Catholics and the concept of Virgin Mary
Catholics are accused of idolatry because they celebrate, pray and Honour Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. Here are the Catholics concept and belief about the Virgin Mary.
Catholics all over the world celebrate the nativity of Mary on 8th September of every year. The celebration generates lots of argument concerning Catholics, and many accuse them of Idolatry because they celebrate and pray to Mary, who is not God.
Going through the comments made on social media, I couldn't help but say:
"If I can celebrate my mother's birthday, why can't I celebrate the birthday of the mother of Christ." The woman that God, through her immaculate and virgin figure, brought salvation unto man.
If the president of a country can be celebrated and revered, I wonder why Catholics are being criticised for celebrating an important personality in the body of the church.
Here are what Catholics believe about the Virgin Mary.
Catholic beliefs about the Virgin Mary
- Theotokos: Mary is the Mother of God.
- Perpetual Virginity: Mary was a virgin before, during, and after the birth of Jesus.
- Immaculate Conception: Mary was conceived without original sin.
- Assumption: Mary was taken body and soul into heaven.
- Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate: Mary plays a unique role in redemption.
Image of the Virgin Mary assumed into heaven
Theotokos: Mary is the Mother of God.
Catholics believe Mary is the mother of God, and if Mary is the mother of Jesus, and Jesus is God, then Mary is the Mother of God.
Saying Mary isn’t the Mother of God denies the divinity of Jesus. This teaching is called “Theotokos,” which literally means “God-bearer.”
Mary's Perpetual Virginity
They also believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary; this means Mary gave birth to Jesus as a virgin, and she maintained her virginity throughout the rest of her time on earth.
Her perpetual virginity celebrates that amazing moment when God became man.
Although she gave birth to the saviour of the world, Jesus, Catholics believe she never loses her virginity as the conception occurred through the power of the Holyspirit.
This teaching will lead us to the concept of her immaculate conception.
Mary's Immaculate Conception
Catholic belief also centres on Mary's Immaculate conception; this shows Mary was different from the moment she was conceived in her mother’s womb.
While we inherited the sin and brokenness of Adam and Eve, Mary was saved from that original sin.
Mary's Assumption into heaven
Catholics believe that God granted Mary yet another gift. At the end of her time on earth, Mary was taken (or “assumed”) body and soul into heaven.
This means Jesus and Mary are the only two people in heaven who are there in both body and soul. Jesus chose to honour and give his mother, this glory in heaven that's the belief of the Catholics on Assumption of the blessed virgin Mary.
Mary as a Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate
Mary, as a Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate with Jesus implies that Catholics acknowledge her intimate cooperation with Jesus in the redemption of humanity, in his amazing sacrifice for us on the cross.
She bore him, raised him, supported him in his ministry, and walked with him in every step of the way to his passion and death.
Image of Virgin Mary as our lady of perpetual help to show how she is ever ready to help those that beckon on her as the mediatrix of all graces
Do Catholics worship Mary?
Many people feel Catholics worship Mary, but that is a wrong impression by the people who have such thoughts.
Catholics don’t worship Mary. They pray to Mary, but not in the same way we pray to God — and not to worship her as a God.
Think of it in this way: If you got sick and asked a friend to pray for you, they probably would. Our relationship with Mary operates under this same principle.
We believe that Mary (and the saints) are dead to this world, but we also believe they live on with God for eternity in the next world.
And Catholics believe that their prayers are just as powerful now that they are in heaven—even more powerful—than they were when they were here on earth.
We are essentially saying to them, “We have problems down here. You know what it’s like because you’ve been here. Please, pray for us!”
Devotion to Mary
Devotion to Mary is another part of Catholic doctrine.
Love and devotion to Mary have been a part of Christianity that can be traced back to the very first Christians.
Many holy men and women of monumental virtue considered Mary to be a sure path to a deep relationship with God. They have surrendered themselves completely to Mary’s protection and guidance, begging her to lead them ever closer to her son.
Popular devotions include:
- Wearing the Miraculous Medal
- Praying novenas (a nine-day set of prayers for a specific intention)
- Consecrating themselves to Jesus through Mary
- Praying the Rosary
In conclusion, it is worthy of note that Catholics do not worship Mary but pay reverence to her as the mother of God, due to her perpetual virginity, immaculate conception and Assumption into heaven.
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