Roles of the Virgin Mary- based on lecture


I am taking a History of Christianity class this Summer Session, and we have two graduate students. Part of their grade is based on presentations they make to the class. Today, one of the grad students gave a presentation on the “Cult of the Virgin Mary”.

Various things were mentioned in the presentation that I questions, but more specifically were the prescribed roles of Mary. Here is what was presented (with ? for those I am most confused about).
Can any of you explain these to me, where they come from, etc?

Roles of Virgin Mary

  • The second Eve and Mother of all the living
  • Presides over peace and war (?)
  • Guardian of cities and people
  • Protectress of virgins
  • Healer and midwife (?)
  • Through her Son, she can being fertility and consolation to the living
  • Resuscitating sinners and sustaining the damned
  • Delivering souls from purgatory
  • Reprieve for the sufferings of sinners after death
    - Mother of Mercy
    - pleads humanities cause before the seat of God
    (transforms the God of Justice into a God of Mercy)


the ‘CULT’ of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God…and all of …?


Hence why I put it in quotations.

Hence why I am attempting to find some answers


First off, a “cult” merely means devotion, not a cult in the modern sense of the word…another way of saying “The Cult of Mary” would simply be “Marian Devotion”

Mary the Second Eve:
scroll down

Mary as Mother of the Living spreads from that idea as the second eve, since we find life (eternal life) through Christ alone.

Same as with Mother of Mercy. Jesus is Mercy and Mary is His mother.


The Latin word ‘cultus’, from which ‘cult’ derives, is used in Church documents all the time to refer to the veneration and honour given to saints and beati. They probably didn’t intend to use the word ‘cult’ negatively, but should perhaps (with a bit of explanation) stick to the Latin.


It is also where we get the word “culture”


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