Why do we venerate Mary?

Dear Apologists,

I am not really against the veneration of the Blessed Mother of Jesus, as I fully understand that it’s not worship. I would just like to know what the significance is. Why do we kneel before the statues and focus our minds and hearts on Mary? Why do we pray to her, asking her to pray for us, as if we can’t pray for ourselves? Sometimes we even ask her to protect us. My question is, what is the significance? I am asking this as a Catholic who finds it really hard to answer such questions from my protestant friends.

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

The following links should help answer your question about venerating Mary. If you have any further questions, please contact Catholic Answers directly.

Recommended Reading:

The Intercession of the Saints (Fathers*)
Praying to the Saints
Saint Worship?
Do Catholics Worship Statues?
Immaculate Conception and Assumption
Mary: Ever Virgin (Fathers*)
Mary: Full of Grace (Fathers*)
Mary: Mother of God (Fathers*)

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.