An Evangelical friend of mine loves quoting St Paul, Acts of the Apostles and all the following epistles about nowhere in there stating about the intercession/veneration of Mary or the saints and they were part of the early church/early Christians. I was trying to tell her that it was part of something the early Christians did even though it is not explicitly stated in Scripture (Marionology aside). Is there anywhere that talks about this as being a historical practice? Any help would be appreciated Thank you
Hi Natgi! You could mention that Jesus gave Mary to the beloved disciple while hanging on the cross. In other words, the ones that Jesus loves are the ones who make a place for Mary in their homes, their hearts - devotion - that is Scripture. Also, one of the commandments is to honour our Mother and Father. This doesn’t just mean our immediate parents, as many don’t have two parents! It means our Mother and Father in Heaven. So we have the ‘Our Father’, followed by the ‘Hail Mary’. The ‘Hail Mary’ is made up from events in Scripture - the first three lines are when the angel greeted Mary, and the next two from the Visitation. Also, Jesus, at the Wedding Feast of Cana humbly did what His Mother prayed for - for Him to turn water into wine - so if Jesus did what Our Lady humbly asked of him in humble subjection, even though He was God, then we also, as co-heirs with Christ, are obliged to honour His mother with the same obedience, love and affection. All in Scripture:)
…also, the term ‘Marianology’ seems to suggest something apart from Scripture. All understanding of Scripture comes from prayerful reading and analysis. In terms of early Christians being recorded as celebrating Mary’s role after Christ’s death; if Luke, who wrote a gospel, was one and the same Luke who wrote for St. Paul, then they all knew each other. And it is suggested that there were reasons, very good ones, why the prayerful reading and analysis of Scripture over time would be the way that Our Lady’s role would be eventually revealed.
There was even veneration of Mary before Christ’s coming! When the angel Gabriel came to announce the incarnation of Our Lord, he venerated Mary saying “Hail! Full of grace! The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women!” “Hail” is a word only used for roman emperors of the time. And again, St. Elizabeth states, “Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of the womb! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” St. Elizabeth even humbles herself before the Queen of Heaven and earth! And let us not forget that St. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit
Miguelmdza’s reply regarding the word ‘Hail’ is nicely explained, and significant!
I don’t think this correct. It is my understanding that “Hail” was a common greeting at the time. Jesus Christ himself greets the women at his tomb with “Hail”:
And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Hail!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. (Matthew 28:9)
In my CTS version of the Bible, the words read: “Rejoice, so highly favoured…”.
I believe the word “hail” could be used by royalty or for royalty. I think the context determines which way it is being used. In the context of Luke 1:28, Mary specifically wonders why this greeting was used, and the angel knows her thoughts and says it is because she will be the mother of the new king – “he shall sit on the throne of His father David”. Thus, the context shows that she is addressed as royalty because she will be the mother of a prince, and the mother of a prince is the queen.
Mary is still called “so highly favoured [one].” (I am assuming that “one” is after “favoured”). Again, this shows how important she was, if she was highly favoured. And it also shows Gabriel’s recognition of Mary’s role, thus, showing that Gabriel venerated Mary. Either way, Gabriel’s salutation was a form of veneration to Mary.
I also forgot to mention when Mary prophesized her veneration when she states, “From now on, all generations shall call me blessed!”
Thanks all for your responses so far. As far as the writings of the Saints go on Mary, is it official Church teaching/official prayers? Take for instance the below consecration from St Maximilian Kolbe… They object to things such as God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you, it is through your hands all graces come to us, so on and so forth.
O Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, (name), a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you.
If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: “She will crush your head,” and, “You alone have destroyed all heresies in the world.” Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter, you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Was reading a book written by a non Catholic , on
'curse breaking ‘’ and got up to the point of warnings about 'conjuring the dead ’ etc . using Old Testament writings .
One very good thing from The Church proclaiming the Dogma of The Assumption is ,
helping the faithful to have the trust and gratitude to God for what He has done for our human nature and persons , through the Incarnation , Passion and Resurrection ; the saints understood that well .
It is often through other persons that evil comes into our lives and thus God, in His mercy , brings many to counter same , helping us to feel loved by God and these others , all the while also being able to pray /wish that those who brought us pain also be able to have such nearness /love from God , inorder to be set free and even bless others !
When The Lord descended to the Limbo after His death ,He allowed the souls of the just to be with The Father ; Book of Revelation attests to their presence and interceding , in heaven ; asking for their help, to help us to take in with trust, God’s love for us is a way to also live in The Kingdom - the highest level of happiness of knowing that one is loved by God and staying away from attitudes / deceptions that would keep one away from that truth !
Idolatry of giving to persons / things / ideas , the roles / power/ worth, that are against the fidlity that is owed to God and His truth , is very much with us still.
That , in turn can keep many from efforts to know and accept His love for us , in the depth of our hearts , wherein might lie hidden idols of unforgiveness /pride etc , which , at times only come to ligt , in moments of pain, that one has not really taken in the truth of HIs love - for each of His children , for His Church , thus of desiring same and helping others to see same for themselves and others , so that they too would not be cause of undue greed and pain for others .
Such idolatry is what haunts persons /societies at large , with pain /divsions , wars and all such !
The saints had heroically dealt with many such …and in the long line of connections, may be some of them might even have been persecuted by persons in our own very familiy lines , leading to 'curses ’ of a sort - asking them to pray for us would be sort of like what Job did for his friends ,to increase the power of love /role of the saints and benefitting us , to be in that love as well !
Asking Bl.Mother to fill us with her love , to fill the other with that love is a good way to withstand the burning arrows of the enemy which often can try to take one to moments of pain, injustice etc , as a means to rob one of the truth of God’s of love ; The Fathe rknew same well and thus , gives us a Mother to keep us close, in The KIngdom !
Glory be !
Yes and more…it has Jewish roots:
*The first real blow to this interpretation came when I read Peter Brown’s book, The Cult of Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity.
Brown challenged my view that the place of saints and relics in the church was a mere holdover from paganism, and that the practice was somehow peripheral to true Christianity. Instead, Brown painted a picture of ancient Christianity and paganism in which relics were indispensable to the former, and repulsive to the latter. Far from a holdover from paganism, the place of relics in the Church appeared as something intensely Jewish, Hebraic, and Old Testament. Pagans, like Julian-the-Apostate, found the practice revolting and legislated against it. (Paganism, with its notions of ritual purity, had strictly delimited the realm of divine worship and neatly separated it from the realm of corpses and the dead.)
*In the Introduction to the book, titled “How I Discovered the Jewish Origins of Catholicism”, essentially giving an overview of his conversion to Catholicism after being a priest in another faith, Dr. Marshall recounts an experience he had talking with a Rabbi in a hospital waiting room (Dr. Marshall was visiting someone as a priest), who told him that Jews believe that “if someone is suffering and you invoke the name of his or her mother in prayer, God will be more merciful in granting your prayer for that person“. Dr. Marshall then goes on to make a connection with the Catholic veneration of the Virgin Mary, and goes on from there:
If Jews believed that invoking the mother of someone caused God to be more gracious in answering an intercession, then wouldn’t the name of Mary be worth invoking? Even more, Mary wasn’t just an ordinary mother. She was the only person ever created who could speak to God about our Son. That’s when it hit me. Catholic devotion to Mary is not merely based on sound Christological arguments. Veneration for the Blessed Mother is not just only in the writings of the early Church. Reaching back even further, the Church reveres and invokes the Blessed Mother because it inherited the Jewish custom of showing profound reverence for the spiritual role of the mother in a family. The rabbi’s answer was a surprising confirmation that Catholic customs are rooted in a Jewish understanding of reality.
Thank you for this ; good to see the light of truth anywhere and how that infused truth leads to deeper understandings of the truth ; Incarnation and the bestowing of His Spirit , through The Passion , hearts thus freed ever more deeply from enemy pacts with its hatreds and lies , give us the role , power and respeonsibilty ,in His holy Priesthood, to thus join hearts , for good ; thus reciting the powerful words of blessing in the Hail Mary , has to be seen as one such maginificent blessing ;
kids misbehaving - take few mins or several, often through the day , to invoke the above blessings , with the mothers, mothers of the fathers and so on …all the way to big kids who too misbehave !
And that might be what the Holy Father meant is ’ true submission ’ that has no place for violence and how those who know the Mother only partially , ’ with us ’ , thus can worship The Father , in the truth of the dignity and love that He has for every human life !
Venerating the angels and Saints is in the Old Testament.
Read Sirach chapter 44 to 50, which is nothing but praise and veneration of Saints. You also see the intercession and apparitions of the prophet Jeremiah in 2 Maccabees. There is also plenty of examples of people venerating angels, such as Joshua kneeling before St. Michael in Joshua chapter 5.
In the New Testament, Hebrews 12 speaks of the cloud of witnesses that intercedes for us and helps us and Revelation shows many examples of the Saints and Angels in Heaven praying and delivering the prayers of the faithful in bowls and vials. The NT also tells us to give honor to whom honor is due, and if honor is not due to God’s holy ones, I’m not sure if it can be said to be due anyone…
I agree with the above post; St. Paul, I think.
Also, another time, St. Paul in Galatians 4:26-31, says that Jerusalem is a free woman and is our Mother. From the way St. Paul goes on to speak of our ‘inheritance’, one might be inclined to investigate this further, as to whether he may have, with subtlety, been referring to Our Lady, while also pointing back to Sarah and Abraham as a root comparison. And the following post would add weight to the theory also:
- so if St. Paul was indeed pointing to Our Lady in this passage of the NT then what else is a group of followers supposed to do but honour their one Mother? This is common sense, and it made Jewish sense!
One other time prophets were shown great reverence was when two prophets - Abraham and Elijah appeared next to Jesus during the Transfiguration, and Peter offered to put up three tents.
I forgot to mention, that I first saw Gal. 4:26 referenced as a nod to Our lady, in the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin.
Happy Feast Day!
I think that Mary’s wondering in v.29 may have less to do with the form of greeting, and more to do with “You have been favoured. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.” That would have been quite a shock.
In Greek, the salutation form is καιρε, which is an everyday expression (cf. James 1:1), and the Vulgate has have which was apparently much the same (q.v. Colloquial and Literary Latin, ed. by Dickey and Chahoud, pp.112-3).
Ave (or have, if you like to aspirate) did mean “hail,” but it was a normal Roman greeting along the lines of “Hello.” It could be used on formal occasions also, such as soldiers saluting the Emperor, or gladiators doing the same.
It was used as an equivalent translation of the normal Greek greeting “Chaire,” which does mean, “Rejoice,” and also is related to “charis,” grace. On occasions when you weren’t being greeted by an angel, it was pretty similar to saying, “Good day!” or “Hope you’re feeling happy!”
Now, obviously in the specific situation, the angel’s greeting takes on extra meaning. But in the normal way of things, it is normal.
OTOH, nobody comes to your door and calls you “kecharitomene.” Not even in flowery Greek poetry.