21st Century Catholic Evangelization brought to you by the Evangelization Committee of the National Conference of Catechetical Leadership

What Does the Catholic Church Believe About Mary?

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Mary has been one of the most influential women in history, but her influence on the Catholic Church is often overlooked. Although she died more than 1,400 years ago, she is still considered by the Church to be the most important of the three disciples of Jesus and has been associated with some of the greatest events in church history.

The Catholic Church believes that Mary, Mother of Jesus, is the holiest woman who has ever lived. She was the mother of Jesus, whose life, death, and resurrection are central to the story of salvation. The Catholic Church now venerates her as Saint Mary, Mother of God, through whose intercession the faithful are guaranteed to be accepted into heaven. Each year, thousands of Catholic pilgrims travel to Mary’s tomb in Jerusalem, where they pray, sing songs, and light candles to honor Mary’s memory.

Mary and the Catholic Mariology

The Mother of God has always been a very important part of the Catholic faith, but her importance has taken on new dimensions over the years. Her Immaculate Conception has been proclaimed by the Church, her Assumption by many, her Assumption into heaven by others. But, there are other recent changes in Catholic Mariology that make her a more important part of the Church’s life. One is the strong emphasis on the Virgin Mary since the beginning of the Second Vatican Council. The other is the widespread interest in Mary’s mission in the modern world.

The four Marian dogmas are the principles that the Church teaches about the person of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

These are:

  1. Mother of God
  2. Immaculate conception
  3. Perpetual virginity
  4. Assumption

As the Catholic Church grew, so did dogmas. Many dogmas, like the immaculate conception, are much disputed. However, there are four dogmas that are much disputed and much-debated about. These dogmas form the basis of the study of Mary, or Mariology.

Catholic Mariology refers to the Catholic Church’s systematic study of Mary as a person, Mother of Jesus, as well as of her role in the Economy of Salvation. With this, the Catholic Church had undertaken the study of the life of Mary from different perspectives as well as within several contexts. According to Pope Benedict the XVIth, this study should be understood as well as thoroughly examined through various prospective. He also stressed that this study should not be done separately with Mariology, Christology, the Church, and other disciplines.

Mary and Her Role in the Catholic Church

Mary is a relatively minor figure in the New Testament, but that does not mean that she has no significance for Catholics. Mary is thought to have been a young Jewish girl who was betrothed to Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah, and the Mother of James and Joses. Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth, and it is there that Jesus is thought to have lived and been raised. It was there that Joseph was told that Mary would give birth to the Messiah, and it was there that Jesus was born. Mary lived a sheltered but meaningful life as a married woman, raising Jesus as a devout Christian, and as a result, she is a special saint for Christians.

The role of Mary in the Catholic Church is quite large and varied. Some of here significant roles in the Catholic Church are:

  • Mother of God – One of the roles of Mary in the Catholic Church as Mother of God. According to the Catholic Church, Mary is the Mother of the Son of God, God the Son, Jesus Christ. In other words, Mary became the Mother of God. The Catholic Church, in its official teachings, has always considered Mary to be Theotokos, meaning, literally, “God-bearer.” She was the one who gave birth to God.
  • Mother of Church – In the Catholic Church, Mary is a historical figure as well as a highly revered figure. Her legacy is one of hope and of salvation, as she is the Mother of Jesus Christ. As a virgin, she has a unique role as a mother, interceding for the world. As a mother, she teaches us unconditional love and a sense of charity, a virtue that is at the core of true Christian life.
  • Mother of the Mystical Body of Christ – In the Catholic Church, Mary is viewed as having been the “mother of the Mystical Body of Christ,” which means that she was the spiritual mother of all Christians.  Not only that, but the Catholic Church holds that not only did Jesus’ Mother live on earth, but she also went to heaven after death and that she subsequently remained in heaven until Pentecost, having “immortalized” in her full bodily form.

Mary is a rather important figure in Catholicism, and in a number of different ways, but one of the more important is in how she is seen as a mother in her own right. Mary is often regarded as the holiest woman in the Bible, and in the Catholic tradition, she is viewed as the Mother of God, the Incarnation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is also called the Mother of the Church. In Catholic dogma, Mary’s role is important in the redemption of mankind, the plan of salvation, and the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

Why Do We Pray to Mary?

For centuries now, Catholics have prayed to Mary, rather than to God, in times of need. But why? Looking at the Bible, it seems obvious why. Mary is to God’s people what the earth is to the human race, the sky is to the birds, and the sun to the flowers. She is to us what God is to his angels. She is, in a sense, the icon of all the things that we, too, are supposed to be.

Catholic Christians believe that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, has always been an important figure to pray to. Praying to Mary is like asking your mom for help and is seen as a basic part of the faith. A simple prayer to Mary provides us with a way to reflect on the mystery of God’s love manifested in the Incarnation, the Redemption through Christ in the rosary, and the prayers of the saints.

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By 21stcath
21st Century Catholic Evangelization brought to you by the Evangelization Committee of the National Conference of Catechetical Leadership