Is it wrong to believe in Mary as a type of Elijah?

Greetings! This will probably strike most readers as either very weird or very arcane. There is an idea of Marian typology that’s come up on some Catholic blogs: That Mary in her recent apparitions, particularly at Fatima, is a type of Elijah; that she is ‘one in **the spirit and power **of Elijah’, that Blessed Mary is the Elijah who is to come and restore all things (i.e., restore faithfulness and fidelity to G_D, as the original Elijah did to Israel in Scripture.)

I thought the idea was interesting when I first read it about a year and a half ago; now I’ve seen it on a number of Catholic blogs and it’s got me wondering. I don’t know if this is just the bloggers reading each other or if it’s a movement, possibly a PhD thesis that got released into the wild. My biggest concern is that such a belief is contradictory to Catholic teachings.

Keeping in mind that typologies are not one-to-one correspondences, the reasons I’ve read for this Marian Elijah typology are:

Elijah was assumed into Heaven.
Blessed Mary was assumed into Heaven.

Elijah came during a time of nearly extinguished faith - apostasy.
Blessed Mary has come when (according to her words in the 1630s about our present day) the faith is nearly extinguished.

Elijah called down fire on the water-soaked sacrifice so that the People of God would believe their God, is God. And the fire left the trench dry;
Blessed Mary called down the fiery sun at Fatima onto the water-soaked sacrificial people so that the people would believe. And the fiery sun left the ground and the people dry.

Elijah called down the fire on Mount Carmel.
Our Lady is also known as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. And her last appearance to Lucia at Fatima was as Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Can anyone show me or tell me if this line of reasoning is contrary to Catholic teaching? If not, is it worth exploring and possibly promoting?

In this regard, Elijah (and Enoch) were types of St. Mary. Both Elijah and Enoch are often cited when defending the doctrine of the Assumption.

Elijah came during a time of nearly extinguished faith - apostasy.
Blessed Mary has come when (according to her words in the 1630s about our present day) the faith is nearly extinguished.

I would want to see more documentation about both types.

Elijah called down fire on the water-soaked sacrifice so that the People of God would believe their God, is God. And the fire left the trench dry;
Blessed Mary called down the fiery sun at Fatima onto the water-soaked sacrificial people so that the people would believe. And the fiery sun left the ground and the people dry.

This seems like a stretch. The sacrifice of Elijah was utterly burnt. I see no reason to categorize the witnesses of Fatima as “sacrificial people” (and they surely were not burnt). And, besides, I’m a bit uncomfortable with establishing a type based on a private revelation, which is not binding upon the Faithful.

Elijah called down the fire on Mount Carmel.
Our Lady is also known as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. And her last appearance to Lucia at Fatima was as Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Again, this seems a stretch. There might be a relation between both Elijah and St. Mary with Mt. Carmel, but this does not establish typology.

Can anyone show me or tell me if this line of reasoning is contrary to Catholic teaching?

It is not contrary. The first item alone is enough to establish that Elijah is a type of St. Mary - a unique attribute from God (assumption) that both shared, and it is often used to support the doctrine of the Assumption. I think that the other three citations are questionable or simply coincidental, and they serve to detract from the point rather than supporting it.

No. And I’ll explain later on. I have to leave for Church soon.

Glenda

That’s pretty much what I would say.

There’s nothing in Catholic teaching that I can think of that would forbid anyone from even attempting to make comparisons between Mary and Elijah. It would be much different if someone was arguing that Mary was Elijah re-incarnated or something like that.

But a simple comparison is not really “wrong”. The key is in the supporting evidence. And people will either find it to be a good comparison or a bad comparison. :shrug:

I think St. John The Baptist was also mentioned as being a similar type by The Angel Gabriel: Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him (Jesus) in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

I believe St. Mary died and then was assumed while Elijah never died, thus many believe he will be one of the two witnesses that will fight against the forces of antichrist as mentioned in Rev.

I personally feel a sense of disappointment about Fatima in that Our Lady’s requests, if followed by the faithful, would turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord when She returns the seventh time. But then again, its not binding on the faithful, is it.:frowning:

I don’t have much at stake in this, but I think a general principle to bear in mind is that an idea can be wrong or even silly (not saying that this one is silly) without being contrary to the Faith.

I don’t see how this particular view could be contrary to the Faith. That is to say, I don’t see any doctrine that it could possibly contradict, even if it’s far-fetched (again, not passing judgment on the idea).

In traditional Christian art, the Blessed Virgin is often paired with John the Baptist in depictions of the Crucifixion (at least she is so portrayed in the wonderful Issenheim Altarpiece, but I don’t think that work is unique by any means). And we know that J the B is, in a certain sense, “Elijah.” Both the BVM and John the B prepared the way for Christ. So perhaps they were both “Elijahs” in different ways.

Edwin

Hello Muzhik.

Actually I think your on the wrong track with Mary and Elijah. They aren’t the same people. Typology isn’t to compare persons or blur the lines between them, it is show a shadowing of future persons and events in the older Scriptures. It reveals a pattern in Salvation History that points to God’s ultimate plan and the working out of that plan through time.

I also think calling Mary, the Mother of God, some else isn’t exactly how I choose to see her and I also think it is not how Jesus or His Church wants us to think of Mary. She isn’t al alter-Elijah. That role, if it is a valid description of Elijah’s part and spirit, was passed to St. John, the Baptist and Jesus even asked us to accept that he is in the spirit of Elijah, the forerunner of the Messiah. Those things are done deals. Not to be repeated. The Messiah came. His name is Jesus. It is a distortion of Mariology to place Mary, God’s Mother in the role you’d like to place her in. You’ve flipped things around a bit but I don’t care much for the spin. Thanks for sharing though.

Glenda

Hello Contarini.

The John in the art you’re speaking of isn’t St. John the Baptist, but St. John the Evangelist. St. John the Baptist had been beheaded by Herod previous to the Passion and Death of our Lord on the Cross. The Baptist was dead at the time and awaiting the Redemption of Israel with all the other souls who would be saved at the 1st Resurrection on Easter Morning. Art depicts St. John the Evangelist, with Mary, God’s Mother and sometimes St. Mary of Magdelena also. It is the Evangelist who took her into his home as the Scripture states. He is the only one of the Apostles to have witnessed the Crucifixion. The others having fled or been run off. He is also the only one who wasn’t a Martyr.

Glenda

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