Thursday, July 23, 2015


Veneration of the Virgin Mary is often confused as worship by non-Catholics.

It is easy to see why? Devotion must appear like worship to many. I grew up in a pretty staunch Roman Catholic home where holy pictures adorned in frames were placed predominantly on the walls. There was the Sacred Heart, the Queen of Angels and  the Mother of Jesus with the newborn baby Jesus.The pictures, I assume,  came from my Grandmother, who was very devoted to the Rosary and Mary.

Mary is the first saint.  She is unique among all God’s creation.  She is the only created being who was honored by God so greatly that his son took his flesh from her. She has totally unique place of honor in heaven and therefore also among all of God’s people on earth.

We hold saints in high esteem because they are mirrors of Christ. They are examples of what we strive to be in the eyes of God. We honor our eminent and accomplished saints. We honor them for their brains, their discipline, their wit, their achievement. We give them the honor that is due to them

In the Rosary we ask Mary to intervene, to intercede for us, "Pray for us sinners" we refrain.

We pray to Mary - we do not worship here. are making a "devout or earnest request for" prayers from Mary. worship and prayer are not the same thing

In the year 757 AD, the Seventh General Council defined the difference between veneration of Mary and worship of Jesus.:

Latria - adoration that is given to the Trinity alone; occurs 5 times in the Bible but always refers to God (Jn 16:2, Rm:9:4, 12:6, Heb 9:1,6)
Hyper-dulia - veneration to Mary (as the mother of God)
Dulia - honor paid to saints and angels; occurs 5 times in the Bible (Rm 8:15, 21; Gal 4:24, 5:1; Heb 2:15)
There are many forms of Marian devotion from the Rosary to medals and the Brown Scapular that I wear under my shirt. 

Than there are the Marian Apparitions. I grew up believing that Mary appeared 6 times  in 1917 to three small children in Fatima, Portugal.  Coming at a time when civilization was torn asunder by war and bloody violence, She promised that Heaven would grant peace to all the world if Her requests for prayer, repration and consecration were heard and obeyed. The great miracle of the sun dancing on Oct 13, 1917 was seen by thousands, including nonbelievers.

So, what of the miracle painting of the Virgin Mary at St. Charbels Church in New South Wales, Australia last weekend. 

Does she join in with the congregation when they say the "Our Father?" or is it simply shadows and lights tricking us into believing that the her lips are moving?

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