Questions and Answers About Devotion to Mary

Why Did St. Bonaventure Commend His Spirit to Mary?

St. Bonaventure, a revered Catholic saint, once said, “Into thy hands, O Lady, I commend my spirit.” This statement does not imply that he served Mary more than God, the Creator. Instead, it reflects his understanding of Mary’s unique role in God’s plan of salvation. God chose Mary to be the second Eve, the mother of Jesus, our Savior. St. Bonaventure, like the Magi from the East, knew that he would find Jesus with Mary, His mother. Thus, by commending his soul to Mary, he was essentially placing himself in the presence of Jesus. This belief is rooted in the biblical narrative of the Incarnation, where Jesus, the Word of God, came to us through Mary (John 1:14).

How is Mary Different from Our Own Mothers?

Mary holds a unique position in the history of salvation. Unlike our earthly mothers, Mary is the Mother of God. This profound truth is captured in the response of a street-Arab to a similar question, “But there’s an immense difference between the sons. My mother is the mother of me. Mary is the mother of God.” This belief is based on the biblical affirmation of Mary as the Mother of God (Luke 1:43).

Did Jesus Recognize Mary as His Mother?

Yes, Jesus recognized Mary as His mother. As the perfect Son, He honored His mother in accordance with the Fourth Commandment, “Honor thy father and thy mother” (Exodus 20:12). This is evident in the Gospel narratives where Jesus is seen being subject to Mary and Joseph (Luke 2:51), performing His first miracle at Mary’s request (John 2:1-11), and making special provision for her at the moment of His death (John 19:26-27).

What Did Jesus Mean When He Said, “Blessed are They Who Hear the Word of God and Keep It”?

When Jesus said, “Blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it” (Luke 11:28), He was not denying the blessedness of Mary. Instead, He was affirming that the true blessedness lies in hearing the word of God and keeping it, a virtue that Mary exemplified throughout her life. This interpretation is consistent with Mary’s own prophecy: “From henceforth, all generations shall call me blessed” (Luke 1:48).

Why Do Catholics Call Mary the Queen of Heaven?

Catholics call Mary the Queen of Heaven because she is in heaven with Jesus, the King of Heaven. This belief is rooted in the biblical imagery of Mary as the woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head (Revelation 12:1).

Why Do Catholics Pray to Mary?

Catholics pray to Mary because they believe that she can intercede for them before God. This practice is rooted in the biblical tradition of seeking the intercession of righteous individuals (James 5:16). Moreover, Catholics believe that Mary, as the Mother of Christ, has a unique intercessory role. This belief is supported by the Wedding at Cana narrative, where Jesus performed His first miracle at Mary’s request (John 2:1-11).

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Is Mary Omnipotent?

No, Mary is not omnipotent. Only God is omnipotent. However, through Mary, we have access to the omnipotence of God. This belief is rooted in the understanding of Mary as the Mediatrix of all graces, a role that she exercises in complete dependence on Christ, the one mediator between God and humanity (1 Timothy 2:5).

How Do Catholics Know That Mary Hears Their Prayers?

Catholics believe that Mary hears their prayers based on the teaching of the Church, the use of reason, and their personal experience. The Church, founded by Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit, teaches that Mary, being in heaven, is more fully united with God and can intercede for us. Reason also suggests that if Mary could hear and respond to our requests on earth, she can do so even more perfectly in heaven. Finally, many Catholics have experienced the power of Mary’s intercession in their lives, further confirming this belief.

How Can the Mediation of Mary Be Reconciled with the Mediation of Christ?

The mediation of Mary does not contradict or compete with the mediation of Christ. Instead, it complements it. Christ is the principal mediator in His own right, while Mary is a secondary mediatrix, through, with, and in Christ. This understanding is rooted in the doctrine of the Communion of Saints, which emphasizes the profound spiritual solidarity among all members of the Body of Christ, both in heaven and on earth (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).

Is Devotion to Mary Biblical?

Yes, devotion to Mary is biblical. The Bible presents Mary as the Mother of God (Luke 1:43), the woman blessed among all women (Luke 1:42), and the woman whose blessedness transcends all generations (Luke 1:48). Moreover, the Bible encourages Christians to honor those who are righteous and to seek their intercession (James 5:16). Therefore, honoring Mary and seeking her intercession are practices that are in line with the biblical tradition.

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