0

Telesphore P. Cardinal Toppo, former president of India’s National Conference of Catholic Bishops, granted the following interview with Zenit News Service concerning the drive for the new solemn definition of a fifth Marian dogma that would define Mary’s spiritual maternity under its three essential aspects—Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate. Contrary to the opinions of some who believe that such a solemn definition would adversely affect ecumenical relations, Cardinal Toppo believes that such a definition would enhance the ecumenical mission of the Church. “I have no doubt that non-Catholic Christians participating in ecumenical dialogue, either will find this position acceptable or at least will have no valid or convincing argument against it.”
—Asst. Ed
.
RANCHI, India, MAY 5, 2008 – Proclaiming Mary as the Spiritual Mother of All Humanity would benefit ecumenical and interreligious dialogue because it would help non-Catholics to understand many things about the Mother of God, says Cardinal Telesphore Toppo.
[…]

Continue Reading

0

This article gives a brief overview of the necessary relation between Mary’s Immaculate Conception and her role as the New Ark—Bearer of the Bread of Life, the True High Priest, and the Word of God. Jason Evert, a Catholic Apologist with Catholic Answers, holds a Graduate degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. He specializes in the Catholic Church’s teaching on chastity, giving seminars and talks to thousands of young people each year. – Assistant Editor

From the foundation of the world, St. Paul tells us, we have been chosen to become children of God (Eph. 1:4-5). By the same measure, the Virgin Mary had been chosen from all eternity to become the mother of God. As Psalm 132:14 says, “The Lord hath chosen Zion; He hath chosen her for his dwelling.”

While other verses, such as Genesis 3:15 and Luke 1:28, are commonly used to explain the Immaculate Conception, the Sacred Scriptures offer a wealth of other references that add weight to the dogma.

[…]

Continue Reading

0

His Excellency Angel N. Lagdameo, Archbishop of Jaro, sent the following pastoral letter to all the clergy of his archdiocese in promotion of petitioning the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI  for a new dogma of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the spiritual mother of humanity under her three aspects of Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate. We humbly encourage other Cardinals, Archbishops, and Bishops to imitate the courageous and generous Marian leadership of Archbishop Lagdameo, who is at this time the  president of the Catholic Conference of the Bishops of the Philippines.

 – Ed.

 Archdiocese of Jaro

Circular No. 215/10/2008
Prot. No. 1396/2008                                                                             April 3, 2008

To:      The Reverend Clergy of the Archdiocese of Jaro

Re:      Petition and Prayer for a Fifth Marian Dogma

On the occasion of our celebration of the Feast of Mary in the month of May, I would like that we join in prayer the petition which has been made by five cardinals to our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI for a new Dogma of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Spiritual Mother of humanity under its three aspects of Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of All Grace and Advocate.

The five Cardinals who have petitioned Pope Benedict XVI are: Their Eminences Telesphore Cardinal Toppo, Luis Cardinal Aponte Martinez, Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil, Ernesto Cardinal Corripio Ahumada and Ricardo Cardinal Vidal. The five cardinals have contacted other cardinals and bishops in me world to join them by sending in their respective VOTUM for the Dogma which came forth from the 2005 Fatima Symposium on Marian Coredemption.

We can help to continue that momentum taken by the initiative of the five cardinals by our prayer of petition and by taking advantage of the precious teaching and preaching opportunity for our Blessed Mother and the prayed for fifth Marian Dogma.

[…]

Continue Reading

0

His Excellency Archbishop Felix Job, Archbishop of Ibadan, is at this time the president of the Nigerian Conference of Catholic Bishops. We publish here Archbishop Job’s enthusiastic letter of endorsement for the Fifth Marian dogma.

 -Ed. 

With great zeal and devotion I have participated over the years in the International Leaders Conference of Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici – an International Catholic Movement. As Pastor in the Catholic Church and Chief Pastor of the Arch­diocese of Ibadan, I have seen how a vibrant devotion to our Blessed Mother Mary has edified the faith of many faithful in our times. We know that devotion to Mary had its beginning in the infant Church through the ages to our present day. This Century, the Twentieth, which is now in its latter days, saw a welcomed boon in Marian apparitions as well as devotion. While some of the apparitions have mainly local approbations and recognition, some others have obtained universal recog­nition. We have seen many faithful daughters and sons of the Church grow in the knowledge, love and devotion of Mary. Pilgrimages to Marian shrines also abound.

Corresponding to God’s graces through devotions and Marian apparitions, there is the need to further present for belief the dogma of the solemn definition the universal me­diation of Mary as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate for the People of God. Simply put, these titles are as a consequence of Mary’s unique role as the Mother of Christ,the sole Redeemer of all. Mary is the true Mother of Jesus Christ who is God the Son made man. Lumen Gentium puts this beautifully when it states:

“She is endowed with the high office and dignity of the Mother of the Son of God, and therefore she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because of this gift of sublime grace She far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth.” (L.G. 53).

[…]

Continue Reading

0

His Excellency, Most Rev. Sydney A. Charles, Bishop Emeritus of St. George in Granada, West Indies, provides us with just one example of the letters which have been sent by cardinals and bishops to our beloved Holy Father, Pope Benedict the XVI, for encouragement for the solemn definition of Mary Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of All Graces, and Advocate.
- Ed.
 

Bishop Emeritus Sydney Charles

DIOCESAN CLERGY HOUSE
Morne Jaloux, St. George’s, GRENADA, W.I.

May 3, 2007

Most Holy Father,                                                                                     

It is with great love and respect that I address this brief personal letter to you in support of the general formal petition to Your Holiness by the Cardinal co-sponsors of the Fatima Symposium held May 3rd to May 8th 2005. 

As one of the Bishops who participated in the said Symposium, I wish to join my voice with the other participants in humbly appealing to you, Most Holy Father, from the depths of my heart, regarding the dogmatic proclamation in honour of Our Lady’s role as the Spiritual Mother of all humanity, under it’s three essential aspects: Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate. 

I am unshakably convinced, Holy Father, of the desirability of the above proclamation in the midst of the challenging crises and the dangers in the world today, perhaps unprecedented. I believe that the ensuing focus on the intercessory role of the august Queen of heaven and earth, empowered from the beginning to crush the head of Satan, will contribute greatly for the good of all humanity at this crucial moment in our history. The Church, too, I believe, will become, through the powerful intercession of Our Lady, Mother of the Church, a more authentic sign of the kingdom of God in the world. 

Humbly and respectfully submitted. 

+Sydney A. Charles

Bishop Emeritus, Grenada 

Continue Reading

0

Every true Catholic has devotion to Our Lady. Our Lady is not only honored as Mother of God, admired as im­maculately conceived, appreciated as perpetual virgin and sought after as Queen assumed to heaven, but she is consid­ered as our own Spiritual Mother.

In India, Marian devotion is quite strong. Mary is the Chief Patron of India, especially since independence was granted to the country on the Feast of her Assumption on the Fifthteenth of August. Culturally in India, women are held in high esteem, although in practice there may be cases of ill treatments. Ac­cording to the Hindu mentality women are loved and revered. The Godhead is conceived as having a female counterpart. God Vishnu has Goddess Lakhmi and God Siva has Parvathi. The Hindus think that by placating these female deities, they can get favors from the powerful male deities. Because of such concept, Mary, Mother of God, gets easily a place in the Hindu mind and heart. It is a fact that many Hindus venerate Mary. Mary also has a pride of place in Islam. Indian Catholics have naturally a great devotion to Our Lady since they also are trained in Marian devotion from a tender age.

But it is to be remembered that devotion remains in the periphery of one’s life and does not enter into one’s soul, one’s thinking, and one’s way of life, unless one is convinced of its necessity. As regards Our Lady, devotion to her should not just be merely based on her exalted dignity nor on her eminent virtues and qualities. In the devotion to Our Lady there is something beyond personal distinctions. That is, that Mary is very close to us and has something to do with our salvation. The earlier four dogmas portray Our Lady as a person of emi­nence and intimately connected with Our Lord as the Im­maculately conceived, Virgin Mother of God. But it is the three-fold maternal doctrinal roles as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate, that bring into relief her dominant position in our life.

[…]

Continue Reading

0

 

Ten Common Objections, Part I from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

Continue Reading

0

 

Ten Common Objections, Part III from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

Continue Reading

0

 

Ten Common Objections, Part II from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

Continue Reading

0

Continue Reading

0

Continue Reading

0

 

Why Not More Mary in the New Testament? from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

Continue Reading

0
{mp3remote}http://www.fifthmariandogma.com/images/stories/audio/the_triumph/the_triumph_04-22-2009.mp3{/mp3remote}

Continue Reading

0

Listen to this episode
Download this episode (right click and save)

Continue Reading

0

Listen to this episode
Download this episode (right click and save)

Continue Reading

0

Listen to this episode
Download this episode (right click and save)

Continue Reading

0

Listen to this episode
Download this episode (right click and save)

Continue Reading

0

Listen to this episode
Download this episode (right click and save)

Continue Reading

0

Listen to this episode
Download this episode (right click and save)

Continue Reading

0

Listen to this episode
Download this episode (right click and save)

Continue Reading

0

Messages from Heaven (2004 Eternal Productions) looks innocuous enough—perhaps sitting on a shelf at a local Christian bookstore, perhaps given as a gift by a non-Catholic family member, perhaps even purchased thinking this might be a solid video produced by good, daily-Mass-going Catholics. It looks innocuous, but looks—and producers of videos—can deceive.

Make no mistake, Messages from Heaven is a flagrant anti-Catholic polemic. Listed among their “Catholic Witnessing Resources,” Eternal Productions attempts to put Church-approved Marian apparitions to the test, but devolves into a diatribe against Catholicism in general, taking shots at dogma and doctrine on the Blessed Mother of God and the Church. The presentation of this video begs the question: If these Fundamentalist producers have the corner on the truth of the Gospel, why would they cloak the production in deception for wider distribution and viewership? Have they not seen it written that God “never lies” (Tit 1:2) and that the devil is the one who is the “the father of lies”? (Jn 8:44) Why, then, would these producers use so much deception? Let’s consider some of these works of deception.

First of all, the cover is a stark misrepresentation of the contents. The title itself is a gross misnomer, Messages from Heaven. In fact, the conclusions of all the studio commentators of this video are that the messages are not from heaven at all, but are the work of Satan. In fact, nowhere on the cover does the video indicate the position its commentators will unilaterally take—that the Virgin Mary has not appeared in Church-approved Marian apparitions, but rather that the devil has deceived Catholics. The cover features a traditionally Catholic image of the Blessed Virgin standing on the globe. The video touts itself as “A Biblical Examination of the Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the End Times.” The back cover features similarly innocuous language with real photos from real apparitions. One could easily be duped into buying this polemic, thinking it’s a Catholic presentation. One could mistakenly confuse this “Eternal Productions” piece with one from the internationally known Eternal Word Television Network, watched by millions around the globe. […]

Continue Reading

0

When Our Lady revealed to Sr. Lucia the five greatest offenses against her Immaculate Heart, I have to believe she was being a typical mother to us by not drawing attention to the countless other sufferings she endures. Even within each of the five offenses are hundreds of distinct ways in which the world turns their hearts and minds from her.

In order to make some reparation for these little swords, and in honor of her Immaculate Heart, I thought it only appropriate to reply to an argument against her sinless nature:

If Mary was without sin, why did she make a sin offering at the temple in Luke 2:22-24? (1)

Mary made a sin offering at the temple because she, like Christ, was born under the law (Gal 4:4). In his Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas explained that Christ submitted to the burdens of the law, like circumcision, even though he had no need of it. By doing so, he gave an example of humility and obedience, while approving the law and avoiding undue criticism, as he did elsewhere (Mt 17:27). Aquinas adds that these were […]

Continue Reading

0

The Marian Message to the Modern World

The universally designated “Age of Mary,” which had been anticipated by the historic Marian apparitions at Guadalupe some three centuries earlier (95), is generally accepted to have begun in 1830 with the ecclesiastically approved apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Catherine Labouré in what have been named the “Miraculous Medal” apparitions. From these nineteenth-century apparitions until our present time, Marian apparitions have been reported and approved by the Church on every continent. The Marian message to the modern world begins in seed form in the revelations of Our Lady of Grace at Rue du Bac, and then expands in specificity and concretization throughout the twentieth century and on into our own time. It is important to remember that this Marian message maintains its fundamental unity as one message from one Mother, which then admits of diverse historical and cultural expressions, as well as different emphases and specific calls for the implementations of the general Marian message for prayer and penance in reparation to God, and for the conversion of sinners and the salvation of souls.

Within the specific context of Marian apparitions and messages, we here provide a brief synthesis of three principal revelations approved by the Church which embody the heart of the Marian message to the modern world. At the same time, they provide valuable precedents for the discernment of other reported contemporary apparitions. We will focus predominantly on the primary source delivery of the messages and their historical context, including some of the concurrent phenomena revealed in these three monumental apparitions of this Marian age. […]

Continue Reading

0

Introduction

Within the past two hundred years, there have been more reported private revelations that have received some form of ecclesiastical approval than in any other period of the Church’s history. The examination of the nature of private revelation, its purpose, its fundamental message, and the criteria used by the Church in the discernment of authenticity has become increasingly relevant for today’s bishop, parish priest, religious, or lay leader. This issue has merited renewed attention in an era that also has experienced proliferating manifestations of occult activities, the “New Age” movements and the preternatural phenomena that are sometimes evident in their midst, and other forms of false prophecy. In short, contrary to what one might expect in an Age of Materialism, “mysticism” in general has increased, rather than decreased. Thus, prudent discernment is now needed more than ever before.

When considering the confusing array of reported private revelation in the contemporary world, it is tempting for some to regard the entire genre of Christian mystical phenomena with suspicion, indeed to dispense with it altogether as too risky, too riddled with human imagination and self-deception, as well as the potential for spiritual deception by our adversary the devil. That is one danger. The alternate danger is to so unreservedly embrace any reported message that seems to come from the supernatural realm that proper discernment is lacking, which can lead to the acceptance of serious errors of faith and life outside of the Church’s wisdom and protection. According to the mind of Christ, that is, the mind of the Church, neither of these alternative approaches—wholesale rejection, on the one hand, and undiscerning acceptance on the other—is healthy. Rather, the authentic Christian approach to prophetic graces should always follow the dual Apostolic exhortations, in the words of St. Paul: “Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophecy,” and, “Test every spirit; retain what is good” (1 Thess. 5:19-21). […]

Continue Reading

0

Part One

What happened to the mother of Jesus Christ at the end of her life? The answer you get depends upon whom you ask. “Nothing at all unusual,” say Protestants. “A miracle! She was taken directly to heaven!”, say Catholics—at least those who know that Pope Pius XII solemnly proclaimed the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a dogma which we must believe:

The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory (1).

As a general matter, Protestants have been averse to honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary ever since the Reformation persuaded them that such veneration is a vestige of “Popery” (2). Moreover, their view of an individual’s conscience as being the supreme moral arbiter has led them to reject papal infallibility and the binding nature of the Magisterium in general. But, for many of them, the Assumption represents the quintessence of what they reject in Catholicism because it lacks the Scriptural support which they insist must underpin dogma (3). […]

Continue Reading

0

We exhort you to listen with simplicity of heart and honesty of mind to the salutary warnings of the Mother of God….

Bl. Pope John XXIII, February 18, 1959
Closing of the Marian Year

Contemporary humanity finds itself at the climax of what has been called the “Age of Mary.” The last two centuries have received more Church-approved Marian apparitions than any other time in the history of the Church. These Marian apparitions convey the urgent call of a Mother’s heart for humanity to return to the Gospel of Jesus Christ; to become more generous in prayer and penance in reparation and for the conversion of sinners; and to offset through prayer and sacrifice any conditioned purification that may face contemporary humanity due to its rejection of God, his law, and his love.

Nature and Purpose of Private Revelation

Public revelation—Latin, revelare, “to unveil”—consists of God’s manifestation of divine truths for humanity’s salvation, the revelation of which ends with the death of St. John, the last Apostle. These divine truths are transmitted through Scripture and Apostolic Tradition, which is then safeguarded by the Magisterium of the Church and comprise the deposit of faith entrusted to the Church.

Private revelation constitutes a revelation given by God to an individual for the spiritual benefit of the person, a specific group or the entire Church. In contrast to public revelation, private revelation has as its God-intended purpose not the revelation of new doctrine, but rather to encourage and lead the faithful to a more committed living of the Gospel in conformity with the revealed truths of Christian public revelation, as well as the proper development and understanding of Christian doctrine. […]

Continue Reading

0

The primary purpose of this article will be to refute two principal elements of anti-Marianism: Mary as the rival to Christ and Marian devotion as unecumenical.

Let us begin with Mary as “the rival.” Underlying this element of anti-Marianism is a fundamental presupposition: devotion to Christ is one thing (let us call it A), and devotion to Mary is another thing (let us call it B).

This assumption rapidly evolves into a psychological compartmentalization. Since they are all “B,” and, therefore, not “A,” the “Marian” things—Marian devotion, Marian dogmas, etc.—are filed in Compartment B. The “Christian” things are put into Compartment A. Separate residences having been established; it is remarkable how quickly the question of compatibility arises.

This Compartment A-Compartment B split is not a conclusion, not something to which a person affected by anti-Marianism reasons, but, rather, the automatic assumption from which he (or she) reasons.

For example, I have in my files the statements of five dissenting theologians who were prominent at the time of Vatican II. […]

Continue Reading

0

In 1961 a little-known Italian woman named Maria Valtorta died after a long illness that saw her bed-ridden for nearly 30 years. Before she died she had written almost 15,000 pages describing visions and dictations she received from Our Lord, the Blessed Mother, her guardian angel and more. Two-thirds of these comprised an account of the life of Our Lord that would come to be known as The Poem of the Man-God. From the very beginning, the publication and dissemination of The Poem met with enthusiastic acceptance but also virulent opposition. Does that mean it’s not authentic?

The true works of God have always met with opposition—we don’t have to look any further than lives of the saints for abundant evidence of that. In fact, we don’t have to look further than the life of Our Lord himself. Did Our Lord meet with universal acceptance?

In 1994 an article by Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., concerning The Poem of the Man-God by Maria Valtorta, appeared in the February edition of “New Covenant.” This article is still frequently quoted by many against The Poem. I have chosen to respond to his article not as a personal attack against him, but because it is a very good summary of the typical arguments against Maria Valtorta’s work. Therefore, because his article is so often cited by those who claim that the Church has condemned The Poem or that it is disobedient to read or promote it, I will quote from it frequently. […]

Continue Reading

Mary in the Early Church

Published on January 13, 2007 by in Marian Apologetics

0

As in Scripture, so too in the infant Church we see the attention of the faithful rightfully focused first and foremost on Jesus Christ. The divine primacy of Jesus Christ (with its appropriate worship of adoration) had to be clearly established before any subordinate corresponding devotion to his Mother could be properly exercised. Nonetheless, the beginnings of acknowledgement and devotion to the Mother of Jesus is present from apostolic times in the living Tradition of the early Church.

The first historic indications of the existing veneration of Mary carried on from the Apostolic Church is manifested in the Roman catacombs. As early as the end of the first century to the first half of the second century, Mary is depicted in frescos in the Roman catacombs both with and without her divine Son. Mary is depicted as a model of virginity with her Son; at the Annunciation; at the adoration of the Magi; and as the orans, the “praying one,” the woman of prayer. (1) […]

Continue Reading

Mary in Scripture

Published on December 15, 2006 by in Marian Apologetics

0

Like all central Christian mysteries, the doctrine and the devotion to the Blessed Virgin started in seed form in Sacred Scripture and Apostolic Tradition, doctrinal seeds planted by the Divine Sower. These doctrinal and devotional seeds revealed in the Bible and Tradition then develop and blossom over time through the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the dynamic life of the Church to become the more developed and specified dogmas and doctrines which we learn today.

Here we want to look briefly at the beginnings of Marian truth and love from its foreshadowings in the Old Testament, to its more complete revelation in the New Testament, to its initiation in the infant Church, and its continued growth up to the Church Council of Ephesus in 431. After the Council of Ephesus, where Mary is proclaimed “Mother of God,” we will see that the history of Marian devotion is basically as widespread and ubiquitous as the history of Christian civilization itself.

The following survey of Marian references in Scripture seeks only to briefly identify and introduce three principal Marian passages, while a more in-depth discussion of the major passages will take place when examining the dogma or doctrine relevant to the Scripture reference. […]

Continue Reading

The Truth About Mary

Published on November 17, 2006 by in Marian Apologetics

0

The following new series is taken from Dr. Mark Miravalle’s revised version of Introduction to Mary. This week we start with an excerpt from Chapter One entitled, The Truth About Mary. – Asst. Ed.

“Holy Mary, Mother of God, you have given the world its true light, Jesus, your Son—the Son of God. You abandoned yourself completely to God’s call and thus became a wellspring of the goodness which flows forth from him. Show us Jesus. Lead us to him. Teach us to know and love him, so that we too can become capable of true love and be fountains of living water in the midst of a thirsting world.”

– Pope Benedict XVI, Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, No. 42

In discussing the person and role of Mary, Mother of Jesus, two extremes must always be avoided. The first extreme is Marian excess. This is to place the Blessed Virgin on the level of a goddess, to ascribe to Mary a divine nature that would grant her equality with God himself. This excess radically violates the revealed biblical truth about the singularity of God and the complete though exalted humanity of Mary. Although historically there have been very few occasions when the Mother of Jesus has been posed as a “goddess,” nonetheless, it remains a Marian excess that is obviously a grave rejection of and danger to the Christian faith.

The second extreme regarding the person and role of the Blessed Virgin is what we can call Marian defect. This is to minimize the role of the Blessed Virgin, to ascribe to Mary less than what the sources of divine revelation reveal about her. Marian defect, for example, would limit the Mother of Jesus to being only a “good disciple,” a “sister in the Lord,” a mere “physical channel of Jesus,” but nothing more. […]

Continue Reading

0

I recently watched a late night television show on which the topic of celibacy was examined. The host listened respectfully and attentively to a former priest who is now married with children. This man has written a book describing his struggle. He quoted statistics that said a large number of priests in the U.S. and other countries do not honor their vow of celibacy.

He spoke passionately about the injustice to the women associated with these men, as well as the children of these unions. He said that in some countries a priest would not be accepted unless he proved his normality by taking a woman and having children with her. His argument was that these priests had to commit grave sin in order to be successful in their missionary work. If he is to be believed, then Jesus has set these poor men up for failure.

This man spoke as if the tragedy were celibacy, rather than the sin committed by these struggling priests and the women associated with them. A bit of sage advice bears repeating here. Single women should not date priests or married men. It usually ends in tears. Young men should not look for a wife in a convent. […]

Continue Reading

0

Continue Reading

0

Continue Reading

0

Continue Reading

0

Maria Valtorta was born in Caserta, Italy on March 14, 1897. Deeply pious, Maria was strongly attracted to God from early childhood, but it was as a young woman that she started reporting mystical experiences.

In 1920 she was randomly attacked by a young man who hit her in the back with an iron bar. Badly injured, she was bedridden for three months and her health began its gradual decline. In the years to follow she made a personal offering of her sufferings to the two Divine attributes of Love and Justice, and by April, 1934, she was permanently confined to her bed.

It was in 1943 that Valtorta began to write down in her notebooks the “dictations,” the mystical visions and messages she reported receiving from Jesus and Mary, and the years between 1943 and 1947 were the period of her greatest output. She wrote almost 15000 pages of dictation, a little less than two-thirds of which comprised The Poem of the Man-God, a substantial work on the life of Jesus Christ beginning from the birth of Our Lady and ending at her Assumption. […]

Continue Reading

0

“What do all the doctrines that God has revealed about the Blessed Virgin have to do with me personally? How do these revealed truths about the Mother of Jesus affect my own spiritual life”?

It is in answer to these questions and to others that we now explore Mary’s God-given role as Spiritual Mother of humanity, under its three aspects of Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate. For it is understanding Mary as Spiritual Mother in its fullness that allows for the foundation of an authentic Catholic response to the Mother of Jesus.

By an authentic Catholic response we mean here a response both “from the head” and “from the heart”; both theologically and spiritually; in a phrase, our personal and ecclesial response to Mary. So Mary’s role as Spiritual Mother and Mediatrix can rightly be called the bridge between authentic Marian doctrine and devotion. […]

Continue Reading

0

In God’s perfect providence, the Mother of Jesus is intended to be an instrument and symbol of profound unity. For along with the unity in grace that comes from sharing in the grace of Jesus Christ as our Brother, the Father also intended the universal (catholic) unity of all members of the human family by calling one woman, “Mother.” And yet, because of her roles of being both Mother of God and Mother of the Church in its fullness, Mary has been perceived as an occasion for division.

Nothing breaks the heart of a mother more than division among her children, especially when she herself is posed as one of the principal reasons for the disunity! But in truth, Mary in her doctrine and devotion is a cause for division only when she reflects her Son, the sign of contradiction to the world (cf. Lk 2:34), and the Body of her Son, the Church, which has been entrusted with safeguarding the revelation of Christ without compromise until He comes again in glory. […]

Continue Reading

0

During Mass each Sunday, Holy Day of Obligation and Solemnity we recite the Nicene Creed, praying: “by the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary.” Notice “born of the Virgin Mary” (which also exists in the Apostles’ Creed used when praying the Rosary). What we profess has great significance.

We confess: Mary remained a virgin, “born of the Virgin Mary,” even in the process of giving birth! […]

Continue Reading

0

In light of present confusion regarding the meaning of the phrase “who once was Mary,” which appears in the prayer of the Lady of All Nations, we publish the following two articles of explanation and petition by two Dutch devotees of the apparitions of the Lady of All Nations, Pieter van der Veen and Michael van Soelen. The article of explanation is followed by a petition directed towards Archbishop William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, seeking permission to continue praying the prayer of the Lady of All Nations as it was originally dictated by Our Lady herself in these Church approved apparitions. – Ed.

In the messages of the Lady of All Nations, given to the visionary Ida Peerdeman during the period 1945 till 1959, the prayer which Mary as the Lady of All Nations gave on February 11, 1951, has a central place.

The prayer ends with the entreaty: “May the Lady of All Nations, who once was Mary, be our Advocate.” From the beginning, the clause “who once was Mary” not only surprised people but also caused resentment and opposition. The Lady, however, was emphatic about any change in the prayer, saying in her message of March 28, 1951, “This is how it has to be spread. In the text of the prayer which I recited, nothing may be changed” and “‘who once was Mary,’ that stays as it is.” Apparently the Lady has a special intention in using this clause, even though it causes controversy. […]

Continue Reading

0

Perhaps it stands to reason that since many persons today claim that Jesus Christ did not grasp who He was during most of His earthly sojourn that the corresponding view that His Blessed Mother Mary, too, was not privy to the knowledge of His Sacred Divinity has also been adopted in not a few quarters.

In his valuable Mary In Our Life, (1) the late Father William George Most, Ph.D., tackled this critical matter in Appendix II entitled “Mary’s Knowledge of the Divinity of Christ at the Time of the Annunciation.” (2) His reflections, still timely and helpful, are used in this article which, given the recently-ended Christmas Season, alters the question only slightly by considering Our Lady’s Knowledge of the Messiah’s Divinity immediately after His Birth in Bethlehem.

Father Most defended what he termed the “traditional view” that Our Blessed Mother did know from the moment of the Annunciation that her Son was God and employed two primary arguments on behalf of this thesis.

First, the Maiden of Nazareth was a faithful Jewess who was intimately familiar with the Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah. From the days of her tender youth as a girl in Jerusalem’s Temple, Our Blessed Lady was painstakingly educated in the cherished Jewish customs and beliefs. Therefore, she was quite aware of the various Scriptural references to the long-awaited Coming of the Messiah. The Hebrew words, with their shades of meaning, would have been understood by someone who spent so much time in prayer and meditation, not to mention by one who pined for the arrival of the One sent by the Lord. In considering the import of the divinely-inspired passages of Sacred Scripture that Mary was conscious of, Father Most averred: “Now if the Holy Spirit meant divinity by these words, then, although many Jews did not understand, surely Mary, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, full of grace and the light of grace, would be unlikely to miss the meaning.”

Second, Mary heard a very significant message from the Archangel Gabriel. Hearing such phrases, as observed in Saint Luke’s account of the Annunciation (1:26-38), as “the Son of the Most High,” “He shall reign in the house of David forever” and “the Son of God,” Mary would have comprehended that her Son would be no ordinary boy but rather an outstanding Child Who would reign forever. Gabriel’s audacious language would not have been lost on Mary. And, Father Most continued, given that many Fathers of the Church were convinced that the adoration offered by the Magi was a “recognition” of the Sacred Divinity of Jesus, “how could we suppose that the Magi would know of the divinity of Christ so soon, if Mary herself could not recognize the clear indications in the Old Testament prophecies and in the words of Gabriel? The Magi had not had these advantages.”

Two arguments have often been raised against the belief that Mary knew her Son’s Divinity.

The first is that Mary did not understand the haunting explanation of His absence uttered by the twelve year-old Jesus when she and Joseph found Him in the Temple after three days. Yet, it is unnecessary to think that Our Lady would know every detail of God’s plan.

The second is that Mary would have had to grasp the meaning of the Most Blessed Trinity, a truth which was not explicitly revealed in the Old Testament, in order to come to a knowledge of the Sacred Divinity of her Divine Son. Father Most was quick to counter this assertion. “But the Three Persons are clearly mentioned in the words of the Archangel: Christ is said to be the ‘Son of the Most High’—an indication of the first two Persons. And He is to be conceived when ‘the Holy Spirit shall come upon thee’—the Third Person.”

In summarizing his persuasive contention, Father Most concluded thus:

Finally, it would be surprising indeed if Mary did not know of her Son’s divinity at this time. She would have had to miss or misunderstand so many texts that are clear enough in themselves. After all, it does not seem that any very extraordinary grace would be needed to show her their clear meaning—and how could we suppose that such a grace would be withheld from her who was full of grace?

We add here, pertinent to this essay, this thought: Consider the span of nine months from the moment of the Annunciation until the Baby Jesus appeared at His miraculous Birth, in which Our Lady—by a singular privilege—retained her Virginity. Imagine how Mary, endowed with indescribable divine favor, must have grown in her appreciation and comprehension of that which God was doing. To hold that Mary—who spoke with the Archangel, conceived Jesus in her chaste womb, heard the stirring praise of God and accolades addressed to herself by Elizabeth and then brought Jesus from her body without relinquishing her Virginity—did not know her Son’s Sacred Divinity is more incredible than to posit that Mary, given the foregoing, really did know.

The first Christmas stands out for many reasons, one of which is the startling information known by a fully human person about her Baby resting in a rustic manger.

Msgr. Charles M. Mangan, is an official of the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

Endnotes

(1) P. J. Kenedy and Sons, New York, 1954.

(2) Ibid., pp. 257-258.

Continue Reading

Venerating Images of Mary

Published on October 16, 2004 by in Marian Apologetics

0

“The devotion one has to God’s saints does not terminate in them, but reaches to God through his saints. To honor the excellence of a saint is also to honor the object of their love. We honor them because they excelled in love of God. Thus, ‘to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary is to glorify God’ is a proper expression of truth.”

These words of the Angelic Doctor of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas, sum up perfectly the reason why Catholics through all centuries have honored Our Lady. Unfortunately, statues and other images of Mary are often condemned and neglected under the guise of religion, or desecrated in the name of “art.” Mary revealed to Sister Lucia that such irreverence deeply wounds her Immaculate Heart. […]

Continue Reading