I'm a lifelong Catholic and I struggle a great deal with Marian veneration.
It is not difficult for me to accept that she prays for us. Rev 5:8, 8:3-4 indicate that the saints in Heaven pray, and if those in Heaven lack nothing then their prayers are not for themselves, nor are they only for adoration (since supplication and intercession are forms of prayer). So yes, Mary prayers for us.
Should we imitate Mary, at least what we know of her? Absolutely. Paul exhorts us to imitate him as he imitates Christ (1 Cor 11:1), and to imitate those who are in the Lord (1 Thess 1:6, Heb 6:12). This exhortation to imitate Mary occurs early, the earliest being a 4th century epistle titled "Ex Virginibus" in which the author (whose name escapes me) exhorts holy virgins to imitate Mary in conduct. Likewise, it's worthy to imitate St. Francis, St. Theresa of Lisieux, and the other saints who have left us a record of their lives in seeking to live in a way that honors Christ.
But as for veneration ... that's a more difficult question and that's where I struggle. It is true that the earliest hymn to Mary, sub tuum praesidium dates back to the 3rd century and that it is directed to Mary (rather than third person, ie thanking God for Mary) and asks Mary for blessing (rather than asking Mary to pray to God on our behalf). But when we look at the record of other writings, this is not a consistent theme.
It appears that veneration of Mary increased through the centuries, with major events including the introduction of the (or rather, the institution of a standard) Rosary, and efforts by French priests in the 17th and 18th centuries to focus devotions upon Mary. St. Louis de Montfort is a name you'll often hear, and what he writes about Mary is honestly difficult to reconcile with other Catholic teaching if we take it literally - he imputes substantial trust in Mary for protection, salvation, and roles in the end times. It is a deeply pious work that has inspired a number of Catholics, including many Popes, to exhort Marian devotion to a large extent. I'd also credit Montfort's writings with encouraging a following that has led to the promulgation of four Marian dogmas and a number of Marian feast days. Montfort was arguably the first to involve Mary in predestination, stating that devotion to Mary is a sign of salvation while a lack of devotion is a sign of reprobation.
[quote="Hokomai, post:4, topic:293709"]
Did Mary die? But an excellent question. I would have thought that if the Church is correct about theBVM, there should be rather more scriptural evidence of her recognition in the very early Church. Is she mentioned at all in Paul's writings? Is there a teaching which covers this?
The Church technically accepts both death (calling it "dormition" or a temporary state) and assumption while living. The former hasn't been common for probably 50 years or more.
She's scarcely mentioned in Scripture after the Gospels - a note that she's with the disciples in Ac: 1:14, a note about Jesus being born of woman (I can't find the cite at the moment).
[quote="Chuck1, post:3, topic:293709"]
But was the devotion as we know it today well apart from the rosary there before she died becuase then they would pray to her while she was on earth could she hear and interside our prayers if u c what I mean ?
The Rosary as it exists, legend has it, began in the early 13th century in an apparition to Saint Benedict. There was certainly Marian devotion prior to that time, but it certainly increased in acceptance and importance after the advent of the Rosary.
As far as while she was on earth, refer back to Acts. She prayed in the community of disciples. It is not known whether they approached her or considered her in some special regard, certainly they cared for and provided for her (since she lived in John's house after the Crucixion, at least for a time).