Filipino Catholic’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is second to none, not that we view Mary as equal to God or greater than Jesus Christ but we see her as our spiritual mother, always there to help us and intercede for us especially in times of crisis. One of the feast days of the Blessed Virgin Mary that is widely celebrated is the feast of the Immaculate conception. This doctrine teaches us that through the privilege given to her by God, Mary at the first instance of her conception was preserved free from all stains of sin, original, venial and mortal sins. This is not by her own doing but a gift of God. We are all accustomed to knowing that the biblical reference for Mary’s Immaculate conception can be derived from the Old Testament as well as from the Gospel of Luke. But little is known about the fact that the epistle to Hebrews subtly teach that Mary is without any stain of sin. The epistle to the Hebrews speaks about Jesus Christ as well as the nature of his sacrifice on the cross. In fact this epistle can be used in apologetic discourses against the Jews that Jesus Christ is truly the Messiah and not just a prophet or a good teacher. The Catholic Church teaches us that Marian doctrines should always be understood in light of Christology, we cannot detach the Church’s Marian teachings with that of our beliefs in Jesus Christ. Continue reading
One of the biblical teachings of the Catholic Church that is hard for Protestants to accept and believe are the teachings concerning the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Sinlessness of Mary or her Immaculate conception is seen by Protestants as directly contradicting scriptures particularly Romans 3:23. However, if we are to have a complete reading of the Bible we can easily see that this doctrine of the Catholic Church is not contradictory to passages in the Bible. The Immaculate Conception of Mary is referring to Mary conception inside the womb of her mother, not the conception of Christ by Mary. The Blessed Virgin Mary is sinless not because of her own doing or her personal piety but it is a privilege given to her by God for she is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah as the virgin who will conceived the Emmanuel (Is. 7:14). Contrary to the understanding of Protestants concerning the Immaculate Conception it was not the Catholic Church who made Mary Immaculate, it was God, the Church only affirmed the privilege given by God to Mary. Pope Pius IX declared the dogma of Immaculate Conception in Apostolic Constitution entitled Ineffabilis Deus. Pope Pius IX in the following words defined the dogma of Immaculate Conception. Continue reading
One of the less explored title of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the title which calls her “Co-mediatrix of all grace”. The apparent hesitation to speak of this title is understandable to the fact that it can easily be misunderstood by those who are not theologically trained to discuss and teach matters of complication. Mary’s title “co-mediatrix” is not an attempt to put the Blessed Virgin Mary in par with Christ’s mediatorship nor to make her a mediator in the same way that Jesus Christ mediated for us (1 Timothy 2:5-6). Calling Mary as the “Co-mediatrix of all grace” affirms her indirect and remote cooperation in God’s plan of salvation by knowingly and willingly gave birth to the redeemer. Mary did not only gave the redeemer his Human nature but also in order that by means of the nature assumed from her, he might be the Redeemer of man. This title of Mary should be viewed in the light of the Incarnation of the second Person of the Holy Trinity. On its own merit it cannot stand nor be justified as a title of Mary because its validity solely depends on God’s act of salvation, the grace whom Mary mediated is Jesus Christ by giving birth to him. World renowned Mariologist Fr. Juniper Carol, O.F.M laid down three explanation why Mary is co-mediatrix of all grace. Continue reading
Protestants generally believe that Mary had other sons and that Jesus Christ is not a lone child of Mary and Joseph. Brant Petri a professor of Biblical studies presents the biblical and historical proof that Mary remained a perpetual virgin after the birth of Jesus Christ.
There’s an obvious parallelism betweem Mary and the Ark of the Old Covenant. As Steve Ray pointed out in his website, the allusion to Mary as being the Ark of the New covenant is clearly laid down in the Sacred Scriptures.
When writing his gospel St. Luke is clearly thinking of the Ark of Old covenant, thus he likened Mary to an Ark.
The Ark of the Old Covenant is an allusion to the coming of Jesus Christ, Mary too is seen as a type of an Ark which carried Christ for 9 months.