why do we as catholics hold mary in such high esteem?
Why do we Catholics hold Mary in such high esteem? (I never tire of answering this one.) For starters, because God does! It was God the Father who sent the angel Gabriel to salute her: “Hail, full of grace!” Up to that point when an angel appeared to a human being, it was the human being that showed reverence to the angel; not the angel to the human being. But God determined that Mary would co-operate with Him in making the Savior present to the world. Her very womb became a tabernacle. She alone had the sublime honor of nursing God at her breast! Because of the sublime relationship she would have with the Son of God, God created her to be spotless and free from original sin. You see, Mary is special because of how much more special Jesus is. When people look down on Mary, without realizing it, they are suggesting that Jesus doesn’t deserve so special a mother. But Catholics have always recognized that He does.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.