Does Anyone Find this Odd?


#1

This may seem misplaced, but this is something of an apologetic question:

Why do so many Catholics capitalize the pronouns referring to Mary? I don’t do it in regards to either Christ OR the Church because it always made them seem impersonal to me, but I also see a reason to do so. But I see this whole thing with Mary done quite a bit and it strikes me as a little … well, strange (offensive, even), as it seems to imply deity.

I may not comprehend, but does anyone else find this to be going a little too far, or can anyone explain why this is sometimes done?


#2

Do you mean, for example, capitalizing Blessed Virgin Mary instead of writing blessed virgin Mary? I do it because to me it’s part of her title. Kind of like Mr. Smith as opposed to mister Smith.


#3

I think he means capitalizing the pronouns “She” and “Her” when referring to Mary, as in “I lit a candle to Her” or “Was She really present at Medjugorje?”


#4

If you don’t capitalize pronouns referring to Christ, you should because He is a Divine Person.

Capitalizing pronouns referring to the Church or to the BVM is unnecessary and not done in the English translations of papal or conciliar documents and catechisms.


#5

Here’s an example:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorare

I love this prayer. I don’t get why Mary gets a capital “Thy,” if you get where I’m coming from.

(By the way, like I said, I don’t captalize pronouns referring to God or Christ regularly simply because it takes an impersonal tone to me, and I don’t like that. Most modern Bible translations have their own reservations about doing this, as well, for whatever reason.)


#6

Though you (and others) may mean to imply deity when you capitalize pronouns, clearly the ones who capitalize pronouns in reference to Mary only intend to indicate honor with such capitalization.

Jeremy


#7

I suppose so …

It certainly would be misleading to Protestants, however. That’s for sure.


#8

I think that’s just a convention of British English, to honor those who have high station. IIRC they would do it for the King and Queen as well. It’s not done in American English, where such honorifics are reserved for God and for proper titles/names, as when we say “Our Lady” to refer to Mary because that is a proper title of hers. You’ll notice that the “Thys” are not capitalized in Latin (the word “tua”).

Just a linguistic convention.

Peace and God bless!


#9

I respect your sincere concern, but I doubt that capitalizing Marian pronouns would mislead a Protestant, in and of itself. On the chance occurance of a Protestant that hasn’t already decided we worship Her as diety (yes, I commonly capitalize pronouns referring to Mary as She is well beyond any other created being in glory) perhaps this would be enough to illicit curiosity, which may even lead somewhere good.


#10

Only those who are seeking to interpret their words unfavorably.

Jeremy


#11

What does it say about us English speakers that we are the only language in the world to capitalise ‘I’ then (the first person singular). In different European languages the word translates as ‘je’, ‘ich’, ‘io’, ‘yo’, ‘ego’ and so on. Not a capital letter among the lot of 'em.

Different times and places have different conventions as far as language goes. I think the responses here show you that it’s not at all a consistent practice to capitalise pronouns referring to Mary.


#12

Good point on the capitalization of “I” LilyM.

I went to Catholic elementary school, and we were taught to capitalize the pronouns for God & Christ to indicate deity and as a form of honor. We were taught to capitalize the pronouns for the Church and Mary to show honor.


#13

If I typed out President of the United States, those are capital letters, but I don’t worship the president.


#14

I personally capitalize God/Jesus as “He” but for Mary “she”. However, I do tend to refer to Mary as Mother with a capital “m”.

As a side note, I generally refer to satan with a small “s” in most commentary about that fallen angel. It seems to be too much honor for the rebellion.

Regarding what Protestants think: They will be misled if they chose to be misled. I have no problem with others referring to Marian pronouns with a capital “S” or “H” just as I have no issue with people giving satan a capital “S”.


#15

I don’t recall ever seeing the pronouns for Mary capitalized. I went to 12 years of Catholic school - back in the good old days - and we were never taught to capitalize pronouns for Mary, only for God/Jesus.

I googled “Memorare” and checked the first four (excluding the wikipedia hit), and none of them had the pronouns capitalized. Maybe someone was messing around on the wikipedia site again.

Nita


#16

I agree with this. Ever so often the subject of monarchical titles arises, & when it does, I reiterate, that I (:wink: Irish Methodist Jacobite that I am) do not recognize the titles of British royalty because I have only one Queen-- Our Lady Mary, the Queen of Heaven.

There you go!!
As another example here, I write:extrahappy: :heart: :bounce: General Thomas [Stonewall] Jackson, but I also write:banghead: :dts: :rolleyes: General Ulysses Grant. (I don’t like it, but:mad: he was a general, too).


#17

Hopefully you also write President Ulysses Grant, since his presidential title supercedes his military title :slight_smile:

Jeremy


closed #18

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