Going too far with Mary?


I am very comfortable with the idea of praying to Mary and the Saints for their intercession. Asking for prayers from those so close to God is very logical. My question is, how do we know when we’ve gone too far in venerating the Saints?

Words like, “our life, our sweetness and our hope” in the Hail Holy Queen are sometimes difficult for me to say, because I feel like I may be giving too much honor to Mary. I fully trust in the authority of the Church, or I would not have converted to the Faith. I just would like to know to what extent are Saints, especially Mary, able to bless us, and when have we gone too far?


Dear Mr.,

What is the context here? We are saluting Mary: “Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope.” Now how would the mother of Mercy, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, be our life, sweetness and hope? Think about this, now! Is there any way that she could be our life, sweetness and hope APART from her being the mother of Mercy? Of course not! But as the mother of Mercy she IS our queen, and our sweetness because she accepted the Father’s will for her and by means of her womb she gave us our Savior.

Is she not our hope? Generations of generations
longed for the day when the human race would be redeemed. They hoped for the Gate of heaven to open and give us the Messiah. Mary is that gate. Mary is that hope.

With Jesus and Mary, the rule of thumb is: Love Jesus as Mary loves Him. And love Mary as Jesus loves her! Don’t ever be afraid to use the terms of endearment that the Church uses for the Mother of God.

If we sound reckless at times when we address or speak of the holy ones it is because of their close proximity to Holiness Himself!

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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