Questions about Mary
Hail Mary, Full of Grace (Luke 1:28)
· To become the Mother of God, Mary needed special gifts for this role. The Angel Gabriel affirmed this in his announcement. The Church has interpreted these words to mean that Mary was redeemed from the moment of her conception. This is the dogma of the Immaculate Conception: “The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin. (Pius IX, 1854)
· Elizabeth calls Mary “mother of my Lord.” Jesus is one person, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. He has two natures, one divine and one human. Mary is the mother of the person, Jesus. Since He is a divine person, Mary is the Mother of God. No one questioned this doctrine until 429 A.D. when Nestorius proposed that Jesus had two persons. The Council of Ephesus in 431 countered this with the definition that Mary is the Mother of God. Even the Protestant leaders, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ulrich Zwingli believed that Mary is the Mother of God.
Blessed art Thou Among Women, and Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb, Jesus (Luke 1: 43)
· Elizabeth spoke these words when her unborn baby, John the Baptist, leaped in her womb as she greeted Mary. So Mary is the most blessed of all women, and her son is the Son of God.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
· Since Mary is the Mother of God, we can ask her to pray for us any time but especially when we are returning to God at the end of our lives. As our heavenly mother (John 19:26), she can ask her Son, Jesus, for mercy in our judgment. She asked him for favors on earth (wedding at Cana, John 2: 1-12) so she can also ask him for favors in heaven
· The Catholic Church also believes that Mary was assumed into heaven. This doctrine doesn’t specify that Mary died. It states that after the completion of her life, she was taken body and soul into heaven just as were Elijah (2 Kings 2: 1-18) and Enoch, son of Cain (Genesis 5: 21-24). This was a long-standing tradition of the Church. The doctrine was defined by Pope Pius XII in 1950: “Mary the immaculate perpetually Virgin Mother of God, after the completion of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into the glory of heaven.”
· The Catholic Church teaches that Mary was a virgin before, during, and after the birth of Jesus. This doctrine does not downgrade marital sex, but reflects how special Mary is in body and in spirit. Some object saying that Mary had other children (Matthew 13:55), but in this case brothers in Hebrew means cousins or relatives. Others quote Matthew 1:24-25. This objection centers around the words “firstborn son” and “till she gave birth to Jesus” (see How to Explain and Defend Mary, p.16). The founders of the Protestant movement (Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli) also believed in the perpetual virginity (Ibid., p 18).
· She worked closely with Jesus on earth.
· Now she works closely with Jesus in heaven.
· She said yes to God in the Annunciation, throughout her life with Jesus on earth, even when Jesus suffered and died on the cross. So now she shares in the priesthood of Jesus in heaven (CCC 970).