one of sin, as is that of all the other children of Adam, it never could have been made the subject of the reverence of the Church. Now, there are few feasts so generally and so firmly established in the Church as this which we are keeping [the Immaculate Conception]." (Dom Gueranger) 

Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Practice of Giving Honor to Jesus' Mother Mary?

Click Here For 'Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Practice of Giving Honor to Jesus' Mother Mary?'

Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Teaching That Mary Intercedes For Christ's Followers?

Consider:

* Do you also reject the concept of the intercession of saints? Click here

* Do you also reject the fact that Mary interceded with Jesus at Cana - even though His hour had not come (see Jn. 2:4)? Do you think she cared about persons in need of assistance then, but no longer cares?

* "How can you imagine that Christ came into the world to save sinners and that His own mother Mary would be disinterested in her Son's mission?"

* How can you imagine that your Mother [assuming you "keep God's commandments and bear witness to Jesus" (Rv. 12:17)] would not do all she could to assist you, her child?

* Are you aware that there are writings from the first and second centuries which seek Mary's protection? Why do you suppose these earliest Christians - persons who lived closest to Christ's time - believed Mary would assist them if this was not even a possibility?

* Are you unaware of the many parallels between Jesus' mother Mary and the Ark in the Old Testament (cf. 2 Sam. 6:9, Lk. 1:43)? Remember that...

* After the arrival of the Ark, the people turned to God (1 Sam. 7:2)

* With the Ark come blessings (2 Sam. 6:11)

* Places where the Ark has come are holy (2 Chron. 8:11)

* Are you also unfamiliar with the position of Queen Mother and the powerful intercession of a Queen Mother (e.g. see 1 Kgs. 2:19-20)?

* Have you forgotten that Scripture says that "the fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful" (Jms. 5:16)?

* Do you argue that Mary is "dead" and can therefore not help you? How, then, can you explain the following...?

* Christ's parable recounts the attempted intercession by a (condemned!) departed man for his brothers (see Lk. 16:27-31)

* Jesus conversed with Moses & Elijah even though they were "dead" (see Mt. 17:3, Mk. 9:4, Lk. 9:30)

* He is not God of the dead, but of the living (see Mk. 12:26-27)

* Scripture recounts the intercession of deceased Onias & Jeremiah (see 2 Macc. 15:11-16)

* Martyrs are shown alive in heaven, and even await the avenging of their blood (it is clear, therefore, that they know what is transpiring on earth) [see Rv. 6:9-11, Rv. 20:4]

* Elders before the Lamb (Christ) have the prayers of the holy ones / An angel presents prayers of the holy ones to God (see Rv. 5:8, Rv. 8:3-4)

* Have you ever noticed that the first recorded miracle after Jesus was conceived in Mary occurred when Mary greeted St. Elizabeth (that is, the reception of the Holy Spirit by St. John the Baptist occurred upon Mary's greeting, see Lk.1:41)? Further, have you noticed that Jesus' first recorded words were in response to Mary's question (Lk. 2:49)? And that Jesus' first recorded miracle was in direct response to Mary's request (Jn. 2:1-11)? Note that this was also the first recorded instance of intercession with Jesus. Also note that Jesus performed this miracle for his mother even despite the fact that He seemed to say no (Jn. 2:4).

* Throughout the Church's 2,000 year history, Mary has been associated with countless miracles of all types, including miraculous cures, miraculous military upsets, miraculous conversions, miraculous solar phenomena, etc. There are a number of miraculous images (including various statues & paintings) of Mary throughout the world, including the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe which cannot be explained by science. Mary has consistently shown herself to be a loving mother and a powerful intercessor with her Son Jesus. She is the "mortal enemy" of the devil (cf. Gen. 3:15) and a powerful protectress against evil spirits.

* Do you argue that there is one mediator between God & man (1 Tm. 2:5)? Have you never noticed that in the very same passage St. Paul asks for intercessory prayers (see 1 Tm. 2:1)? Do you also ignore the fact that Scripture repeatedly speaks of intercessory prayer (e.g. Acts 12:1-7, Rom. 15:30-32, Eph. 6:18-20, Col. 4:2-4, 2 Thes. 3:1-2, 1 Jn. 5:16)? 

* Do you reject the Catholic Church's teaching regarding Mary's intercession because you believe the Church teaches that Mary has power on her own? You should know that the Church does not teach this, but instead teaches that Mary, being a creature, does not have any inherent power on her own, but rather has only the power that God may give her. Remember - just like at Cana - Mary had no inherent power on her own to change the water into wine, but her powerful intercession still did result in it being miraculously changed.


In Closing...

"[The Queen] is always vigilant to intercede with the king whom she bore." (Pope Sixtus IV)

"Many and well known are the proofs of her solicitude, manifested from time to time even in a miraculous manner." (Pope Leo XIII)

"[Mary] is by nature so good and so merciful that inclined to aid spontaneously those who suffer, she is absolutely incapable of refusing her help to those who invoke her." (Pope Benedict XV)

"She who is associated with him in the work of man's salvation has favor and power with her Son greater than any other human or angelic creature has ever obtained or ever can obtain." (Pope Leo XIII)

"Mary, having merited to give flesh to the divine Word, and thus supply the price of our redemption, that we might be delivered from eternal death; therefore she is more powerful than all others to help us to gain eternal life." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"[A]lthough Mary, now in heaven, can no longer command her Son, nevertheless her prayers are always the prayers of a mother, and consequently most powerful to obtain whatever she wills." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"Remark, by the by, that this writer does not scruple to address these words to Mary: 'Save us, we perish'; as does a certain author already noticed, and who says, that we cannot ask Mary to save us, as this belongs to God alone. But since a culprit condemned to death can beg a royal favorite to save him by interceding with the king that his life may be spared, why cannot we ask the Mother of God to save us by obtaining us eternal life?" (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"One of the most amazing features of this marriage [at Cana] is that it was not the wine servant, whose business it was to service the wine, who noticed the shortage, but rather Our Blessed Mother. (She notes our needs before we ourselves feel them.) She made a very simple prayer to her Divine Son about the empty wine pots when she said: 'They have no wine.' Hidden in the words was not only a consciousness of the power of her Divine Son but also an expression of her desire to remedy an awkward situation. Perhaps the Blessed Mother had already seen Our Lord work many miracles in secret - although He had not yet worked a single one in public. For if there had not already been a consciousness of the truth that He was the Son of the Omnipotent God, she would not have asked for a miracle." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

Do You Reject Mary's Title 'Mother of God'?

Consider:

* How can you object to the title of 'Mother of God' since Jesus is truly God (click here) and Mary is truly His Mother?  

* How can you object to the title 'Mother of God' when Scripture prophecies that a virgin will bear God (see Isa. 7:14)?

* How can you object to the title 'Mother of God' when Scripture states that Virgin is to bear Emmanuel ("God is with us") [see Mt. 1:23]?

* How can you object to the title 'Mother of God' when it may be seen in Scripture that St. Elizabeth calls Mary "the mother of [her] Lord" (see Lk. 1:43)

* How can you object to the title 'Mother of God' when Scripture states that God's Son was born of a woman (see Gal. 4:4)?

* Do you argue that Mary cannot be the Mother of God because she is mother of Jesus' humanity only? Do you also tell your mother she is mother only of your body, not of your soul? How can you separate the two? Once Christ has assumed human flesh, how can you separate His divine nature from His human nature?

* Do you object to the title "Mother of God" because you think it means Mary existed before God? If so, you should know that this is not the teaching of the Catholic Church! The Catholic Church teaches that Christ - being God - existed from all eternity and that his Mother Mary - being a creature - exists in time. However, once Christ assumed human nature by the power of the Holy Spirit inside of Mary, Mary became His mother. "Mary is both daughter of God and mother of God!" Even though Mary is Mother of God, the Catholic Church does not teach that she is in any way divine. Rather, she is a creature - albeit the most perfect creature of all. 


Closing Quotations...

"If anyone does not agree that Holy Mary is the Mother of God, he is at odds with the Godhead." (St. Gregory of Nazianz, Doctor of the Church, c. 382 A.D.) 

If you say Mary wasn't the mother of God, do you say to the Lord, "Leave the body, so that I may worship you?" (St. Athanasius, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"Certainly she who performed the role of the Creator's handmaid and Mother is truly and in perfect reality God's Mother, and Lady and Queen over all creation." (St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church, c. 8th century A.D.) 

"If anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is true God, and that therefore the holy Virgin is Mother of God (Dei genetricem-Theotokon), since she bore, after the flesh, the incarnate Word of God, let him be anathema." (Council of Alexandria, 430 A.D.)

"Can. 1. If anyone does not confess that God is truly Emmanuel, and that on this account the Holy Virgin is the Mother of God (for according to the flesh she gave birth to the Word of God become flesh by birth), let him be anathema." (Council of Ephesus, 431 A.D.)

"Such do we see to have been done in the birth of Emmanuel; the Word of God was born of the substance of His Father; but because He took on Him flesh, making it His own, it is necessary to confess that He was born of a woman according to the flesh. Where seeing He is truly God, how shall any one doubt to call the Holy Virgin the Mother of God?" (St. Cyril, Doctor of the Church)

"Although the name God is common to the three Persons, yet sometimes it stands for the Person of the Father alone, sometimes only for the Person of the Son or of the Holy Ghost... So that when we say, 'The Blessed Virgin is the Mother of God,' this word God stands only for the incarnate Person of the Son." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"If any one does not, in accord with the Holy Fathers, acknowledge the holy and ever-virgin and Immaculate Mary as truly the Mother of God, inasmuch as she, in the fullness of time, and without seed, conceived by the Holy Spirit God the Word Himself, who before all time was born [begotten] of God the Father, and without loss of integrity brought Him forth, and after His birth preserved her virginity inviolate, let him be condemned." (Pope St. Martin I, 649 A.D.)

"Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ, who is God and man. She is therefore the mother of God. This is a dogma of the faith accepted as such from the earliest times, as is evident from countless expressions of the Fathers, and it was defined by the Council of Ephesus in 431. It does not mean, of course, that Mary generated the Godhead, any more than an ordinary mother generates her son's soul. It means simply that she is the mother of a Person who is God. This is her fundamental dignity, and the origin and justification of all the honor which Catholics pay to her." (Catholic Dictionary)

"The Word, then, was God, and He became also Man; and since He was born according to the flesh for the sake of mankind, it is necessary that she who bore Him is the Mother of God. For if she did not bear God, neither is He that was born of her to be called God. If the divinely inspired Scriptures name Him God, as God having made Man and incarnate, He could not become Man in any other way that through birth from a woman: how then should she who bore Him not be the Mother of God?" (St. Cyril of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church, c. 432 A.D.) 

"Just as when a man's soul is born with its body, they are considered as one being: and if anyone wish to say that the mother of the flesh is not the mother of the soul, he says too much. Something like this may be perceived in the generation of Christ. For the Word of God was born of the substance of God the Father: but because He took flesh, we must of necessity confess that in the flesh He was born of a woman. Consequently we must say that the Blessed Virgin is called the Mother of God, not as though she were the Mother of the Godhead, but because she is the mother, according to His human nature, of the Person who has both the divine and the human nature." (St. Cyril of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church)

"We proclaim that the Holy Virgin is properly and truly the Mother of God; for since He that was born of her is true God, she that bore the true God, incarnate of her, is true Mother of God. For we hold that God was born of her, not as if the Divinity of the Word took the beginning of His existence from her, but that God the Word, who was begotten of the Father timelessly before the ages, and who subsisted with the Father and with the Spirit eternally and without beginning, in these last days took His abode in her womb for our salvation, and without change took flesh of her and was born. For the Holy Virgin did not bear mere man but true God...not with a body brought down from heaven, not passing through her as through a channel, but homoousios with us, having taken flesh from her though subsisting in Himself. For if the body had come down from heaven and did not share in our nature, of what use were His becoming Man? For the purpose of God the Word in becoming Man was that the very nature which had sinned and fallen and become corrupted might triumph over the deceiving tyrant and thus be freed of corruption." (St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church, c. 8th century A.D.)

"A Mother of God! It is the mystery whose fulfillment the world, without knowing it, was awaiting for four thousand years. It is the work which, in God's eyes, was incomparably greater than that of the creation of a million new worlds, for such a creation would cost him nothing; he has but to speak, and all whatsoever he wills is made. But that a creature should have become Mother of God, he has had not only to suspend the laws of nature by making a Virgin Mother, but also to put himself in a state of dependence upon the happy creature he chose for his Mother. He had to give her rights over himself, and contract the obligation of certain duties towards her. He had to make her his Mother, and himself her Son. It follows from all this, that the blessings of the Incarnation, for which we are indebted to the love wherewith the Divine Word loved us, may and ought to be referred, though in an inferior degree, to Mary herself. If she be the Mother of God, it is because she consented to it, for God vouchsafed not only to ask her consent, but moreover to make the coming of his Son into this world depend upon her giving it. As this his Son, the Eternal Word, spoke his Fiat over chaos, and the answer to his word was creation; so did Mary use the same word Fiat: let it be done unto me, she said. God heard her word, and immediately the Son of God descended into her virginal womb. After God, then, it is to Mary, his ever blessed Mother, that we are indebted for our Emmanuel." (Dom Gueranger) 

Do You Reject All Marian Apparitions?

Consider:

* Do you reject all Marian apparitions because you imagine that Mary is "dead" and can therefore not help persons on earth? How, then, can you explain the following...?

* Jesus conversed with Moses & Elijah even though they were "dead" (see Mt. 17:3, Mk. 9:4, Lk. 9:30)

* Scripture recounts the intercession of deceased Onias & Jeremiah (see 2 Macc. 15:11-16)

* Christ's parable recounts the attempted intercession by a (condemned!) departed man for his brothers (see Lk. 16:27-31)

* He is not God of the dead, but of the living (see Mk. 12:26-27)

* Martyrs are shown alive in heaven, and even await the avenging of their blood (it is clear, therefore, that they know - and care about - what is transpiring on earth) [see Rv. 6:9-11, Rv. 20:4]

* Do you reject Marian apparitions because you think they introduce new doctrine? If so, you should know that true apparitions can never introduce new doctrine. The Catholic Church teaches that there can be no additions to the deposit of faith since the death of the last apostle (St. John). In fact, a sure sign of a false apparition is the attempted introduction of new doctrine!

* Did you know that the first Marian apparition - as witnessed by St. James the Greater - may be traced all the way back to 40 A.D.? Is this really so surprising considering true apparitions, may be traced back even to Scripture? Both the Old & New Testaments contain accounts of angelic apparitions. In the New Testament, the Apostles (Peter, James & John) saw Moses and Elijah at the Transfiguration, and we know that St. Paul also conversed directly with Christ after His Ascension.

* Are you aware that various apparitions have left "indisputable proof of their authenticity" (including miraculous images, healings, solar phenomena, etc.) and that some have been accompanied by accurate predictions? Science is at a loss to explain the numerous cures, images, etc.

* Do you reject Marian apparitions because you think they may be "deceiving signs" (cf. Mt. 24:24)? You should know that the Catholic Church also rejects many false apparitions. In fact, only a small number of reported Marian apparitions have been authenticated, and then only after careful study and investigation (the Church knows that the devil can deceive and perform 'great signs', but not true miracles - not to mention the potential for human fraud and deception). Of those apparitions which are approved, the Church never "guarantees" that they are authentic, but rather declares them "worthy of belief." Even so, Church's rulings on the authenticity of apparitions are not considered infallible. The Church is unable to guarantee the authenticity of any apparition with "absolute certainty."

* Are you aware that Catholics are not required to believe in any apparition whatsoever? Even if the Church declares an apparition "worthy of belief", no one is bound to believe the apparition is true.

* Are you troubled by a particular 'apparition' (especially a recent one)? You should know that Catholics are also troubled by a number of alleged (and unapproved) apparitions that many zealous Catholics wrongly attempt to promote. One should be careful that the purported approval status of an apparition is the actual approval status of the apparition. Some may attempt to persuade others that the pope or a bishop approves of a certain apparition, whereas this may be untrue. Approval of an apparition would be verifiable in appropriate, authentic, and public written documents authored by those with the proper authority in the Church.

* In any event, persons should not center their faith around an apparition. "Faith rests on divine revelations made through the prophets and apostles and set down in the canonical Scriptures, not on revelations, if there by any, made to other holy teachers." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Do You Reject Marian Objects Such as the Rosary and Scapular?

Consider:

* If you object to repetitive prayer, click here

* If you object to the use of sacramentals, click here

* If you reject Marian intercession, click here

* Are you aware that Catholics do not attribute any inherent power to objects such as rosaries and scapulars? 

* Are you aware that scapulars are symbols or reminders of devotion to Jesus' blessed Mother? They are most certainly not a "guaranteed assurance of salvation" or a "license to sin".

* Are you aware that the Catholic Church recommends, but does not require the use of scapulars or rosaries?

* Have you considered that Mary's children, "those who keep God's commandments and bear witness to Jesus" (Rv. 12:17) are at war with Satan (see Rv. 12:17)? Can you not imagine that Mary would want to equip her children with the most powerful spiritual aids in such a war?

* Do you object to the Rosary because the majority of it consists in the recitation of the "Hail Mary" prayer? Are you aware that the majority of this prayer is composed from the Scriptural words of the angel's greeting to Mary and St. Elizabeth's greeting to Mary? Are you further aware that when one recites the rosary, he or she is supposed to meditate on (that is, contemplate) certain mysteries - for example, the Birth of Christ, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection of Christ, etc.? 

* Why is it you simply write off (or criticize) devotions that millions of Catholics - from the poorest and most ignorant to the richest and wisest - treasure without knowing much about them (besides what anti-Catholics try to make you believe) and without trying them yourself? Why is it you discount the many and remarkable good fruits they have brought, not to mention the countless miracles associated with them?


Closing Quotations...

"How many sick have been healed, how many lives have been saved, how many fires have been extinguished, how many tempests stilled, how many remarkable conversions have been wrought, by means of this simple devotion [of the scapular]!" (Muller)

"The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the rosary is beyond description." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"From these well authenticated facts we see that the Scapular is a badge of our love and veneration of the Holy Mother of God. It is, at the same time, a sweet pledge of her powerful protection; it is a devotion most ancient and venerable - a devotion descended from heaven. The most learned theologians, among them the renowned Cardinal [St.] Bellarmine, concur in asserting its heavenly origin. The popes have approved of it in various bulls; the holy Catholic Church has instituted a special feast, a Mass, and office to celebrate the devotion of the Scapular. Every nation into which the one saving Church has yet penetrated, every rank and class of men, from the layman to the Pope, all honor and practice the devotion of the Scapular. But, more than this, God himself, who is the living truth, who alone can suspend the laws of nature, has confirmed the heavenly origin of the Scapular by numberless miracles." (Muller)

"[W]hile the mind is dwelling on mysteries of the Rosary the heart is wonderfully enkindled by them to make virtuous resolutions. What an example we have set before us!... It would be utterly impossible for anyone to meditate on and attentively consider these most precious memorials of our loving Redeemer and not have a heart on fire with gratitude to Him. Such is the power of a faith sincerely practiced that, through the light it brings to man's mind and the vigor with which it moves his heart, he will straightway set out in the footsteps of Christ and follow them through every obstacle, making his own a protestation worthy of a St. Paul: 'Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? or distress? or famine? or nakedness? or danger? or persecution? or the sword?' 'I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me.'" (Pope Leo XIII, "Magnae Dei Matris", 1892 A.D.)

"Number those, if you can, who, through the devotion of the Rosary, have recovered from sickness; how many captives have been set at liberty; how many have been delivered by Mary who were in danger of perishing by fire, in danger of shipwreck, in danger of war and pestilence. Go to the sanctuaries of Our Blessed Lady, and see there the many votive offerings, ornaments of gold and silver and precious stones, in commemoration of miraculous cures or other extraordinary favors obtained though the devotion of the Rosary; for in these sanctuaries of the Blessed Virgin the blind are restored to sight, the lame walk, the demons are expelled from the bodies of men. These are authentic facts, attested not only by persons of note who have heard them from others, but by thousands of eyewitnesses whose sincerity we cannot doubt; facts so numerous that, if they were all written, it would take years to read them. What favor and blessing is there that cannot be obtained by the devotion of the Rosary?" (Muller) [Note: This does not imply that the Rosary has any inherent power, but rather that God has often rewarded those devoted to the Rosary with great gifts.]

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