Mary – The Blessed Virgin
(Article: Why Catholics Pray To Mary)
Some 2,000 years ago there was a young virgin, probably 15 or 16 years old. She was a young devout Jewish girl of great faith and was very poor. She was betrothed to marry a man but was still living at home. She was the handmaid of the Lord. She had a deep abiding faith in God and prayed faithfully.
What happened to this young Jewish girl heralded the beginning of salvation of ALL mankind. I think the fact that God specifically chose her to be the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of Our Hope, the Mother of Our Salvation, makes her something special.
“She has the appearance of a young girl of sixteen or seventeen. She is dressed in a white robe, girdled at the waist with a blue ribbon which flows down all along Her robe. She wears upon Her head a veil which is also white; this veil gives just a glimpse of Her hair and then falls down at the back below Her waist. Her feet are bare but covered by the last folds of Her robe except at the point where a yellow rose shines upon each of them. She holds on Her right arm a Rosary of white beads with a chain of gold shining like the two roses on Her feet.” Bernadette Soubirous on Our Lady of Lourdes
The special honor afforded Mary by the Catholic Church is sometimes a bit confusing to many outside the church. We love, honor, and pay tribute to Mary. We lovingly pray to her; prayers of honor, tribute, hope and petition her to pray for us. Mary, most of all, understands that we do not worship her. We call on her as our Mother. The most common prayer to our Blessed Mother is called the “Hail Mary”.
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women, and
blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
The gospel is the source for the first portion of this prayer. Beginning in Luke 1:28, the angel Gabriel approaches Mary to announce the birth of Christ and greets her by saying “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
Later in the gospel, in verse 42, Mary pays a visit to her cousin Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. The next portion of the prayer is derived from the joy of Elizabeth as expressed to Mary, the mother of her Lord. “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.“
The last part of the prayer was added by the church as a tribute and petition to the Holy Mother.
Mary has appeared at different times in our history. To learn about these wondrous events, click the link below the picture. You may also visit the www.catholic.org website for a wonderful information on Mary.
In a society where we honor people of achievement with Academy Awards, Emmys, the Heisman Trophy, Nobel Prizes, Commendation Letters, and the such
Why Would One Find It Unacceptable Or Inappropriate To Honor The Young Woman Chosen By God As The Immaculate Conception?
In a society where we elevate movie actors and athletes to a pedestal
Why Would One Find It Unacceptable Or Inappropriate To Pay Tribute To The Mother Of God?
In a society where we huddle around the TV to watch Survivor, The Bachelor, and American Idol
Why Would One Find It Unacceptable Or Inappropriate To Pay Tribute To The Blessed Virgin?
The Reformation left behind much of the rich history, tradition, and heart of the church. For example, people often misunderstand Saints. We often ask the Saints to pray for us and look over us in times of special need. The Saints also provide us with wonderful role models for living this lifetime in Christ. Make no mistake about it. We only worship the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. But we often appeal to others in heaven to help us and watch over us. This relationship, know as the Communion of Saints, is an example of how we are all children of God. The will of God shall be done and God is all powerful and all knowing. We are merely sharing a loving relationship with our brothers in sisters in Christ that have gone on before us. Haven’t you ever appealed to a member of the family for help? Why would you consider severing your relationship with them after they have passed on. Mary, and all the saints in heaven, are members of our family in Christ. We pray for them, and in turn ask them to pray for us.
To better understand what was lost, I invite you to contact a Catholic friend or the local Catholic Church and inquire about RCIA sessions. They are free, painless, and there is no obligation.
There is nothing to fear and you have everything to gain. I pray that your heart will be opened, that your fear will vanish, and that you will come to experience the joy of Jesus Christ, as manifested in HIS Church.