BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
The Blessed Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus while remaining a virgin as mentioned in the birth narratives of Matthew 1:18-23 and Luke 1:26-35. Mary is also oftentimes referred to as the Mother of Jesus and Mother of God. God’s own Son was conceived in her womb by the Holy spirit, her spouse. Jesus became her Son, and she became his Mother making her the Mother of God.
As taught in Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, Mary was a virgin before she gave birth to Jesus, she also remained a virgin her entire life. Mary was and is graced, she is pure and most blessed above all women.
Luke and Matthew help to provide more information about the Blessed Virgin and the Birth of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 1:18-23 – Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; 19and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; 21she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their sins.”
22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet. 23“Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel!” (which means God with us).
Luke 1:26-35 – In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, you who enjoy God’s favour! The Lord is with you.’ 29She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, 30but the angel said to her, ‘Mary do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour.
And Gabriel continued…
31Look! You are to conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; 33he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ 34Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I have no knowledge of man?’ 35The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. The child Jesus will be holy and will be called Son of God.’
Mary is not Worshiped but Held in High Esteem
Because of her humility, faithfulness and role as the mother of the Savior of humanity, Mary has been accorded great respect by Christians. In Catholic and Orthodox Churches, Mary is the greatest and first saint.
It would be in error for people to worship Mary or place her before God. Officially acknowledged, Roman Catholics worship only God – the Father, the Son incarnate (made flesh), and the Holy Spirit. The Church, however, does encourage veneration of the saints, with the Virgin Mary foremost among them.
Interesting Facts about Mary
- The formal study of Mary and everything Marian is called “Mariology”
- Like Joseph her husband, Mary is a direct descendant of King David belonging to the Tribe of Judah
- Mary’s fathers name is St. Joaquim from the tribe of Judah, her mother St. Anne is from the
tribe of Levi
- Mary is the Immaculate Conception, she was conceived without original sin.
- Mary is Virgin before, during and after the birth of Jesus the Christ
- She was the first disciple
- Mary assumed into Heaven after she died (body and soul)
- Mary has been declared the Saint of Saints
- She was and continues to appear throughout the world
- The Blessed Virgin Mary prays to her Son for the world
- She is our Mother (not biologically, but spiritually)
- When Mary appears to her seers, she speaks in their native language or dialect of the visionary
- Mary is “directly” and “explicitly” foretold in four Old Testament Books: Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 7:1-17, Mica 5:2-3, and Jeremiah 31:22
- Mary’s first Marian Apparition according to tradition was Zaragosa, Spain to St. James the Apostle (the Greater) in 40 AD
- To date, only 10 Marian Apparitions have been officially proclaimed and acknowledged by the Vatican as “supernatural in origin” and “worthy of belief”, one of which was recently approved in 2008 and the first Marian Apparition to get the Vatican’s approval in the 21st Century. The Apparations listed by date of occurrences: Guadalupe (1531), Laus (1665), Miraculous Medal (1830), LaSalette (1846), Lourdes (1858), Pontmain (1871), Fatima (1917), Beauraing (1932), Banneux (1935), and Akita (1973)
The Immaculate Conception
Since original sin (the sin of Adam) is passed down through the womb from one generation to the next. God made Mary free from original sin so that Jesus would also be free from it. This Catholic dogma is called the Immaculate Conception of Mary.
“The most Holy Virgin Mary was, in the first moment of her conception, by a unique gift of grace and privilege of Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of mankind, preserved free from all stain of original sin.” (Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 1854)
May we take this time to honor the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary and Joseph, let us pray:
In Honor of the Holy Family
O God, Heavenly Father, it was part of Your eternal decree that Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, should form a holy family with Mary, His blessed mother, and His foster father, Saint Joseph. In Nazareth, home life was sanctified, and a perfect example was given to every Christian family. Grant, we beseech You that we may fully comprehend and faithfully imitate the virtues of the Holy Family so that we may be united with them one day in their heavenly glory. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen
Mary serves as the perfect example of motherhood for our world today. She leads us to her son, Jesus the Christ. Truly, Mary is a powerful example for us all.
“If you ever feel distressed during your day — call upon our Lady — just say this simple prayer: “Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a mother to me now.’ I must admit — this prayer has never failed me.” ~Blessed Mother Teresa
“The Mother of Christ, who stands at the very center of this mystery…
is given as mother to every single individual and all mankind.”
~Pope John Paul ll — 1987 A.D.