Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends His Son to save all men. Like the beloved disciple, we welcome Jesus’ mother into our homes, for she has become the mother of all living. We can pray with and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2679)
“All generations will call me blessed”: The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship. The Church rightly honors “the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times, the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of ‘Mother of God,’ to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs… This very special devotion… differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration.” The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an “epitome of the whole Gospel,” express this devotion to the Virgin Mary.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 971)
The Rosary beads were first invented in 1090 AD by “Peter the Hermit” and made popular by St. Dominic in 1208 AD. Of the 59 total beads of the Rosary, 53 beads are “Hail Marys”, but only 6 are “Our Father”. The majority of their prayers go to Mary, not to God. It should be 59 prayers to God and 0 to Mary. By contrast to Catholic teaching, I Timothy 2:5 says “there is one God, and one mediator between God and man Jesus Christ.” See also Hebrews 7:25
The Roman Catholic church teaches that Mary is co-redemptrix/co-redeemer. This heresy had an early set of sources.
o St. Antonius (250-350) claimed: “All grace that have ever been bestowed on men, all came through Mary.”
o St. Bernard (1090-1153) wrote: “(Mary is called) the gate of heaven because no one can enter that blessed kingdom without passing through her.”
o In the widely read and still published book “The Glories of Mary”, by Alphonsus de Ligouri (1696-1787) describes how Mary is given half of God’s kingdom to rule. The book states that Mary is considered a source of salvation and a mediator between God and man. It also claims that outside of Mary there is no salvation. This work has been endorsed and promulgated further by Popes and authorities within the Catholic Church.
o Pope Benedict XV declared: “she herself must justly be said to have redeemed together with Christ the human race.”
o Pope Pius IX added: “With her Son, the Only-begotten, she is the most powerful Mediatrix and Conciliatrix of the whole world.”
o Pope John Paul in his “Holy Thursday” address of 1979 urged bishops and priests to look to Mary: “You must look to her with exceptional hope and love. Who will better communicate to you the truth about him (Christ) than his mother? May the Virgin of Pentecost obtain this for us through her intercession.”
o Roman Catholic catechism 966 states: “Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into the heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.” The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and the anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians: “In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.”
o Roman Catholic Catechism 969 states: “The motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation… Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.”
The Catholic Church teaches that Mary was sinless. This is also known as the “Immaculate Conception” – which is the teaching that the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in her mother’s womb was free from original sin. The teaching is that Mary was conceived by normal biological means, but her soul was acted upon by God (kept “immaculate”) at the time of her conception.
o Catechism 491 states: “Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854: “The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.”
o Catechism 722: “The Holy Spirit prepared Mary by his grace. It was fitting that the mother of him in whom “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily”: should herself be “full of grace.” She was, by sheer grace, conceived without sin as the most humble of creatures, the most capable of welcoming the inexpressible gif of the Almighty. It was quite correct for the angel Gabriel to greet her as the “Daughter of Zion”: “Rejoice.” It is the thanksgiving of the whole People of God, and thus of the Church, which Mary in her canticle lifts up to the Father in the Holy Spirit while carrying within her the eternal Son.”
o Catechism 508: “From among the descendants of Eve, God chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of his Son. “Full of grace”, Mary is the most excellent fruit of redemption” (SC 103): from the first instant of her conception, she was totally preserved from the stain of original sin and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her life.”
o The entire doctrine of “sinlessness” is derived from the simple phrase “full of grace”. Actually, the phrase “full of grace” in Greek is “plaras karitos” and occurs in only 2 places in the New Testament: neither one is in reference to Mary. John 1:14 referring to Christ and Acts 6:8 referring to Stephen.
o So where does this phrase “full of grace” referring to Mary come from? From the Latin Vulgate translation done by St. Jerome in the 4th century. It is in the Vulgate that the unfortunate Latin phrase “ave gratia plena” (“Hail full of grace”) is used. More accurate translations say either “favored one” or “the Lord has ‘greatly blessed you.’” The Greek word is “kexaritommena” and means “highly favored, make accepted, make graceful, etc.” And neither Greek phrase means “sinless”.