Images of Mary - words to venerate by?

I found this article to interesting and thought provoking:

I tend to agree with the author… you?

I don’t agree.
We don’t need Jesus in every picture of Mary or a saint to know he’s central.

How about a painting of Mary as a child with her mother, Anne? Jesus wasn’t conceived yet.

A painting of Mary receiving the angel? Jesus wasn’t conceived till she said yes, and even after conception, wouldn’t have been visible to the human eye yet as he was in the womb and too small to make a “baby bump”. Might also not have been showing to the human eye yet when Mary visited Elizabeth, so if we painted that, no Jesus in the picture either.

A painting of Mary appearing to St. James on the pillar at Zaragoza? Jesus did not appear there. We may presume he knew of the meeting or was present in some way not visible to human eyes, but it wasn’t an apparition of Jesus.

A painting of Mary on earth near the time of her Assumption? Jesus wasn’t there. I suppose the painting could be extended to show him in Heaven but it seems unnecessary.

A painting of Mary grieving after Jesus was placed in the tomb? Jesus is in the tomb. He’s not there.

A painting of Mary and Joseph frantically looking for Jesus when he got lost for 3 days as a boy? No Jesus there either, unless we’re just going to paint the scene where he’s found.

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I read the article, the author does make exceptions, the annunciation, Our Lady of Guadalupe…interesting, with OLG, well, the author notes, she is pregnant (see article).

Your post is almost as long as the article.

I don’t think the article lays out the author’s ideas in a clear-cut way.

The author just seems like another person who is troubled by some idea that people are “worshipping Mary”. He doesn’t come out and say so, but it’s clear his concern is that we somehow lose the focus on/ relevance of Christ when we look at a picture of Mary alone.

I continue to be baffled as to why some people have such concern about this. If they meet someone who does not understand Mary in relation to Jesus, they can surely explain it, but I have never met any Mary devotee who did not also practice significant devotions to Jesus. In my areas, a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary went hand in hand. People did not do one and not do the other.

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Did you read the article? The scenarios you mention are addressed.

The point is that parts of the Church have this tradition and he believes it should be brought back and expanded…

I read the article and my feeling is that of Victoria33. I did not get the same takeaway from it that you did.

Just because something is traditional in one part of the Church it doesn’t mean that we all need to follow it unless the Vatican decides everyone should.

I would say that a huge problem with the Church today is that some group has some tradition or some idea, it might work well for them in context, but they are not content with that, they need to push it on everyone else out there.

I see these sorts of articles as veiled attempts to limit the veneration of Mary, as if it’s becoming a problem. The guy dresses it up in all sorts of tradition to try to persuade other people that he’s motivated by something other than his own problems with Mary veneration. I’m not buying it.

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"I have reflected on this and am inclined to think that as far as possible, we should follow the East and consider a painting of Our Lady without some indication of her relationship to her Son to be unworthy of veneration."


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I’m sorry you see it that way… I do not have that intent and don’t think the author does either.

The same way you think that any article that seemingly limits Mary is nefarious, many of us believe the opposite and that Marian devotion is often forced on the faithful … for instance my parish priest started inserting Marian prayers in to the Mass (technically a liturgical abuse) Seems like there is room for middle ground. Although I find it hard to understand how anyone would see wanting reference to God in these icons as a problem…

Remember God is essential… everything else is not

And like St Montfort said in his Treatise…’With the whole Church I acknowledge that Mary, being a mere creature fashioned by the hands of God is, compared to his infinite majesty, less than an atom, or rather is simply nothing, since he alone can say, “I am he who is”. Consequently, this great Lord, who is ever independent and self-sufficient, never had and does not now have any absolute need of the Blessed Virgin for the accomplishment of his will and the manifestation of his glory. To do all things he has only to will them.’

What does this have to do with anything?
It’s annoying to me when people minimize Mary.
That has nothing to do with her being a replacement for Christ or God.

The problem with trying to discuss Mary at all on this forum is that if one expresses any kind of devotion to Mary, or disagrees with anyone seeking to limit Mary because they’re afraid she’s taking too much attention off Christ, it triggers a lecture like the one you just gratuitously made. Over and over and over.

I don’t think this is much of a discussion, because all I see here is that you posted an article, expected people to agree with it, and when they don’t, you use it as a platform to make all the same speeches about how Mary isn’t essential that we’ve already read 100 times on the forum. If she’s not essential, why did you make yet another Mary thread?

Anyway, I’ll let you have the last word. I don’t think this is productive discussion, as we are all free to hang whatever reverent Mary Art we like in our home and ignore people who think we should only use pictures of Mary with Jesus or hung next to a Jesus picture. Good evening.


Sheesh Awful snarky…

Good evening

And yet God chose her as a new ark of the covenant. And when she said ‘they have no wine’ Jesus graciously granted her wish. I’d rather go with Jesus and respect our spiritual mother. Holy Mother of God, pray for us sinners :pray:


I’m definitely with Jesus and respect Mary… I was only quoting a great Marian saint after being accosted for thinking a tradition in the Eastern Catholic Church was a good one…I guess only maximalist Marian devotion is allowed. I just prefer the Via Media…

Your words:

You are entitled to your opinion but I disagree with you. I leave it at that.

As are you my friend … good news is that the Church allows great latitude for personal beliefs and devotions. I trust that I do not love Mary any less than you or another as a result of my devotional practices being different…

No, I am afraid I don’t agree at all. This isn’t Catholic. Not Roman Catholic. Every Catholic Church I have ever been in has paintings / transfers with Mary only, notably Guadalupe etc.

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You are certainly free to no like this Catholic tradition, but it is definitely Catholic.

BTW - The Guadalupe image has reference to Mary being pregnant with Jesus. The black ribbon on her waist indicates with child. That is called out specifically on the article

And the statues throughout the church? Our lady under knots? Should I catalog all the other images?

No you don’t need to catalog them. I’m aware of them. As the Eastern Catholic tradition goes, I just don’t venerate them.

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