Confusion on Mary's role in salvation

I’m confused with verses such as the following, and other similar quotes by saints.

“It is impossible to save one’s soul without devotion to Mary and without her protection.”
-Saint Anselm

What about before Mary lived? What about people who know little about Mary, but are simple Catholics with a good faith?

Yeah, this is the type of thing that makes many a protestant “twitchy” about Mary’s role from the RC perspective. Do these type of quotes tend to be removed from their context, or is it a simple reading that Anselm meant quite literally?

I am not able to find any context for this quote. I have also come across a similar quote attributed to Ignatius the Martyr. I scanned through Ignatius of Antioch’s letters (not sure if it’s the same person) and cannot find the quote within the letters. So basically, I’m finding quotes but no information regarding which letter or any surrounding context. Can you help with that?

Certainly, I think we understand the fiat and that God chose to include her so intimately within His salvation plan for reasons only known to Himself, but I don’t know if that fits with this quote or not.:shrug:

Does he mean if the church were to abandon a reverence for our Mother and not have any idea of who Mary was and in no way honor the mother of our Lord who said “behold your mother” that the church would be empty and by extension would be hard pressed to save souls??? Isn’t that what the protestants say? I think then we have seen now since Luther the heretic and King Henry VIII the man with six wives and “pope” of the church of England that Anselm was right!

Or, was he saying that an individual with no individual devotion to Mary could not be saved? I think he wasn’t because as a Catholic one has devotion to Mary by extension of being a Catholic for we have days of obligation such as August 15th when we honor her as a Church.

A Church stripped of devotion to Mary is not a church I would want to belong to.

I don’t think the church requires devotion to Mary - reverence yes. But, yeah, devotion is something that makes Protestants twitchy.

Yeah the role of the Blessed Mother in our salvation often becomes a touchy subject. Sometimes Catholics kind of take it a bit far while many Protestant do not take it far enough. :stuck_out_tongue:

My take:

-Mary is the mother of Christ…Christ is God…Mary is the mother of God.

-I do not prescribe to the IC but I can see how some do

-The Assumption is a tricky one for me. We have no evidence that such a thing ever happened but I would like to think that God took care of her after Christ left this earth. :slight_smile:

-I believe she played a huge role in our salvation. How much now? Not sure but I would assume the wants nothing more than for all of us to grow closer to her Son.

-devotion? Eh :shrug:

-protection? Sure! I believe that she is the Mother of all. Christ commanded such!

So there is my take in the short version lol

Well Before Mary…There was NO jesus. Hence NO salvation either.
God Chose her to become her son.

Now we have Jesus (our redeemer) AND Mary our advocate whom has chosen at the instigation of her son to become our mom :slight_smile:

How can a simple Catholic not know Mary? might as well say they don’t know Jesus either.
The devotion to Mary is not an exclusive of Catholics either, the Eastern Ortodox also have it as well as some protestant traditions.

now that is interesting…hehehehehe:p

I guess at first glance it would seem that St. Anselm had devotion to Mary and that he recognized the benefits to himself in his spiritual journey. If it seems hard for the Protestant palette, then just chalk up to sentiment. Can you provide the actual writing of Anselm that you quote from? It might help.


I agree; how can one be Catholic and not have a special devotion to Mary? I don’t know.

Reverence and devotion are great things. Worshipping as God, no. Of course, we don’t worship Mary as God.

I agree. I can’t form in my mind how one could not revere Mary; if she was ‘good enough’, so magnificent, for God to choose to give birth to (Himself as the Son) Jesus Christ, then how could I claim to be ‘smarter’ than God and not give Mary her due?

I pray to be devoted to Mary, Mother of God. Her soul magnifies the Lord.

If one doesn’t know, I don’t know, maybe Saint
Anselm’s statement isn’t 100% spot on, never-
theless Mary is very important in our salvation.

[RIGHT](Keeping in Mind that
Saints aren’t Perfect)

What about before Mary lived? How about “Before Christ lived (became incarnate)”?

Before Jesus incarnated as a man and reconcile us to God by dying, NOBODY went to Heaven
(with exception to a few like Elijah). When Jesus died, he descended into Sheol (Abode of the
Dead), and raised all to life in Heaven. That ought to answer the “Before Mary” Question.

Now if we want to honor Jesus, we have to honor Mary, for she is our Mother as well.
When we believe, The Father becomes our Father, Jesus becomes our Brother, it is
not any HUGE leap of logic then to acknowledge that Mary is then our Mother.

HONOR Your Father (Who is in Heaven), and Your Mother as well.

How much respect do we have for Jesus
if not for His Holy Mother Mary as well ?

Trust me, we need Mary’s prayers.

What I see most people replying is actually a pretty far cry from what Anselm’s quote actually says… Is this perhaps a case of Anselm being overzealous?

I would like to see the context more, but I think it’s quite possible he is a little overzealous. You could however take it to mean that the souls of the saved who do not reverence Mary on earth do so in purgatory.

Personally, I would not really make or agree with such a statement at face value. I would agree that all the saved enjoy the protection of Mary.

Sometimes replies are in reference to other replies on the same thread. :slight_smile:

Also, quotes out of context of the whole are difficult to answer to.

Here is some more information for some of us (like me!):

I am thankful that this has shown me other quotes about Mary and Marian Theology! :thumbsup:

A good read on this is “Mary the Church at the Source” by Ratzinger and von Balthazar. Very beautiful.

Perhaps explaining the meaning of, “Revere” would help someone like myself.

I thank God for the friend who helped me come to Christ, and he thanks God and the work of the Holy Spirit for the same. Neither of us believe it was truly our doing.

My pastor sent me a book that is helping my Faith and I thank God for that, but I certainly give my pastor a thank you. I could thank God for Mary and sure, even thank Mary myself if I believed possible. What more can one ask then our complete thanks to God? What more should I do?

Or perhaps we do not understand the entire context of what he was saying because we are given only a short quote. If I were a betting man, I would bet if we look at the entire writing, it would be much clearer in its meaning.

Salvation is through Jesus, Jesus was born through Mary, thus the connection. Without Mary’s righteousness and obedience, Jesus would not have been born. This is what I see in the very small amount provided.

Mary is in perferct grace what God wills she wills
Thus Mary tries to Save you God has saved you

Sounds very poetic to me… If taken literally, I would say it is over zealousness…

Some take devotion too far… An example would be my pastor telling the congregation that we can not pray directly to God this past week and instead have to offer ourselves completely to Mary…which is contrary to how Christ asked us to pray and, for me, completely alien to the Catholic faith I was raised in…

Again, some take it too far…

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