Why BLESSED Virgin Mary, rather than St. Mary?

This may sound like a dumb question, but I wonder why we call Mary “Blessed” rather than Saint Mary? I’m thinking it’s because of the Bible verse that states she will always be called Blessed, but I wonder if it’s confusing because others who have died and are called “Blessed” are not officially Saints, and we know she is in heaven.

Is she ever called Saint Mary?

Simply because Mary can be seen as a step higher than most Saints, but nowhere near as high as Jesus. As described as some theologian (I’m not quite sure who): Saints are worthy of dulia, or veneration. Mary is worthy of hyperdulia; or special veneration. God alone is worthy of latria, or worship.

Our Lady is frequently called St. Mary, especially in names of churches (St. Mary of the Snows, St. Mary Mother of God, St. Mary of the Assumption, etc.) dedicated to her. In Latin, the term Santa Maria means either St. Mary or Holy Mary; it is the same word n Latin.

I guess that’s why I think it’s confusing, because the title “Blessed” seems lower than the Saints, since that person isn’t a Saint yet.

I love Mary very much! Here is a beautiful youtube I watched recently… (turn sound up)


I did not know that, thank you. :slight_smile:

In Eastern Christianity, Blessed can also equal sainthood since there is no formal canonization process in those churches.

Also, in the Coptic Church they refer to her as The Holy Theotokos, Saint Mary in their liturgy.

I believe it was St. Thomas Aquinas that said she was the greatest saint of all because of all the graces bestowed upon her. Those graces were necessary so she could be the Mother of our Lord and never have original sin or commit sin.

An interesting concept, but I am not sure Billy Joel is Catholic, especially in light of the controversy surrounding some questionable verses in his song “Only the Good Die Young” (you can look it up on wikipedia; it doesn’t deserve space here).

But yes, she is often referred to as St. Mary in the east, as well as by the traditional descriptors/honorifics (e.g., theotokos). Here is a hymn sung by priest and martyr of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq, Fr. Rageed Ganni, dedicated to Mary: “Ya Walidat Allah” (Oh, Mother of God)

It’s biblical:

Luke 1:48b
“For behold,henceforth all generations will call me blessed

emphasis mine…

Actually “blessed” is applied both to saints and to Blesseds. A bit confusing, but usually when applied to saints we mean it in a less formal way - less of a designation, but more of an attribute, if you will. That’s why the Latin lectionery actually says “A reading from the Epistle of blessed Paul the apostle to the…” or in some religious orders or congregations, they may refer to “blessed X, our Father/Mother”.

Makes sense - thank you. :slight_smile:

Billy Joel is soooo not Catholic. His parents were Jewish. Not sure if he shares their faith… I’m certain he didn’t write that song for Mary - but I think who ever put the pictures to the music did a great job. Now when I hear that song, I will think of her.

I very much enjoyed viewing the link you posted. Sad though… May he rest in peace.

You mean the video in the link? Not the Billy Joel song?

The town (and the basilica) at the bottom of the Hill upon which the town of Assisi sits is called Santa Maria degli Angeli which translates to Saint Mary of the Angles. I’ve also been told that this was the full name given to the mission that is now the city of Los Angeles (except in Spanish rather than Italian). I prefer to call her My Mother in Heaven.

According to Wikipedia (a horrible source, I know, but non-horrible sources back this up):

Los Angeles was founded September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of the river of Porziuncola).


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