Delve Into The Rich History Of Devotion To The Blessed Virgin Mary In The Catholic Church. Understand The Importance Of Mary In The Lives Of Believers Globally.

Who Is Mary?

No woman is more venerated throughout the world than the Blessed Virgin Mary. For over two thousand years, the Catholic Church has spread devotion to the Mother of God. This excerpt, taken from Compendium of Marian Devotion explains who Mary is and the importance she should have in our own lives.

Of All Created Women, Mary Is the Greatest

Mary, the Mother of Our Lord, the Immaculate Conception, is God’s masterpiece, more beautiful and pure than any other creation. Numberless hearts have been captivated by her, devoting their time and talents to honor and venerate her in order that they might give glory to her Son, the final end of all Marian veneration.

In what arenas of life do we see Mary’s influence? More than we may realize! As we will come to see, Mary has been the subject of countless pieces of literature, music, and art, and for centuries, parents have named millions of their daughters after her. Still more, cities, towns, countries, and provinces are also named after her. No woman in the history of the world has attracted more love and devotion than the Blessed Virgin Mary.

This is because of the role she has played in our salvation, her intimate relationship with the Trinity, the Church, and the saints, and her presence in the pages of Sacred Scripture.

In The Trinity

Mary has a central and intimate place, as well as role, in the very heart of the greatest mystery of Christianity—the Most Blessed Trinity: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Mary is the Daughter of God the Father; Mary is the Mother of God the Son; Mary is the Mystical Spouse of God the Holy Spirit. In sum, Mary is the living tabernacle and sanctuary of the Blessed Trinity!

In The Church

The council fathers of the Second Vatican Council gave Mary a very special role. The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, chapter VIII, presents the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother of the Church. Once pronounced in the assembly, there resounded an explosive applause that seemed to never end!

In The Lives Of The Saints

The saints have a very deep, tender, and loving devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. For that reason, among her many titles in the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary is that of Queen of the Angels and Saints! However, as in seeing beautiful colors emanate from a diamond through the process of refraction, or a rainbow painting the sky as sunlight breaks through after a torrential downpour of rain, Mary radiates God’s eternal beauty in the wide range of her various titles. Some of these are: Our Lady of Good Counsel (Saint Augustine), Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Saint Alphonsus Liguori), Our Lady Help of Christians (Saint John Bosco), Our Lady of Divine Mercy (Saint Faustina Kowalska), Our Lady, Queen of All Hearts (Saint Louis de Montfort). In other words, each and every individual saint loved Mary but was able to contemplate her beauty and majesty in a different dimension.

In The Bible

Biblical typology or symbolism abounds with respect to the person of Mary! She is seen as the conqueror of the ancient serpent, depicted as the second Eve, and viewed as the Ark of the Covenant. Mary also is the Daughter of Zion and can be seen as the Queen Mother in 1 Kings 2; still more, in Isaiah, Mary is the virgin who has conceived the child called Emmanuel—God with us!

But What Has All This To Do With Us? Who Is Mary To Us?

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, one of the most known and loved of the modern saints, asserted with respect to Mary: “It is true that Our Lady is Queen of Heaven and earth, but she is more Mother than Queen.” We all need a mother. The qualities of a mother are many: she gives birth, nourishes, protects and defends, clothes, corrects, heals, educates, comforts and consoles, listens, and gives advice. But first and foremost, a true mother loves her child from the very depths of her heart! With respect to our mother Mary, it cannot be said with greater unction and eloquence than in these words of Saint Augustine, son of Saint Monica: “If you were to take all the love, of all the mothers, of all times and places together, the love that Mary has for you is much greater!” With these moving words of Saint Augustine, we should have a total, unreserved, unlimited, loving trust in the Blessed Virgin Mary, who indeed is the Mother of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Mother of the Church; but most especially, your Mother and mine, in time and for all eternity!

This article is taken from a chapter in Compendium of Marian Devotions: An Encyclopedia of the Church’s Prayers, Dogmas, Devotions, Sacramentals, and Feasts Honoring the Mother of God by Fr. Ed Broom, OMV which is available from TAN Books



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