Mary, mother of Jesus

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He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. ~ Gospel of Luke
When a priest administers the Sacraments, he is only a mediator in the distribution of divine graces. Mary, however, […] acts on a much higher level than the priest. In virtue of her own natural vitality, but together with the Holy Spirit, she built up [in her womb] the body of the divine child. Mary and the Holy Spirit gave us this divine child. ~ Matthias Joseph Scheeben
Faith both in the Immaculate Conception and in the bodily Assumption of the Virgin was already present in the People of God, while theology had not yet found the key to interpreting it in the totality of the doctrine of the faith. The People of God therefore precede theologians and this is all thanks to that supernatural sensus fidei, namely, that capacity infused by the Holy Spirit that qualifies us to embrace the reality of the faith with humility of heart and mind. In this sense, the People of God is the 'teacher that goes first' and must then be more deeply examined and intellectually accepted by theology. ~ Pope Benedict XVI
Some think that He does not call her 'mother' but only 'woman' so as not to inflict a deeper wound of sorrow on her heart. I do not reject this; but another conjecture is no less probable, that Christ wanted to show that now that He has completed the course of human life, He puts off the condition in which He has lived and enters into the heavenly kingdom where He will rule over angels and men. For we know that Christ's custom always was to recall believers from looking at the flesh. This was especially necessary at His death. ~ John Calvin
I am persuaded that the worship of the Madonna has been one of its noblest and most viral graces, and has never been otherwise than productive of true holiness of life and purity of character. ~ Ruskin.
Rays of light emanate from her head, around which is a ring of twelve stars. An imperial crown adorns her head, without, however, hiding the stars. Under her feet is the moon. ~ Francisco Pacheco
This is the blessed Mary, pre-elect
God's virgin. Gone is a great while, and she
Dwelt young in Nazareth of Galilee.

Unto God's will she brought devout respect
Profound simplicity of intellect.
And supreme patience. From her mother's knee
Faithful and hopeful; wise in charity;
Strong in grave peace; in pity circumspect.
So held she through her girlhood; as it were
An angel-watered lily, that near God
Grows and is quiet. Till, one day at home
She woke in her white bed, and had no fear
At all - yet wept till sunshine, and felt awed:
Because the fullness of the time was come.~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The Virgin Mary is reflected in Lilith. ~ Dion Fortune
Under thy protection we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. ~ Sub tuum praesidium
But why do you not cease to call Mary the mother of God, if Isaiah nowhere says that he that is born of the virgin is the "only begotten Son of God" and "the firstborn of all creation"? ~ Julian
Religious icons such as Mary in Christianity and Guanyin in Buddhism had deep roots in European and Chinese traditions. When the Jesuit missionaries came to China in the late 16th century, they represented Christianity as a different yet compatible religion to the native Chinese beliefs, first Buddhism and then Confucianism. Mary, the virgin mother of Christ and the principal saint of Christian Church, was one of the most appealing icons in Jesuits’ paintings and narratives. Though some Chinese expressed suspicion and even rejected Mary, many others tended to equate her with Guanyin, a popular Buddhist goddess in late Ming culture, largely because they two shared similar qualities such as compassion, purification, and child-giving power. ~ "Between Bodhisattva and Christian Deity: Guanyin and the Virgin Mary in Late Ming China"
The belief that the body of the Virgin was not interred on earth, but was taken to heaven, has deprived them of all pretext for manufacturing any relics of her remains, which otherwise might have been sufficiently abundant to fill a whole churchyard; yet in order to have at least something belonging to her, they sought to indemnify themselves for the absence of other relics with the possession of her hair and her milk. The hair is shown in several churches in Rome, and at Salvatierra in Spain, at Macon, St Flour, Cluny, Nevers, and in many other towns. With regard to the milk, there is not perhaps a town, a convent, or nunnery, where it is now shown in large or small quantites. Indeed, had the Virgin been a wet-nurse her whole life, or a dairy, she could not have produced more than is shown as hers in various parts. ~ John Calvin
It seems to me impossible that we should obtain the reward of Heaven without the help of Mary. There is no sex or age, no rank or position, of anyone in the whole human race, which has no need to call for the help of the Holy Virgin. ~ Charles Herbermann.
If the popular praises of the Blessed Virgin Mary be given the careful consideration they deserve, who will dare to doubt that she, who was purer than the angels and at all times pure, was at any moment, even for the briefest instant, not free from every stain of sin? ~ Pope Pius XII
There is no more direct road than by Mary for uniting all mankind in Christ. ~ Pope Saint Pius X
Hence, it is the clear and unanimous opinion of the Fathers that the most glorious Virgin, for whom "he who is mighty has done great things," was resplendent with such an abundance of heavenly gifts, with such a fullness of grace and with such innocence, that she is an unspeakable miracle of God—indeed, the crown of all miracles and truly the Mother of God; that she approaches as near to God himself as is possible for a created being; and that she is above all men and angels in glory. Pope Pius IX
I firmly believe that Mary, according to the words of the gospel as a pure Virgin brought forth for us the Son of God and in childbirth and after childbirth forever remained a pure, intact Virgin. ~ Ulrich Zwingli
There can be no doubt that the Virgin Mary is in heaven. How it happened we do not know. ~ Martin Luther
Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death. Amen. ~ Hail Mary/The Angelic Salutation (ca. 1050)
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.
He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy,
according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever. ~ Gospel of Luke
Youth is the age of becoming, of external and internal struggle. Passions awaken; there is a fermenting and wrestling in man, a turbulent urging and awakening. To meet this distress, the youth must have an ideal, strong and powerful, an illuminating shining ideal, which will not be shaken by the urging and fermenting ideal must elevate the wavering mind and rouse the wavering heart. Its radiance will eclipse the ignoble and vile. Such an ideal is the Virgin Mary, for it is she who embodies an all-radiant purity and beauty. ‘It is said that there are women whose very presence educates us; whose very behaviour banishes sordid thoughts, prevents all questionable words from crossing our lips. The Virgin Mary is the epitome of such a woman. A young knight devoted to her service is incapable of vulgarity. But if- forgetting her presence - he should nonetheless slip, the remembrance of her will cause inconsolable anguish of soul and at the same time help the noble mind to regain its authority. ~ P. Schilgen S. J.
Then she conceived him; and withdrew with him to a remote place. ‏And the throes of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died before this, and had been a thing quite forgotten! ‏So a voice came to her from beneath her: Grieve not, surely thy Lord has provided a stream beneath thee. ‏ And shake towards thee the trunk of the palm-tree, it will drop on thee fresh ripe dates. ‏So eat and drink and cool the eye. Then if thou seest any mortal, say: Surely I have vowed a fast to the Beneficent, so I will not speak to any man to-day. ~ Quran
Christ's birth did not diminish his mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it. ~ Catechism of the Catholic Church by the Vatican, 2002 ISBN 0-86012-324-3 page 112, Lumen gentium (item 57)
To the young man, the Virgin Mary stands out as unrivalled grace, loftiness and dignity, the like of whom is not to be found in nature, art and the world of man. Why have artists and painters devoted their skill and creativity to the Madonna again and again? It is because they perceive in her the most sublime beauty and dignity. It is a dignity and beauty which never disappoints. Here we have a mistress and queen, ‘to serve whom, for whom to exist, must be the highest honour for the young man. Here we have an exalted woman and bride of the spirit, to whom you can give yourself with the full power of the love which gushes from your youthful heart, without having to fear degradation and desecration.’ ~ Gerhard Kremer
The cult of the Virgin Mary is drawn upon very successfully as a means of inculcating chastity. Again we must inquire into the psychological mechanism that is capable of assuring the success of these intentions. It is a problem of the masses of young men and women who are subjected to this influence. It is chiefly a matter of overpowering genital drives. Just as the Jesus cult mobilizes passive homosexual forces against the genitals, the cult of the Virgin Mary also mobilizes sexual forces, this time from the heterosexual sphere itself. ‘Inflict no wrong on a girl and remember that your mother too was once a girl.’ Thus, in the emotional life of Christian youths, the Mother of God assumes the role of one’s own mother, and the Christian youth showers upon her all the love that he had for his own mother at one time, that very ardent love of his first genital desires. ~ Wilhelm Reich
Furthermore, how will you endure [the Romanists'] terrible idolatries? It was not enough that they venerated the saints and praised God in them, but they actually made them into gods. They put that noble child, the mother Mary, right into the place of Christ. They fashioned Christ into a judge and thus devised a tyrant for anguished consciences, so that all comfort and confidence was transferred from Christ to Mary, and then everyone turned from Christ to his particular saint. Can anyone deny this? Is it not true? ~ Martin Luther
[S]he became the Mother of God, in which work so many and such great good things are bestowed on her as pass man's understanding. For on this there follows all honor, all blessedness, and her unique place in the whole of mankind, among which she has no equal, namely, that she had a child by the Father in heaven, and such a Child.... Hence men have crowded all her glory into a single word, calling her the Mother of God.... None can say of her nor announce to her greater things, even though he had as many tongues as the earth possesses flowers and blades of grass: the sky, stars; and the sea, grains of sand. It needs to be pondered in the heart what it means to be the Mother of God. ~ Martin Luther

Mary (Aramaic, Hebrew: מרים, Maryām Miriam Arabic:مريم, Maryam), usually referred to by Christians as the Virgin Mary or Saint Mary, was a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, identified in the New Testament [Matthew 1:16,18-25] [Luke 1:26-56] [2:1-7] as the mother of Jesus.

Quotes of Mary, mother of Jesus[edit]

  • Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.
    • Gospel of Luke, 1:38
  • My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
    my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
    For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
    The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
    His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.
    He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
    He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly.
    The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.
    He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy,
    according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.
    • Variant translation: My soul magnifies Jehovah, and my spirit cannot keep from being overjoyed at God my Savior, because he has looked upon the low position of his slave girl. For look! from now on all generations will declare me happy, because the powerful One has done great deeds for me, and holy is his name, and for generation after generation his mercy is upon those who fear him. He has acted mightily with his arm; he has scattered those who are haughty in the intention of their hearts. He has brought down powerful men from thrones and has exalted lowly ones; he has fully satisfied hungry ones with good things and has sent away empty-handed those who had wealth. He has come to the aid of Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, just as he spoke to our forefathers, to Abraham and to his offspring, forever.
    • Luke 1:46-55, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures
  • Do whatever he tells you.
    • Gospel of John, 2:5 : Mary asks to the servants to follow the instruction of Jesus

About Mary, mother of Jesus[edit]

  • Certainly, in the full and strict meaning of the term, only Jesus Christ, the God-Man, is King; but Mary, too, as Mother of the divine Christ, as His associate in the redemption, in his struggle with His enemies and His final victory over them, has a share, though in a limited and analogous way, in His royal dignity. For from her union with Christ she attains a radiant eminence transcending that of any other creature; from her union with Christ she receives the royal right to dispose of the treasures of the Divine Redeemer's Kingdom; from her union with Christ finally is derived the inexhaustible efficacy of her maternal intercession before the Son and His Father.
    • Ad Caeli reginam 39
  • Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum: Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus. Sancta Maria mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus nunc et in hora mortis. Amen.
    • Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death. Amen.
      • Ave Maria (Hail Mary), also called The Angelic Salutation, traditional prayer (ca. 1050).
  • Faith both in the Immaculate Conception and in the bodily Assumption of the Virgin was already present in the People of God, while theology had not yet found the key to interpreting it in the totality of the doctrine of the faith. The People of God therefore precede theologians and this is all thanks to that supernatural sensus fidei, namely, that capacity infused by the Holy Spirit that qualifies us to embrace the reality of the faith with humility of heart and mind. In this sense, the People of God is the 'teacher that goes first' and must then be more deeply examined and intellectually accepted by theology.
  • The Most Blessed Virgin Mary is inseparable from the Triune God, her glory is Theirs and Their glory is her, since the Divine Will places everything in common. She denied nothing to the Trinity, giving Them not only that which she was supposed to give Them directly, but also which other creatures denied to give Them. Operating in a universal way is the divine way, and the Blessed Mother was able to operate with the ways of her Creator because she possessed the Kingdom of His Will. The Divine Will contains everything and preserves of all of Its acts, thus it preserves all the acts of the Sovereign Queen as if they were all Its own, because she did everything in the Fiat. One who has done good to all, loved all, and has operated in a universal way for God and everyone, justly has rights over all and over everything. The Celestial Mother wants the return for the universal love she had for all generations. Who else can requite her if not one who loves in the same Kingdom of the Divine Will? The Queen of Heaven, to impetrate the Kingdom of Redemption, had a prayer, a sigh, an act for all, and for each one - she let no one escape Her; and by this, she gave to each one the right to be able to receive their Redeemer.
    • Marian Apparition Messages to the Italian mystic Luisa Piccarreta: V19 dated June 26, 1926; V34 dated April 21, 1936; and V24 dated September 29, 1928. Quotations given by the following book:
      • Rega (OFS), Frank M. (2017) (in en). What God is by Nature, Mary is by Grace. The Greateness of the Blessed Virgin as revealed to Luisa Piccareta (Second ed.). pp. 77-78. ISBN 978-1548251109. 
  • We condemn those who affirm that a man once justified cannot sin. ... As to the special privilege of the Virgin Mary, when they produce the celestial diploma we shall believe what they say.
    • John Calvin, Antidote to the Canons of the Council of Trent, Canon 23. (1547)
  • The belief that the body of the Virgin was not interred on earth, but was taken to heaven, has deprived them of all pretext for manufacturing any relics of her remains, which otherwise might have been sufficiently abundant to fill a whole churchyard; yet in order to have at least something belonging to her, they sought to indemnify themselves for the absence of other relics with the possession of her hair and her milk. The hair is shown in several churches in Rome, and at Salvatierra in Spain, at Macon, St Flour, Cluny, Nevers, and in many other towns. With regard to the milk, there is not perhaps a town, a convent, or nunnery, where it is now shown in large or small quantites. Indeed, had the Virgin been a wet-nurse her whole life, or a dairy, she could not have produced more than is shown as hers in various parts.
  • It cannot be denied that God in choosing and destining Mary to be the Mother of his Son, granted her the highest honor.
    • John Calvin, Calvini Opera, Braunshweig-Berlin, 1863-1900, Volume 45, 348, (1877-78) A Treatise on Relics, Johnstone and Hunter, (January 1, 1854) p. 248.
  • And at this day, the blessedness brought to us by Christ cannot be the subject of our praise, without reminding us, at the same time, of the distinguished honor which God was pleased to bestow on Mary, in making her the mother of his Only Begotten Son.
    • John Calvin, Commentary on Luke 1:42.
  • "[Elizabeth] calls Mary the mother of her Lord. This denotes a unity of person in the two natures of Christ; as if she had said, that he who was begotten a mortal man in the womb of Mary is, at the same time, the eternal God.... This name Lord strictly belongs to the Son of God 'manifested in the flesh,' (1 Timothy 3:16,) who has received from the Father all power, and has been appointed the highest ruler of heaven and earth, that by his agency God may govern all things.
    • John Calvin. "Commentary on Luke 1:43". Harmony of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. 1. Retrieved 2009-01-07.
  • Elisabeth, again, while she praises her, is so far from hiding the Divine glory, that she ascribes everything to God. And yet, though she acknowledges the superiority of Mary to herself and to others, she does not envy her the higher distinction, but modestly declares that she had obtained more than she deserved.
    • John Calvin, commentary on Luke 1:43.
  • If there had been any unbelief in Mary, that could not prevent God from accomplishing his work in any other way which he might choose. But she is called blessed, because she received by faith the blessing offered to her, and opened up the way to God for its accomplishment.
  • Helvidius has shown himself too ignorant, in saying that Mary had several sons, because mention is made in some passages of the brothers of Christ.
    • John Calvin as quoted by Bernard Leeming, "Protestants and Our Lady", Marian Library Studies, January 1967, p.9.&rdot=1 A Treatise on Relics], Johnstone and Hunter, (January 1, 1854) p. 248.
  • Christ's birth did not diminish his mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it.
    • Catechism of the Catholic Church by the Vatican, 2002 ISBN 0-86012-324-3 page 112, Lumen gentium (item 57).
  • Some think that He does not call her 'mother' but only 'woman' so as not to inflict a deeper wound of sorrow on her heart. I do not reject this; but another conjecture is no less probable, that Christ wanted to show that now that He has completed the course of human life, He puts off the condition in which He has lived and enters into the heavenly kingdom where He will rule over angels and men. For we know that Christ's custom always was to recall believers from looking at the flesh. This was especially necessary at His death.
  • The Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things.
    • "Catechism of the Catholic Church - Mary - Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church"., (item 966)
  • The Virgin Mary . . . is acknowledged and honoured as being truly the Mother of God and of the redeemer.... since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head." "Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church.
    • "Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church." Catechism item 963 at the Vatican web site
  • Mary, Mother of God! no lady though:
    Common woman of common earth!
    Our lady ladies call thee now,
    But christ was never of gentle birth;
    A common man of the common earth.

    For God's ways are not as our ways.
    the noblest lady in the land
    Would have given up half her days,
    Would have cut off her right hand
    To bear the Child that was God of the land...
    And still for men to come she sings,
    Nor shall her singing pass away.
    He hatch filled the hungry with good things' -
    O listen, lords and ladies gay! -
    'And the rich He hatch sent empty away.'
    • Mary Coleridge, as quoted in ‘’The Gospel of St. John: The Story of the Son of God’’, p.64-65
  • The history of theology shows that an understanding of the mystery of the Virgin contributes to a more profound understanding of the mystery of Christ, of the Church and of the vocation of man.
    • Congregation for Catholic Education, The Virgin Mary in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation, Congregation for Catholic Education Rome, March 25, 1988, item 18 Text at the University of Dayton
  • The Virgin Mary is reflected in Lilith.
  • And it came to pass on the third day of their journey, while they were walking, that the blessed Mary was fatigued by the excessive heat of the sun in the desert; and seeing a palm tree, she said to Joseph: Let me rest a little under the shade of this tree. Joseph therefore made haste, and led her to the palm, and made her come down from her beast. And as the blessed Mary was sitting there, she looked up to the foliage of the palm, and saw it full of fruit, and said to Joseph: I wish it were possible to get some of the fruit of this palm. And Joseph said to her: I wonder that thou sayest this, when thou seest how high the palm tree is; and that thou thinkest of eating of its fruit. I am thinking more of the want of water, because the skins are now empty, and we have none wherewith to refresh ourselves and our cattle. Then the child Jesus, with a joyful countenance, reposing in the bosom of His mother, said to the palm: O tree, bend thy branches, and refresh my mother with thy fruit. And immediately at these words the palm bent its top down to the very feet of the blessed Mary; and they gathered from it fruit, with which they were all refreshed. And after they had gathered all its fruit, it remained bent down, waiting the order to rise from Him who bad commanded it to stoop. Then Jesus said to it: Raise thyself, O palm tree, and be strong, and be the companion of my trees, which are in the paradise of my Father; and open from thy roots a vein of water which has been hid in the earth, and let the waters flow, so that we may be satisfied from thee. And it rose up immediately, and at its root there began to come forth a spring of water exceedingly clear and cool and sparkling. And when they saw the spring of water, they rejoiced with great joy, and were satisfied, themselves and all their cattle and their beasts. Wherefore they gave thanks to God.
    • "The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew" Chapter 20, (8th-9th century CE)
  • It seems to me impossible that we should obtain the reward of Heaven without the help of Mary. There is no sex or age, no rank or position, of anyone in the whole human race, which has no need to call for the help of the Holy Virgin.
    • Charles Herbermann, ed. (1913). "Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  • But why do you not cease to call Mary the mother of God, if Isaiah nowhere says that he that is born of the virgin is the "only begotten Son of God" and "the firstborn of all creation"?
    • Julian (emperor) (c. 331 – 363), Against the Galileans (c. 361) as translated in [The Works of the Emperor Julian, edited by Wilmer Cave Wright (1865-1951), London, W. Heinemann; New York, The Macmillan co., (1913 - 1923), volume 3, p. 399,
  • Let Heaven sustain me in its embrace, because I am honored above it. For heaven was not Thy mother, but Thou hast made it Thy throne. How much more honorable and venerable than the throne of a king is her mother.
    • Ephrem, Hymni de B. Maria, ed. Th. J. Lamy, t. II, Mechliniae, 1886, hymn. XIX, p. 624.
  • Catholic youths who are genuinely pious will always feel a sincere affection for the ideal of the Virgin Mary. It is not as if the veneration of the Virgin Mary would detract from a warm and strong devotion to Christ. On the contrary, a true veneration of the Virgin Mary must lead to Christ and a moral code of life. We do not want to dispense with the ideal of the Virgin Mary for the moral and religious education of our youth.
    Youth is the age of becoming, of external and internal struggle. Passions awaken; there is a fermenting and wrestling in man, a turbulent urging and awakening. To meet this distress, the youth must have an ideal, strong and powerful, an illuminating shining ideal, which will not be shaken by the urging and fermenting ideal must elevate the wavering mind and rouse the wavering heart. Its radiance will eclipse the ignoble and vile. Such an ideal is the Virgin Mary, for it is she who embodies an all-radiant purity and beauty. ‘It is said that there are women whose very presence educates us; whose very behaviour banishes sordid thoughts, prevents all questionable words from crossing our lips. The Virgin Mary is the epitome of such a woman. A young knight devoted to her service is incapable of vulgarity. But if- forgetting her presence - he should nonetheless slip, the remembrance of her will cause inconsolable anguish of soul and at the same time help the noble mind to regain its authority [P. Schilgen S. J.].’
    To the young man, the Virgin Mary stands out as unrivalled grace, loftiness and dignity, the like of whom is not to be found in nature, art and the world of man. Why have artists and painters devoted their skill and creativity to the Madonna again and again? It is because they perceive in her the most sublime beauty and dignity. It is a dignity and beauty which never disappoints. Here we have a mistress and queen, ‘to serve whom, for whom to exist, must be the highest honour for the young man. Here we have an exalted woman and bride of the spirit, to whom you can give yourself with the full power of the love which gushes from your youthful heart, without having to fear degradation and desecration.’
    The ideal of the Virgin Mary should inspire young men. Especially in an age which takes pleasure in darkening the radiant and dragging what is lofty into the mire, the ideal of the Virgin Mary should shine forth as a salvation and power. In this ideal the young man will perceive that there is indeed something great and elevated in beauty and chastity. Here he will find the strength to walk the steep path, even if all the others lose their best in the depths. The ideal of the Virgin Mary will fortify him who wavers, lift up and strengthen him who stumbles. Indeed, it will so overwhelm him who has fallen that he will be rehabilitated with new courage. The Virgin Mary is that radiant star which will illuminate the passion of the young individual in the dark night, that star which calls forth what is noble in him when everything appears to be shattered in him.
  • ‘In former days when knights were dubbed, the knight had to give his solemn promise to protect defenceless women. That was when cathedrals were built in honour of the queen of heaven [P. Gemmel S. J.].’ There is an intimate relation between courtship of the Virgin Mary and true chivalry towards the female sex. The man who is inspired by the ideal of the Virgin Mary must of necessity bear within himself that knightly dub which stems from reverent respect for female dignity and majesty. Therefore, the dubbing of the knight in the middle Ages bound the young man to holy Minnedienst, as well as to the protection of a woman’s honour. The symbols of this knighthood no longer exist: but what is worse is that, more and more, shy reverence for women is dying out among the male youth and is giving way to a frivolous and vile robber-knighthood. Just as the knights of old in armour and arms protect and shelter frail femininity and innocence, so should and must the true man of today feel himself to be in the debt of the honour and innocence of woman. True manliness and real nobility of heart willbecome known to the female sex most easily and most beautifully. Lucky the young man who has girded his passion with this armour I Lucky the girl who has found the love of such a young man! ‘Inflict no wrong on a girl and remember that your mother too was once a girl. ’
    The young man of today is the husband of tomorrow. How will the husband and man be able to protect womanhood and assure female respect, if the young man and fiance has desecrated love and engagement! Engagement is to be a time of undesecrated love. How many men’s fate would be happier, if the ideal of the Virgin Mary were more keenly alive in the world of youth. How much suffering and grief could be avoided, if young men would not play shameless games with the love of a girl’s soul. Hear me, O young people, let the radiant light of the ideal of the Virgin Mary illuminate your love, so that you don’t trip and fall.
    • Veneration of the Virgin Mary and the Young Man, by Gerhard Kremer; as qtd by Wilhelm Reich in The Mass Psychology of Fascism, (1933), p. 164.
  • It is an article of faith that Mary is Mother of the Lord and still a Virgin.
    • Martin Luther, Weimar edition of Martin Luther's Works, English translation edited by J. Pelikan [Concordia: St. Louis], Volume 11, 319-320.
  • She is rightly called not only the mother of the man, but also the Mother of God ... It is certain that Mary is the Mother of the real and true God.
    • Ibid, volume 24, 107.
  • But the other conception, namely the infusion of the soul, it is piously and suitably believed, was without any sin, so that while the soul was being infused, she would at the same time be cleansed from original sin and adorned with the gifts of God to receive the holy soul thus infused. And thus, in the very moment in which she began to live, she was without all sin.
    • Martin Luther, Weimar edition of Martin Luther's Works, English translation edited by J. Pelikan [Concordia: St. Louis], Volume 4, 694.
  • There can be no doubt that the Virgin Mary is in heaven. How it happened we do not know.
    • Martin Luther, Weimar edition of Martin Luther's Works (Translation by William J. Cole) Volume 10, p. 268.
  • The veneration of Mary is inscribed in the very depths of the human heart.
    • Martin Luther, Weimar edition of Martin Luther's Works (Translation by William J. Cole) 10, III, p.313.
  • Is Christ only to be adored? Or is the holy Mother of God rather not to be honoured? This is the woman who crushed the Serpent's head. Hear us. For your Son denies you nothing.
    • Martin Luther, Weimar edition of Martin Luther's Works, English translation edited by J. Pelikan [Concordia: St. Louis], Volume 51, 128-129.
  • The Virgin Mary remains in the middle between Christ and humankind. For in the very moment he was conceived and lived, he was full of grace. All other human beings are without grace, both in the first and second conception. But the Virgin Mary, though without grace in the first conception, was full of grace in the second ... whereas other human beings are conceived in sin, in soul as well as in body, and Christ was conceived without sin in soul as well as in body, the Virgin Mary was conceived in body without grace but in soul full of grace.
    • Martin Luther, as quoted in Anderson, H. George; Stafford, J. Francis; Burgess, Joseph A., eds. (1992). The One Mediator, The Saints, and Mary. Lutherans and Catholics in Dialogue. VIII. Minneapolis: Augsburg. ISBN 0-8066-2579-1., p.236
  • [S]he became the Mother of God, in which work so many and such great good things are bestowed on her as pass man's understanding. For on this there follows all honor, all blessedness, and her unique place in the whole of mankind, among which she has no equal, namely, that she had a child by the Father in heaven, and such a Child.... Hence men have crowded all her glory into a single word, calling her the Mother of God.... None can say of her nor announce to her greater things, even though he had as many tongues as the earth possesses flowers and blades of grass: the sky, stars; and the sea, grains of sand. It needs to be pondered in the heart what it means to be the Mother of God.
    • Luther's Works, 21:326, cf. 21:346.
  • Furthermore, how will you endure [the Romanists'] terrible idolatries? It was not enough that they venerated the saints and praised God in them, but they actually made them into gods. They put that noble child, the mother Mary, right into the place of Christ. They fashioned Christ into a judge and thus devised a tyrant for anguished consciences, so that all comfort and confidence was transferred from Christ to Mary, and then everyone turned from Christ to his particular saint. Can anyone deny this? Is it not true?
    • Martin Luther, Luther's Works, 47:45; cf. also Anderson, Stafford & Burgess (1992), p. 29
  • On account of this personal union and communion of the natures, Mary, the most blessed virgin, did not conceive a mere, ordinary human being, but a human being who is truly the Son of the most high God, as the angel testifies. He demonstrated his divine majesty even in his mother's womb in that he was born of a virgin without violating her virginity. Therefore she is truly the mother of God and yet remained a virgin.
    • Martin Luther as quoted in Tappert, Theodore G. (1959). The Book of Concord: the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, p. 595
  • Mother Mary, like us, was born in sin of sinful parents, but the Holy Spirit covered her, sanctified and purified her so that this child was born of flesh and blood, but not with sinful flesh and blood. The Holy Spirit permitted the Virgin Mary to remain a true, natural human being of flesh and blood, just as we. However, he warded off sin from her flesh and blood so that she became the mother of a pure child, not poisoned by sin as we are. For in that moment when she conceived, she was a holy mother filled with the Holy Spirit and her fruit is a holy pure fruit, at once God and truly man, in one person.
    • Luther, Martin (1996). John Nicholas Lenker, ed. Sermons of Martin Luther. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House. Luther (1996), p. 291
  • God has formed the soul and body of the Virgin Mary full of the Holy Spirit, so that she is without all sins, for she has conceived and borne the Lord Jesus.
    • Martin Luther, D. Martin Luthers Werke, Kritische Gesamtausgabe, 61 vols., (Weimar: Verlag Hermann Böhlaus Nochfolger, 1883-1983), 52:39 [hereinafter: WA] 1544
  • All seed except Mary was vitiated [by original sin].
  • Ibid, WA, 39, II:107
  • New Spain puts less faith in its own efforts than in the power of God and the intercession of its Blessed Mother, who appeared within the precincts of Tepeyac as the miraculous image of Guadalupe that had come to comfort us, defend us, visibly be our protection.
    • José María Morelos as quoted by Krauze, Enrique. Mexico, Biography of Power. A History of Modern Mexico 1810–1996. HarperCollins: New York, 1997.
  • Virgin Mother who brought forth the King of the whole world
    • St. Gregory Nazianzen, Poemata dogmatica, XVIII, v. 58; PG XXXVII, 485.
  • The version that I follow is the one that is closest to the holy revelation of the Evangelist and approved by the Catholic Church on the authority of the sacred and holy interpreters... In this loveliest of mysteries Our Lady should be painted as a beautiful young girl, 12 or 13 years old, in the flower of her youth... And thus she is praised by the Husband: tota pulchra es amica mea, a text that is always written in this painting. She should be painted wearing a white tunic and a blue mantle... She is surrounded by the sun, an oval sun of white and ochre, which sweetly blends into the sky. Rays of light emanate from her head, around which is a ring of twelve stars. An imperial crown adorns her head, without, however, hiding the stars. Under her feet is the moon. Although it is a solid globe, I take the liberty of making it transparent so that the landscape shows through.
    • Francisco Pacheco, Arte de la Pintura, 1649; as quoted in Ésotérisme, gnoses & imaginaire symbolique: mélanges offerts à Antoine Faivre by Richard Caron, Antoine Faivre 2001 ISBN 90-429-0955-2 p. 676; and Divine Mirrors: The Virgin Mary in the Visual Arts by Melissa R. Katz and Robert A. Orsi 2001 ISBN 0-19-514557-7 p. 98
  • Predestined from eternity by that decree of divine providence which determined the incarnation of the Word to be the Mother of God.
    • Pope Paul VI, Lumen gentium, 21 November 1964
  • The Mother of the Church, carries on in heaven her maternal role with regard to the members of Christ, cooperating in the birth and development of divine life in the souls of the redeemed.
    • John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, no. 47, citing Pope Paul VI, Solemn Profession of Faith (30 June 1968), 15: Acta Apostolicae Sedis 60 (1968) 438f.
  • Hence, it is the clear and unanimous opinion of the Fathers that the most glorious Virgin, for whom "he who is mighty has done great things," was resplendent with such an abundance of heavenly gifts, with such a fullness of grace and with such innocence, that she is an unspeakable miracle of God—indeed, the crown of all miracles and truly the Mother of God; that she approaches as near to God himself as is possible for a created being; and that she is above all men and angels in glory. Hence, to demonstrate the original innocence and sanctity of the Mother of God, not only did they frequently compare her to Eve while yet a virgin, while yet innocence, while yet incorrupt, while not yet deceived by the deadly snares of the most treacherous serpent; but they have also exalted her above Even with a wonderful variety of expressions. Eve listened to the serpent with lamentable consequences; she fell from original innocence and became his slave. The most Blessed Virgin, on the contrary, ever increased her original gift, and not only never lent an ear to the serpent, but by divinely given power she utterly destroyed the force and dominion of the evil one.
  • Accordingly, the Fathers have never ceased to call the Mother of God the lily among thorns, the land entirely intact, the Virgin undefiled, immaculate, ever blessed, and free from all contagion of sin, she from whom was formed the new Adam, the flawless, brightest, and most beautiful paradise of innocence, immortality and delights planted by God himself and protected against all the snares of the poisonous serpent, the incorruptible wood that the worm of sin had never corrupted, the fountain ever clear and sealed with the power of the Holy Spirit, the most holy temple, the treasure of immortality, the one and only daughter of life—not of death—the plant not of anger but of grace, through the singular providence of God growing ever green contrary to the common law, coming as it does from a corrupted and tainted root.
  • We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin.
  • There is no more direct road than by Mary for uniting all mankind in Christ.
  • If the popular praises of the Blessed Virgin Mary be given the careful consideration they deserve, who will dare to doubt that she, who was purer than the angels and at all times pure, was at any moment, even for the briefest instant, not free from every stain of sin?
    • Pope Pius XII, encyclical Fulgens corona EncyclicalFulgens corona, item 10 at the Vatican web site
  • Within her virginal womb Christ our Lord already bore the exalted title of Head of the Church; in a marvelous birth she brought Him forth as the source of all supernatural life.
    • Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, Catechism of the Catholic Church - "Conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary".
  • The revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination, immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, as the noble associate of the divine Redeemer.
  • "When the time had fully come, God sent forth his son, born of woman". With these words of his Letter to the Galatians (4:4), the Apostle Paul links together the principal moments which essentially determine the fulfilment of the mystery "pre-determined in God" (cf. Eph 1:9). The Son, the Word one in substance with the Father, becomes man, born of a woman, at "the fullness of time". This event leads to the turning point of man's history on earth, understood as salvation history. It is significant that Saint Paul does not call the Mother of Christ by her own name "Mary", but calls her "woman": this coincides with the words of the Proto-evangelium in the Book of Genesis (cf. 3:15). She is that "woman" who is present in the central salvific event which marks the "fullness of time": this event is realized in her and through her.
    • John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem n. 3, Rome (15 August 1988), for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, during the Marian year.
  • She has brought forth God as man, and even as Supreme King.
    • Prudentius, Dittochaeum, XXVII: PL LX, 102 A.
  • Then she conceived him; and withdrew with him to a remote place. ‏And the throes of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died before this, and had been a thing quite forgotten! ‏So a voice came to her from beneath her: Grieve not, surely thy Lord has provided a stream beneath thee. ‏ And shake towards thee the trunk of the palm-tree, it will drop on thee fresh ripe dates. ‏So eat and drink and cool the eye. Then if thou seest any mortal, say: Surely I have vowed a fast to the Beneficent, so I will not speak to any man to-day.
    • Qur'an 19:22-26
  • The cult of the Virgin Mary is drawn upon very successfully as a means of inculcating chastity. Again we must inquire into the psychological mechanism that is capable of assuring the success of these intentions. It is a problem of the masses of young men and women who are subjected to this influence. It is chiefly a matter of overpowering genital drives. Just as the Jesus cult mobilizes passive homosexual forces against the genitals, the cult of the Virgin Mary also mobilizes sexual forces, this time from the heterosexual sphere itself. ‘Inflict no wrong on a girl and remember that your mother too was once a girl.’ Thus, in the emotional life of Christian youths, the Mother of God assumes the role of one’s own mother, and the Christian youth showers upon her all the love that he had for his own mother at one time, that very ardent love of his first genital desires. But the incest prohibition cleaves his genital desires into an intense longing for orgasm on the one hand and asexual tenderness on the other hand. The intense longing for orgasm has to be repressed, and its energy intensifies one’s tender strivings and moulds them into an almost indissoluble tie to the mystical experience. This intense longing offers violent resistance, not only to the incestuous desire, but to every natural genital relationship with a woman. The same vital energy and enormous love that a healthy young man puts forth in an orgastic experience with his loved one is used by the mystical man to support the mystical cult of the Virgin Mary, after genital sensuality has been suppressed. This is the source from which mysticism draws its forces. Being unsatisfied forces, they should not be underestimated. They make intelligible the age-old power of mysticism over man and the inhibitions that operate against the responsibility of the masses.
    In this regard it is not a matter of the veneration of the Virgin Mary or of any other idol. It is a matter of producing a mystical structure in the masses in every new generation.
    • Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism, (1933), p. 167-168.
  • This is the blessed Mary, pre-elect
    God's virgin. Gone is a great while, and she
    Dwelt young in Nazareth of Galilee.

    Unto God's will she brought devout respect
    Profound simplicity of intellect.
    And supreme patience. From her mother's knee
    Faithful and hopeful; wise in charity;
    Strong in grave peace; in pity circumspect.
    So held she through her girlhood; as it were
    An angel-watered lily, that near God
    Grows and is quiet. Till, one day at home
    She woke in her white bed, and had no fear
    At all - yet wept till sunshine, and felt awed:
    Because the fullness of the time was come.
    • Dante Gabriel Rossetti Mary's Childhood as quoted in ‘’The Gospel of St. John: The Story of the Son of God’’, NA, p.65-66
  • To the common Protestant mind the dignities ascribed to the Madonna have been always a violent offence; they are one of the parts of the Catholic faith which are openest to reasonable dispute, and least comprehensible by the average realistic and materialist temper of the reformation.
    But after the most careful examination, neither as adversary nor as friend, of the influences of Catholicism for good and evil, I am persuaded that the worship of the Madonna has been one of its noblest and most viral graces, and has never been otherwise than productive of true holiness of life and purity of character. I do not enter into any question as to the truth or fallacy of the idea; I no more wish to defend the historical or theological position of the Madonna than that of St Michael or St Christopher; but I am certain that to the habit of reverent belief in, and contemplation of, the character ascribed to the heavenly hierarchies, we must ascribe the highest results yet achieved in human nature.
    • Ruskin, Fors Clavigera letter 41; cf. Stones of Venice, 2.3.39-40 as quoted in The Gospel of St. John: The Story of the Son of God, NA, p.66
  • This New World has been won and conquered by the hand of the Virgin Mary ... [who had] prepared, disposed, and contrived her exquisite likeness in this her Mexican land, which was conquered for such a glorious purpose, won that there should appear so Mexican an image.
    • Miguel Sanchez as quoted by D.A. Brading in Mexican Phoenix Our Lady of Guadalupe:Image and Tradition Across Five Centuries (2001) p 58
  • When a priest administers the Sacraments, he is only a mediator in the distribution of divine graces. Mary, however, […] acts on a much higher level than the priest. In virtue of her own natural vitality, but together with the Holy Spirit, she built up [in her womb] the body of the divine child. Mary and the Holy Spirit gave us this divine child.
    • Matthias Joseph Scheeben (1835–1888), The Holy Spirit, compiled by Friedrich Fuchs, SVD, translated by Leon Jungblut, SVD. Allahabad: St Paul Publications, 1974, p. 65.
  • Religious icons such as Mary in Christianity and Guanyin in Buddhism had deep roots in European and Chinese traditions. When the Jesuit missionaries came to China in the late 16th century, they represented Christianity as a different yet compatible religion to the native Chinese beliefs, first Buddhism and then Confucianism. Mary, the virgin mother of Christ and the principal saint of Christian Church, was one of the most appealing icons in Jesuits’ paintings and narratives. Though some Chinese expressed suspicion and even rejected Mary, many others tended to equate her with Guanyin, a popular Buddhist goddess in late Ming culture, largely because they two shared similar qualities such as compassion, purification, and child-giving power.
  • Mother! Whose virgin bosom was uncrost
    With the least shade of thought to sin allied;
    Woman! Above all women glorified,
    Our tainted nature's solitary boast...
    • William Wordsworth, The Virgin, (Ecclesiastical Sonnets, 2.25) as quoted in The Gospel of St. John: The Story of the Son of God, NA, p.64
  • It was given to her what belongs to no creature, that in the flesh she should bring forth the Son of God.
    • Ulrich Zwingli, In Evang. Luc., Opera Completa [Zurich, 1828-42], Volume 6, I, 639
  • I firmly believe that Mary, according to the words of the gospel as a pure Virgin brought forth for us the Son of God and in childbirth and after childbirth forever remained a pure, intact Virgin.
    • Ulrich Zwingli, Zwingli Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Volume 1, 424.
  • The more the honor and love of Christ increases among men, so much the esteem and honor given to Mary should grow.
    • Ulrich Zwingli, Zwingli Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Volume 1, 427-428.
  • I esteem immensely the Mother of God, the ever chaste, immaculate Virgin Mary.
  • Christ ... was born of a most undefiled Virgin.
  • It was fitting that such a holy Son should have a holy Mother.
    • Ulrich Zwingli, as quoted in E. Stakemeier, De Mariologia et Oecumenismo, K. Balic, ed., (Rome, 1962), 456.

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