The Catholic Church holds distinctive Marian dogmas , namely her status as the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception , her perpetual virginity , and her Assumption into heaven. Maryam or Mariam. In Christianity, Mary is commonly referred to as the Virgin Mary , in accordance with the belief that she conceived Jesus miraculously through the Holy Spirit without her husband 's involvement. The title Theotokos was recognized at the Council of Ephesus in The direct equivalents of title in Latin are Deipara and Dei Genetrix , although the phrase is more often loosely translated into Latin as Mater Dei Mother of God , with similar patterns for other languages used in the Latin Church.
Some Marian titles have a direct scriptural basis. For instance, the title "Queen Mother" has been given to Mary since she was the mother of Jesus, who was sometimes referred to as the "King of Kings" due to his ancestral descent from King David. She is often referred to by the honorific title sayyidatuna , meaning "our lady"; this title is in parallel to sayyiduna "our lord" , used for the prophets.
The New Testament tells little of Mary's early history. The Gospel of Matthew does give a genealogy for Jesus by his father's paternal line though only identifying Mary as the wife of Joseph. John states that Mary had a sister; semantically it is unclear if this sister is the same as Mary of Clopas , or if she is left unnamed. Jerome identifies Mary of Clopas as the sister of Mary, mother of Jesus. According to the writer of Luke, Mary was a relative of Elizabeth , wife of the priest Zechariah of the priestly division of Abijah , who was herself part of the lineage of Aaron and so of the tribe of Levi.
Luke 1 [Luke ;] Some of those who consider that the relationship with Elizabeth was on the maternal side, consider that Mary, like Joseph, to whom she was betrothed, was of the royal House of David and so of the Tribe of Judah , and that the genealogy of Jesus presented in Luke 3 from Nathan, third son of David and Bathsheba , is in fact the genealogy of Mary, while the genealogy from Solomon given in Matthew 1 is that of Joseph. Mary resided in "her own house" [Lk. Let it be done unto me according to your word.
Since the angel Gabriel had told Mary that Elizabeth—having previously been barren—was then miraculously pregnant,  Mary hurried to see Elizabeth, who was living with her husband Zechariah in " Hebron , in the hill country of Judah". According to the Gospel of Luke, a decree of the Roman Emperor Augustus required that Joseph return to his hometown of Bethlehem to register for a Roman census.
While he was there with Mary, she gave birth to Jesus; but because there was no place for them in the inn, she used a manger as a cradle. After Mary continued in the " blood of her purifying " another 33 days for a total of 40 days, she brought her burnt offering and sin offering to the Temple in Jerusalem , [Luke ] so the priest could make atonement for her sins, being cleansed from her blood. After the prophecies of Simeon and the prophetess Anna in Luke concluded, Joseph and Mary took Jesus and "returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth".
According to the author of the gospel according to Matthew, the Magi arrived at Bethlehem where Jesus and his family were living. Joseph was warned in a dream that King Herod wanted to murder the infant, and the Holy Family fled by night to Egypt and stayed there for some time. Because Herod's son Archelaus was ruler of Judaea, they did not return to Bethlehem, but took up residence in Nazareth in Galilee instead. Mary is involved in the only event in Jesus' adolescent life that is recorded in the New Testament.
At the age of twelve, Jesus, having become separated from his parents on their return journey from the Passover celebration in Jerusalem, was found in the Temple among the religious teachers. Mary was present when, at her suggestion, Jesus worked his first miracle during a wedding at Cana by turning water into wine. The hagiography of Mary and the Holy Family can be contrasted with other material in the Gospels.
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These references include an incident which can be interpreted as Jesus rejecting his family in the New Testament: "And his mother and his brothers arrived, and standing outside, they sent in a message asking for him And looking at those who sat in a circle around him, Jesus said, 'These are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother'. Mary is also depicted as being present among the women at the crucifixion during the crucifixion standing near "the disciple whom Jesus loved" along with Mary of Clopas and Mary Magdalene , [Jn ] to which list Matthew adds "the mother of the sons of Zebedee", presumably the Salome mentioned in Mark This representation is called a Stabat Mater.
In Acts , especially v. Some [ who? From this time, she disappears from the biblical accounts, although it is held by Catholics that she is again portrayed as the heavenly woman of Revelation. Her death is not recorded in the scriptures, but Catholic and Orthodox tradition and doctrine have her assumed taken bodily into Heaven. Before Mary's conception, Anne had been barren and was far advanced in years. Mary was given to service as a consecrated virgin in the Temple in Jerusalem when she was three years old, much like Hannah took Samuel to the Tabernacle as recorded in the Old Testament.
Some apocryphal accounts state that at the time of her betrothal to Joseph, Mary was 12—14 years old, and he was ninety years old, but such accounts are unreliable. The earliest extant biographical writing on Mary is Life of the Virgin attributed to the 7th-century saint, Maximus the Confessor , which portrays her as a key element of the early Christian Church after the death of Jesus.
In the 19th century, a house near Ephesus in Turkey was found, based on the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich , an Augustinian nun in Germany. Christian Marian perspectives include a great deal of diversity. While some Christians such as Catholics and Eastern Orthodox have well established Marian traditions, Protestants at large pay scant attention to Mariological themes.
This veneration especially takes the form of prayer for intercession with her Son, Jesus Christ. Additionally it includes composing poems and songs in Mary's honor, painting icons or carving statues of her, and conferring titles on Mary that reflect her position among the saints. There is a difference between the usage of the term "blessed" as pertaining to Mary and its usage as pertaining to a beatified person. Catholic teachings make clear that Mary is not considered divine and prayers to her are not answered by her, but rather by God through her intercession.
The Blessed Virgin Mary , the mother of Jesus has a more central role in Roman Catholic teachings and beliefs than in any other major Christian group. Not only do Roman Catholics have more theological doctrines and teachings that relate to Mary, but they have more festivals, prayers, devotional, and venerative practices than any other group. For centuries, Catholics have performed acts of consecration and entrustment to Mary at personal, societal and regional levels.
In Catholic teachings, consecration to Mary does not diminish or substitute the love of God, but enhances it, for all consecration is ultimately made to God. Following the growth of Marian devotions in the 16th century, Catholic saints wrote books such as Glories of Mary and True Devotion to Mary that emphasized Marian veneration and taught that "the path to Jesus is through Mary".
Catholics place high emphasis on Mary's roles as protector and intercessor and the Catechism refers to Mary as "honored with the title 'Mother of God,' to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs". Mary's participation in the processes of salvation and redemption has also been emphasized in the Catholic tradition, but they are not doctrines. She is also proclaimed as the "Lady of the Angels". The views of the Church Fathers still play an important role in the shaping of Orthodox Marian perspective.
However, the Orthodox views on Mary are mostly doxological , rather than academic: they are expressed in hymns, praise, liturgical poetry and the veneration of icons. One of the most loved Orthodox Akathists i. The Orthodox view Mary as "superior to all created beings", although not divine. The Protoevangelium of James , an extra-canonical book, has been the source of many Orthodox beliefs on Mary. The account of Mary's life presented includes her consecration as a virgin at the temple at age three.
The high priest Zachariah blessed Mary and informed her that God had magnified her name among many generations. Zachariah placed Mary on the third step of the altar, whereby God gave her grace. While in the temple, Mary was miraculously fed by an angel, until she was twelve years old. At that point an angel told Zachariah to betroth Mary to a widower in Israel, who would be indicated. This story provides the theme of many hymns for the Feast of Presentation of Mary , and icons of the feast depict the story.
Theologians from the Orthodox tradition have made prominent contributions to the development of Marian thought and devotion. John Damascene c. Among other Marian writings, he proclaimed the essential nature of Mary's heavenly Assumption or Dormition and her mediative role. It was necessary that the body of the one who preserved her virginity intact in giving birth should also be kept incorrupt after death. It was necessary that she, who carried the Creator in her womb when he was a baby, should dwell among the tabernacles of heaven. From her we have harvested the grape of life; from her we have cultivated the seed of immortality.
For our sake she became Mediatrix of all blessings; in her God became man, and man became God. More recently, Sergei Bulgakov expressed the Orthodox sentiments towards Mary as follows: . Mary is not merely the instrument, but the direct positive condition of the Incarnation, its human aspect. Christ could not have been incarnate by some mechanical process, violating human nature.
It was necessary for that nature itself to say for itself, by the mouth of the most pure human being: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to Thy word. Protestants in general reject the veneration and invocation of the Saints. Therefore, there is virtually no Marian veneration, Marian feasts, Marian pilgrimages, Marian art, Marian music or Marian spirituality in today's Protestant communities.
Within these views, Roman Catholic beliefs and practices are at times rejected, e. Some early Protestants venerated and honored Mary. Martin Luther wrote that: "Mary is full of grace, proclaimed to be entirely without sin. God's grace fills her with everything good and makes her devoid of all evil. Following the Council of Trent in the 16th century, as Marian veneration became associated with Catholics, Protestant interest in Mary decreased.
During the Age of the Enlightenment, any residual interest in Mary within Protestant churches almost disappeared, although Anglicans and Lutherans continued to honor her. Protestants acknowledge that Mary is "blessed among women" [Luke ] but they do not agree that Mary is to be venerated. She is considered to be an outstanding example of a life dedicated to God. In the 20th century, Protestants reacted in opposition to the Catholic dogma of the Assumption of Mary. The conservative tone of the Second Vatican Council began to mend the ecumenical differences, and Protestants began to show interest in Marian themes.
In and ecumenical dialogs between Catholics and Protestants took place, but, to date, the majority of Protestants pay scant attention to Marian issues and often view them as a challenge to the authority of Scripture. The multiple churches that form the Anglican Communion and the Continuing Anglican movement have different views on Marian doctrines and venerative practices given that there is no single church with universal authority within the Communion and that the mother church the Church of England understands itself to be both "Catholic" and " Reformed ".
Mary's special position within God's purpose of salvation as "God-bearer" Theotokos is recognised in a number of ways by some Anglican Christians. This feast is called in older prayer books the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary on February 2. Anglicans also celebrate in the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin on 31 May, though in some provinces the traditional date of July 2 is kept.
The feast of the St. Mary the Virgin is observed on the traditional day of the Assumption, August The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin is kept on September 8. In certain Anglo-Catholic parishes this feast is called the Immaculate Conception. Again, the Assumption of Mary is believed in by most Anglo-Catholics, but is considered a pious opinion by moderate Anglicans.
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Protestant minded Anglicans reject the celebration of these feasts. Prayers and venerative practices vary a great deal. For instance, as of the 19th century, following the Oxford Movement , Anglo-Catholics frequently pray the Rosary , the Angelus , Regina caeli , and other litanies and anthems of Our Lady that are reminiscent of Catholic practices.
The Anglican Society of Mary was formed in and maintains chapters in many countries. The purpose of the society is to foster devotion to Mary among Anglicans. Historically, there has been enough common ground between Roman Catholics and Anglicans on Marian issues that in a joint statement called Mary: grace and hope in Christ was produced through ecumenical meetings of Anglicans and Roman Catholic theologians. This document, informally known as the "Seattle Statement", is not formally endorsed by either the Catholic Church or the Anglican Communion, but is viewed by its authors as the beginning of a joint understanding of Mary.
Despite Martin Luther 's harsh polemics against his Roman Catholic opponents over issues concerning Mary and the saints, theologians appear to agree that Luther adhered to the Marian decrees of the ecumenical councils and dogmas of the church. He held fast to the belief that Mary was a perpetual virgin and Mother of God. Others maintain that Luther in later years changed his position on the Immaculate Conception, which, at that time was undefined in the Church, maintaining however the sinlessness of Mary throughout her life.
Important to him was the belief that Mary and the saints do live on after death. His views are intimately linked to his Christocentric theology and its consequences for liturgy and piety. He considered the Roman Catholic practice of celebrating saints ' days and making intercessory requests addressed especially to Mary and other departed saints to be idolatry. Therefore, when we preach faith, that we should worship nothing but God alone, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we say in the Creed: 'I believe in God the Father almighty and in Jesus Christ,' then we are remaining in the temple at Jerusalem.
Again,'This is my beloved Son; listen to him. He alone does it. But reason says the opposite:. What, us? Are we to worship only Christ? She is the woman who bruised the head of the serpent. Hear us, Mary, for thy Son so honors thee that he can refuse thee nothing. She will intercede for me with the Son, and the Son with the Father, who will listen to the Son. So you have the picture of God as angry and Christ as judge; Mary shows to Christ her breast and Christ shows his wounds to the wrathful Father.
George and St. Certain Lutheran churches such as the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church however, continue to venerate Mary and the saints in the same manner that Roman Catholics do, and hold all Marian dogmas as part of their faith. Methodists do not have any additional teachings on the Virgin Mary except from what is mentioned in Scripture and the ecumenical Creeds. As such, Methodists generally accept the doctrine of the Virgin Birth , but reject the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Nontrinitarians , such as Unitarians , Christadelphians , Jehovah's Witnesses , and Latter Day Saints  also acknowledge Mary as the biological mother of Jesus Christ , but most reject any immaculate conception and do not recognize Marian titles such as "Mother of God". The Latter Day Saint movement's view affirms the virgin birth of Jesus  and Christ's divinity but only as a separate being than God the Father.
The Book of Mormon refers to Mary by name in prophecies and describes her as "most beautiful and fair above all other virgins"  and as a "precious and chosen vessel. Since most Non-trinitarian groups are typically also Christian mortalists , Mary is not seen as an intercessor between humankind and Jesus, whom mortalists would consider "asleep", awaiting resurrection.
The issue of the parentage of Jesus in the Talmud affects also the view of his mother. However, the Talmud does not mention Mary by name and is considerate rather than only polemic. Brown considers the story of Panthera a fanciful explanation of the birth of Jesus that includes very little historical evidence.
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The Virgin Mary holds a singularly exalted place in Islam and she is considered by the Qur'an to have been the greatest woman in the history of humankind. God has chosen thee, and purified thee; He hath chosen thee above all the women of creation" Mary is often referred to by Muslims by the honorific title "sayedetina" our lady. She is mentioned in the Qur'an as the daughter of Imran. Moreover, Mary is the only woman named in the Qur'an and she is mentioned or referred to in the scripture a total of fifty times.
In a narration of Hadith from Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq , he mentions that Allah revealed to Imran , "I will grant you a boy, blessed, one who will cure the blind and the leper and one who will raise the dead by My permission. And I will send him as an apostle to the Children of Israel. When she became pregnant, she conceived it was a boy, but when she gave birth to a girl, she stated "Oh my Lord! Verily I have delivered a female, and the male is not like the female, for a girl will not be a prophet," to which Allah replies in the Quran Allah knows better what has been delivered.
When Allah bestowed Jesus to Mary, he fulfilled his promise to Imran. Mary was declared uniquely along with Jesus to be a "Sign of God" to humanity;  as one who "guarded her chastity";  an "obedient one";  "chosen of her mother" and dedicated to Allah whilst still in the womb;  uniquely amongst women "Accepted into service by God";  cared for by one of the prophets as per Islam Zakariya Zacharias ;  that in her childhood she resided in the Temple and uniquely had access to Al- Mihrab understood to be the Holy of Holies , and was provided with heavenly "provisions" by God.
The Qur'an relates detailed narrative accounts of Maryam Mary in two places, Qur'an —47 and — It mentions how Mary was informed by an angel that she would become the mother of Jesus through the actions of God alone. In the Islamic tradition, Mary and Jesus were the only children who could not be touched by Satan at the moment of their birth, for God imposed a veil between them and Satan. Do not go beyond the bounds in your religion, and do not say anything of Allah but the truth.
Give up this assertion — it is for your own good to do so. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And Allah suffices as the One to be relied on, to Whom affairs should be referred. The Qur'an says that Jesus was the result of a virgin birth. The most detailed account of the annunciation and birth of Jesus is provided in Suras 3 and 19 of the Qur'an, where it is written that God sent an angel to announce that she could shortly expect to bear a son, despite being a virgin. The statement that Joseph "knew her not till she brought forth her first born son" Matthew DouayRheims has been debated among scholars, with some saying that she did not remain a virgin and some saying that she was a perpetual virgin.
Other biblical verses have also been debated, e. From the early stages of Christianity, belief in the virginity of Mary and the virgin conception of Jesus, as stated in the gospels, holy and supernatural, was used by detractors, both political and religious, as a topic for discussions, debates and writings, specifically aimed to challenge the divinity of Jesus and thus Christians and Christianity alike.
Christian devotion to Mary goes back to the 2nd century and predates the emergence of a specific Marian liturgical system in the 5th century, following the First Council of Ephesus in The earliest known Marian prayer the Sub tuum praesidium , or Beneath Thy Protection is from the 3rd century perhaps , and its text was rediscovered in on a papyrus in Egypt.
Maria Maggiore in Rome. According to the 4th-century heresiologist Epiphanius of Salamis the Virgin Mary was worshipped as a mother goddess in the Christian sect of Collyridianism , which was found throughout Arabia sometime during the s AD. Collyridianism had women performing priestly acts. They made bread offerings to the Virgin Mary.
The group was condemned as heretical by the Roman Catholic Church and was preached against by Epiphanius of Salamis , who wrote about the group in his writings titled Panarion. The adoption of the mother of Jesus as a virtual goddess may represent a reintroduction of aspects of the worship of Isis.
According to Sabrina Higgins, "When looking at images of the Egyptian goddess Isis and those of the Virgin Mary, one may initially observe iconographic similarities. These parallels have led many scholars to suggest that there is a distinct iconographic relationship between Isis and Mary. In fact, some scholars have gone even further, and have suggested, on the basis of this relationship, a direct link between the cult of Mary and that of Isis. Ephesus is a cultic centre of Mary, the site of the first Church dedicated to her and the rumoured place of her death.
Ephesus was previously a centre for worship of Artemis a virgin goddess; the Temple of Artemis there is regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The cult of Mary was furthered by Queen Theodora in the 6th century. Phipps, in the book Survivals of Roman Religion  "Gordon Laing argues convincingly that the worship of Artemis as both virgin and mother at the grand Ephesian temple contributed to the veneration of Mary. The Middle Ages saw many legends about Mary, her parents, and even her grandparents.
The Virgin's popularity increased dramatically from the 12th century. In paintings, Mary is traditionally portrayed in blue. This tradition can trace its origin to the Byzantine Empire, from c. A more practical explanation for the use of this colour is that in Medieval and Renaissance Europe, the blue pigment was derived from the rock lapis lazuli , a stone imported from Afghanistan of greater value than gold. Beyond a painter's retainer, patrons were expected to purchase any gold or lapis lazuli to be used in the painting. Hence, it was an expression of devotion and glorification to swathe the Virgin in gowns of blue.
Transformations in visual depictions of the Virgin from the 13th to 15th centuries mirror her "social" standing within the Church as well as in society. Over the centuries, devotion and veneration to Mary has varied greatly among Christian traditions. For instance, while Protestants show scant attention to Marian prayers or devotions, of all the saints whom the Orthodox venerate, the most honored is Mary, who is considered "more honorable than the Cherubim and more glorious than the Seraphim ".
A faith in Christ which does not include his mother is another faith, another Christianity from that of the Orthodox church. Although the Catholics and the Orthodox may honor and venerate Mary, they do not view her as divine, nor do they worship her. Roman Catholics view Mary as subordinate to Christ, but uniquely so, in that she is seen as above all other creatures. However, she is not considered a "substitute for the One Mediator" who is Christ. In Roman Catholic theology, the term hyperdulia is reserved for Marian veneration, latria for the worship of God, and dulia for the veneration of other saints and angels.
Devotions to artistic depictions of Mary vary among Christian traditions. There is a long tradition of Catholic Marian art and no image permeates Catholic art as does the image of Madonna and Child. The Anglican position towards Mary is in general more conciliatory than that of Protestants at large and in a book he wrote about praying with the icons of Mary, Rowan Williams , former Archbishop of Canterbury , said: "It is not only that we cannot understand Mary without seeing her as pointing to Christ; we cannot understand Christ without seeing his attention to Mary.
The earliest feasts that relate to Mary grew out of the cycle of feasts that celebrated the Nativity of Jesus. Given that according to the Gospel of Luke Luke , forty days after the birth of Jesus, along with the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple Mary was purified according to Jewish customs, the Feast of the Purification began to be celebrated by the 5th century, and became the "Feast of Simeon " in Byzantium.
In the 7th and 8th centuries four more Marian feasts were established in Eastern Christianity. In the West , a feast dedicated to Mary, just before Christmas was celebrated in the Churches of Milan and Ravenna in Italy in the 7th century. The four Roman Marian feasts of Purification, Annunciation, Assumption and Nativity of Mary were gradually and sporadically introduced into England by the 11th century. Over time, the number and nature of feasts and the associated Titles of Mary and the venerative practices that accompany them have varied a great deal among diverse Christian traditions.
Overall, there are significantly more titles, feasts and venerative Marian practices among Roman Catholics than any other Christians traditions. Differences in feasts may also originate from doctrinal issues—the Feast of the Assumption is such an example. Given that there is no agreement among all Christians on the circumstances of the death, Dormition or Assumption of Mary , the feast of assumption is celebrated among some denominations and not others. Protestants do not celebrate this, or any other Marian feasts. There is significant diversity in the Marian doctrines attributed to her primarily by the Catholic Church.
The key Marian doctrines held primarily in Catholicism can be briefly outlined as follows:. The acceptance of these Marian doctrines by Roman Catholics can be summarized as follows:   . The Council decreed that Mary is the Mother of God because her son Jesus is one person who is both God and man, divine and human. The Virgin birth of Jesus was an almost universally held belief among Christians from the 2nd until the 19th century.
The Gospel of Matthew describes Mary as a virgin who fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah , mistranslating the Hebrew word alma "young woman" in Isaiah as "virgin", though. The doctrines of the Assumption or Dormition of Mary relate to her death and bodily assumption to Heaven.
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Whether the Virgin Mary died or not is not defined dogmatically, however, although a reference to the death of Mary are made in Munificentissimus Deus. In the Eastern Orthodox Church , the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is believed, and celebrated with her Dormition , where they believe she died.
Catholics believe in the Immaculate Conception of Mary , as proclaimed ex cathedra by Pope Pius IX in , namely that she was filled with grace from the very moment of her conception in her mother's womb and preserved from the stain of original sin. The Latin Church has a liturgical feast by that name , kept on December 8.
The Perpetual Virginity of Mary asserts Mary's real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made Man. Mary nursing the Infant Jesus. Early image from the Catacomb of Priscilla , Rome , c. Theotokos Panachranta , from the 11th century Gertrude Psalter. Flight into Egypt by Giotto c. Lamentation by Pietro Lorenzetti , Assisi Basilica, c. Our Lady of Vladimir , a Byzantine representation of the Theotokos.
Yet she risked losing him, and almost did, in order to say "yes" to having Jesus. Mat She was carrying the Saviour, so if she would have been stoned to death Jesus would have died too. Then she would not get eternal life and neither would any of us. Her "yes" was BIG. Mary put Jesus ahead of Joseph and even her own life. This was before Jesus was even conceived in the flesh.
How much more would she put Jesus ahead of herself now that He has risen. Stretching out his hand over his disciples, the Lord Christ declared: Here are my mother and my brothers; anyone who does the will of my Father who sent me is my brother and sister and my mother.
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I would urge you to ponder these words. Did the Virgin Mary, who believed by faith and conceived by faith, who was the chosen one from whom our Saviour was born among men, who was created by Christ before Christ was created in her fiat did she not do the will of the Father? Indeed the blessed Mary certainly did the Father's will, and so it was for her a greater thing to have been Christ's disciple than to have been his mother, and she was more blessed in her discipleship than in her motherhood. Hers was the happiness of first bearing in her womb him whom she would obey as her master.
Now listen and see if the words of Scripture do not agree with what I have said. The Lord was passing by and crowds were following him. His miracles gave proof of divine power. But the Lord, not wishing people to seek happiness in a purely physical relationship, replied: More blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.
Mary heard God's word and kept it, and so she is blessed. She kept God's truth in her mind, a nobler thing than carrying his body in her womb. The truth and the body were both Christ: he was kept in Mary's mind insofar as he is truth, he was carried in her womb insofar as he is man; but what is kept in the mind is of a higher order than what is carried in the womb. The Virgin Mary is both holy and blessed, and yet the Church is greater than she. The body undoubtedly is greater than she, one of its members.
This body has the Lord for its head, and head and body together make up the whole Christ. Now, beloved, give me your whole attention, for you also are members of Christ; you also are the body of Christ. Consider how you yourselves can be among those of whom the Lord said: Here are my mother and my brothers. Do you wonder how you can be the mother of Christ? He himself said: Whoever hears and fulfils the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and my sister and my mother. As for our being the brothers and sisters of Christ, we can understand this because although there is only one inheritance and Christ is the only Son, his mercy would not allow him to remain alone.
It was his wish that we too should be heirs of the Father, and co-heirs with himself. Now having said that all of you are brothers of Christ, shall I not dare to call you his mother? Much less would I dare to deny his own words. Tell me how Mary became the mother of Christ, if it was not by giving birth to the members of Christ?
You, to whom I am speaking, are the members of Christ. Of whom were you born? You became sons of this mother at your baptism, you came to birth then as members of Christ. Now you in your turn must draw to the font of baptism as many as you possibly can. You became sons when you were born there yourselves, and now by bringing others to birth in the same way, you have it in your power to become the mothers of Christ. Another verse that is often used to downplay the role of Mary is:. Catholics do not think this is a downplay of Mary's role, it is simply focusing on her obedience rather than her motherly function.
It is showing that the real miracle about Mary bearing Jesus was her obedience to the Lord under danger of being divorced by Joseph and being stoned for "adultery" Lk I read on a message board a young Evangelical say " Mary is not holy, she is blessed because she was a virgin. That really blew me away.
The Bible is full of people who are described as "holy. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. Heb For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. If my belief in Christ can make me holy, I can't imagine someone saying that Mary's belief in Christ didn't make her holy. Evangelicals would agree there is no woman in the Bible more holy than Mary.
We Catholics think Mary is the holiest human ever, because of her relationship to Jesus. In saying "yes" to God, Abraham became the father of all humanity Gen Catholics believe that similarly, Mary's "yes" to God made her the mother of all humanity. The Bible talks about Mary at the foot of the Cross. It says:. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother. John ,. Most certainly he was saying, as Evangelicals suggest, that John should take care of his mother.
But Jesus does not speak on one level alone. His words are multi-layered and rich.
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We believe in this passage, the greater meaning is that Jesus gives Mary to all people as our mother. I Hugh felt this the first time I read that passage before I heard it from Catholic theologians. And at the foot of the Cross which was prefigured by the tree in the Garden of Eden, Jesus says to the apostle take her as your mother, and to Mary he says take him as your son. Jesus was not simply just concerned with taking care of his mother. He also told Mary to be John's Mother. Jesus could have given that discourse at any time in the days leading up to the crucifixion.
He waited until his last breath to do it when every breath was agonizing and a moment before he died and conquered sin. Most of the early Church fathers say that he waited until that moment because the scenario at the foot of the cross completes the scenario at the foot of the tree in Eden and to leave Mary out of that scenario as the new Eve, is a one legged analysis I would say.
By this point her pilgrimage of faith is maturing. When Jesus was younger, she chastised Jesus when he ran away at twelve year old Lk and when he was not eating properly at thirty years old Mk Now she has accepted Simeon's prophesy Lk She has kept the faith, she stands obediently at the foot of the Cross Jn Later she reaped the rewards Acts , and now in heaven, she shares the greatest of those rewards with us, her faith in Jesus, King of Kings, Lord of Lords.
Below we have a chart that compares Mary to Eve. Just as Eve was given the title of "mother of all the Living" by Adam, Mary was given the role of mother of the living by Jesus Jn Catholics believe this was confirmed in Revelation where she is described as the mother of those who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Catholics believe that their relationship to Mary is very biblical. They feel it would be unbiblical to ignore her place in Scripture. Many Evangelicals say that Mary's ministry and purpose ended with the birth of Christ. If that was so why would the devil be so interested in destroying her after the birth of Jesus.
Catholics believe the passage identifies Mary as the rediscovered Ark of the Covenant. Now the Ark is in heaven. It has been found. It is Mary. The passage of Revelation describes the woman in heaven with a crown of 12 stars as the mother of Jesus not a pagan goddess. She is presented as a very important player, not only because she gave birth to the Saviour but also because she will continue to play an ongoing role in service to him in the spiritual battle with Satan and his evil angels.
The passage also says all those who hold the testimony of Jesus are her children. That includes Christians of all denominations. They are all her children. This is why Catholics don't think it would be right to abandon Mary simply for the sake of Christian unity. Mary just too important. Catholics wouldn't give up Mary any more than the ancient Jews would be willing to give up the Ark of the Covenant.
Mary has a very special role in this spiritual war. She is not a "dead person" who faded away into the pages of history. She is a prayer warrior who is alive. Catholics think her ministry did not end with the birth of Jesus. That was only the beginning of her important role. Although the passage shows Mary with a crown in heaven that does not make her a god.
She is a creature. The passage clearly shows that Jesus went to "God's Throne. What respectable king does not have a queen. Her entire dignity stems from Jesus, the King, her Son. Catholics have no problem honouring her and asking her to pray to Jesus for us. Many people wish that this thing about Mary would go away and that the Church would be in greater unity with other Christians if it would. It appears that most of the closed feelings against Mary have crept into the reform movement in the last years. Many great Protestants have had strong feelings for Mary including C.
Even Martin Luther spoke to her in the first person saying:. No woman is like you. You are more than Eve or Sarah, blessed above all nobility, wisdom, and sanctity. Martin Luther Sermon - Feast of the Visitation, We are not apologists. Apart from all this doctrine and stuff, the reason we believe that Mary is in heaven helping us is because each of us had an experience with Mary that we cannot refute Hugh's testimony here , Diane's testimony here.
No one can tell us she is dead. We don't worship her. She is a friend who prays for us and has shown us very cool things about her Son, Jesus. We believe we are better Christians today because of Mary. Any Evangelical would say it is perfectly safe to pray to Jesus about anything. Ask Jesus what's up with Mary. Give him time to respond. We pray you have the same experience that has led to our powerful convictions about the validity of Mary as a helper for the helpless, and a great prayer warrior.
This interpretation was upheld by the most sober-minded of the Church Fathers, St. Athanasius, St. Epiphanius, and many others. She is also the Church, besieged by Satan, yet preserved in safety. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man , and he brought her to the man. But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman , born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Galatians In this Article. Mary in the Bible We got an email from a well-meaning Evangelical that said: The Bible references to Mary make it clear that her special role practically ended with the birth of Jesus.
In the New Testament Mary is present at almost every major event in the life of Jesus : His conception Luke His development in the womb, including the fetal development of John the Baptist Lk His birth Lk Offering Him to God Lk Early childhood Lk His prophetic announcement of his mission at 12 years old Lk His start in public ministry and the first of his miracles, which she instigated. We got an email that said: Please don't think I don't have any respect for Mary What does Mary say about herself in the Bible?
Lk The Bible says Jesus is magnified by Mary's soul. Video: The Bible and Mary "Mary's role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. Catholics believe Mary's "Yes" undid Eve's "No! Irenaeus, Against Heresies , Bk. Where does the Bible say Mary is the "Mother of God"? We saw a cool bumper sticker that said: "Wise men still find Jesus with his mother. Does the Bible downplay Mary's "specialness"? Mark is often pointed at as a statement against Mary's "specialness": "Who are my mother and my brothers?
In Mark , Jesus was saying something like: "OK ma, I'm a big boy, I can feed myself, don't worry about me, I'm an adult, my ministry has begun, and people who do the will of God are my mother and brothers, and no one did God's will more than you said 'yes' to my birth. Another verse that is often used to downplay the role of Mary is: "Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!
How can Catholics say Mary is Holy? Heb For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. Does the Bible give Mary the role of "Mother of all People"? It says: When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother.
John , Most certainly he was saying, as Evangelicals suggest, that John should take care of his mother. Rev 12 :1, The Israelites circle Jericho with the Ark of the Covenant and blowing horns for seven days before their victory.
Were Jesus, Mary and Joseph refugees? Yes.
Joshua 6 The angels blow seven trumpets to herald the victory over Satan, Rev. I will make a helper suitable for him. Luke a servant is a helper The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called 'Woman' , because she was taken out of Man My hour has not yet come. He said to the woman, "Did God really say , 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'? Luke Mary's obedience vs. Eve's disobedience Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.
As per Rev , explained below. There I have set the ark in which is the [old] covenant of the Lord that he made with his people Israel 2 Ch