Can Mary convince God to save someone who doesn't deserve it?

Figured this question, that I raised in another topic, was best suited to be a separate topic.

I’ve read some claims from those who emphasize Marian devotion, that it’s actually possible for God to relent and agree to save a soul that deserves to be damned, if Mary asks for that favor.

This strikes me as almost blasphemous and attributing salvific powers to Mary that she does not have. Though this may be a misunderstanding on my part of what Mary’s role actually is.

I also find some takes on the Brown Scapular, that merely wearing it is a guarantee to go to Heaven, to be rather superstitious, though I understand there is actually much more to the devotion than that.

I think it’s more along the lines that the previously undeserving individual receives efficacious grace and repents. We’re all undeserving, but I think the point is that God gives graces where HE wills, and no one goes to God without it. This person who would not have received grace without prayers is then given grace and converts. Because God wants us to be one body, one community, to love others, He works this way.

That’s just an oversimplified way of stating it. It’s explaining it in a way that anthropomorphizes God. But, without going into nuances, I think it captures the main point.

I too have been wondering why Mary sometimes seems more merciful than God in those stories. Should be an interesting read.

In the first place, no one deserves to be saved, period. This has been alluded to already in this thread, and I’m sure no one will find the point controversial.

In the second place, you have to understand something. If God gives me a whole series of graces to repent, and I consistently throw them out, there comes a point, in justice, where God will simply stop giving me those graces. God has willed that, when that point arrives, He will give graces only because of someone’s intercession. The intercession of the Blessed Virgin is far beyond the intercession of any other member of the Body of Christ, because she is God’s Mother, and she has a special role that she has been given. While it’s true that this special role may strike some folks who have a certain cultural upbringing as being blasphemous, we have to be careful not to commit blasphemy by being scandalized by the role God gave to Mary, too.

Thirdly, the Brown Scapular is not superstitious because, on the simplest level, we are not attributing to an object a power that is proper to God alone. It isn’t the object that saves us, but by being in a state of grace when we die. The scapular is a sacramental, and thus it is used by God to give us actual graces … the graces that we need to fight the good fight. So, when we’re dying, it may well be that wearing a scapular will affect us, through grace, in such a way that we persevere in our faith, and that we are able to properly turn to God and to die in His friendship. But over all: we should be spending our whole lives preparing for our death, complete with forming all the virtues and even the heroic virtues through God’s holy grace. The scapular is one part of that, and it is ultimately a sign of our reliance on the Blessed Virgin, who is the spouse of the Holy Spirit, and through whom God has willed to act in our lives in a special way.

Umm… pardon? God “stops giving graces”? God “only gives graces [through human] intercession”? Where do you see that in Church teaching?

A question for the topic creator: Do you ever pray for someone’s conversion?

"The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. " - James 5:16

The saints in Heaven have been made very righteous by God, and Mary, who never sinned, is perhaps most so of all the saints, and our Lord’s own blessed mother. Mary can pray for a soul’s conversion, too. None of us deserve such graces. God does not send a saving grace based on merit, for nothing we do can merit it. Any person who is saved, whether through prayer or not, is someone who is saved but does not deserve it.

I think your initial post indicated that someone would go to Heaven without actually being converted. That’s not true. If a person is saved, it’s because they converted in their heart in response to God’s graces.

If we read the bible, we see that Abraham intercedes and challenges God several times asking God to relent and not destroy the City if there are good people there. Also, we see Moses intercede for the Israelites after the Golden Calf incident. God wanted to distroy them, but Moses intercedes and asks God to relent and he did. (Exodus 32: 11-14)

If God will allow Moses and Abraham to intercede, and other righteous people (James 5:16), then wouldn’t he allow his mother to do the same. And, let’s be honest, if your mother asks for something…how likely are you to refuse it? :wink:

Well, not that I’m holding that position, but there is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit in Matt 12:32

One could surmise that once a person hits this point, no more graces are given as the heart is just too hardened.

Maybe God would still give the graces, but the person’s heart is just to hard to receive them? And that is why there is no forgiveness?

I generally see this interpreted as meaning obstinate unrepentance at/to the moment of death. Refusing the Spirit.

^^That’s what I was trying to say in my previous post and couldn’t find the words… lol :smiley:


Well…what I have seen from these comments about Mary saving a soul is a misunderstanding of actually what happened…or misreading the story itself, wrongfully attributing to Mary in saving the soul from hell.

What actually happened, upon a closer reading of such stories, is Mary prayed for the individual to repent, for the grace to turn one’s life from sin…and then the sinner actually has to repent and ask forgiveness…then and only then is salvation provided/granted by God.

Look for the event after the prayers or intercession of Mary…the repentance of the sinner…is what actually caused the salvation of the sinner, not Mary.

Anyway…look at the second part of the Hail Mary…it tells a lot:

Holy Mary, Mother of God
Pray for us sinners…now and at the hour of our death

I’m not sure.

Jesus said not to cast pearls before swine. Matthew 7:6

And he told the apostles that if the message was rejected to dust themselves and move on. Luke 9:5

So it seems that it might be possible to harden your heart so much that graces are no longer given.

I’m open to any other opinions on this…especially official Church teaching or even approved private revelation that anyone knows of.

Nobody deserves to be saved. Salvation is an act of God’s mercy.

And nobody would be saved if Mary had not said yes to the Incarnation:

“And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.” Luke 1:38

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of death.

I guess the question I am really wondering regarding this, is not whether the grace stops being given, but whether it could start again. I think that is why I don’t feel like the grace ever stops, because I don’t think God will ever not be willing to take us back. I mean, the story of the prodigal son tells us that no matter what we do, God is always looking and waiting for us to return home. and…I think the only way we do that is by God’s grace at work in our lives. :shrug:

I am Hoping she intercedes for me at my judgement. I don’t deserve Heaven, but I am grateful for the Gift of Salvation.

Knowing me, just looking at all the mistakes and sometimes downright selfishness that I am capable, including throwing away Salvation, I need to have Saints praying for me. I am grateful for this Beautiful Saint’s prayers along with asking my husband and children to pray for me today and when I pass one day, to as St. Monica asked, remember me at the Table of Our Lord. My kids know that I hope that they continue to pray for me. God being outside of time can use those prayers, said in the future, to help their mother at that moment of my death.

If I’m trusting my very fallible family, who I love in all of their goodness and faults, to pray for me, and who I suspect will forget to from time to time, why not ask a person who stands before the Throne of God to pray for me?

I suspect when some saints imply that Hell’s pretty populated. From the hardheadedness and hardheartedness I see here among my friends and acquaintances I’ve known, I think people need intercessory prayer ALL the TIME.

God never turns his back on us. We turn our’s to him. We have up until the moment of death to reconcile ourselves to him. Reconciliation through Mary is certainly a great way to do it but I don’t see how Mary can help the undeserving (unrepentant).

Right, that is what I was saying. God is always ready to receive us back, so he never stops sending us his grace to turn back to him.

I don’t think anyone can help someone who is unrepentant. But we can still pray for them and intercede and ask God to give them the grace to accept him and repent, right? So Mary could help in that way.

At the end of the day, the sinner (us) still has to make the decision to repent their sins and accept Christ.

This is my own personal theory (not necessarily official Church theology).

I believe that Mary can convince her Son to save some who are borderline. Meaning the fact that she intercedes for that person, is what tips them over the edge into being saved.

But I also don’t think the Blessed Mother is alone in this. We all can have that same affect by praying for our loved ones.

The prayers of the faithful, the Saints and the Blessed Mother can convince Christ to show mercy to someone who doesn’t deserve it.

This is why it’s always important for us to pray for each other and pray for the dead.

God Bless

Just to add something to the discussion here:

  • Mary always does God’s will

  • God’s will is that He ultimately “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4)

So Mary participates with God’s will by helping to lead many souls to heaven.

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