Who is the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus?

Mary, the Mother of Jesus - Mary, the Mother of Jesus

Liturgies centered on Mary, prayers addressed to her, devotions to honor her—this is the religious milieu of the Mariological crescendo. It was through the practice of devotional prayer that Mary was transformed from being a model of faith to becoming an object-subject of faith addressed in prayer and praised in the context of Christian worship. In nations and cultures where Roman Catholicism is prevalent, Marianism largely defines the religious experience of Roman Catholics who pray to her and are devoutly committed to her.

It also implies that when dealing with Marian devotion, one touches a central nerve of the whole of Catholic spirituality. Prayer to Mary quintessentially defines Marian spirituality. She is perhaps the most invoked figure in many religious quarters. Acclaimed as mother, she is sought to give help and strength. She is approached with reverence and awe.

Mary can be approached confidently because she can obtain for us from her divine Son anything she asks for.

And each complete Rosary makes her a crown of roses. This is totally contrary to the gospel whereby all that is said in the Scriptures needs to be seen in the light of Jesus Christ Luke and that there is no mediator apart from Christ for our salvation and prayers 1 Tim. Apart from shaping the life of prayer and the overall spiritual understanding of salvation history for Catholics, Mariology is also a determining factor for the arrangement of worship in its spatial dimension.

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Thousands of church buildings around the world are dedicated to Mary, thus forging the minds and hearts of millions of people. Aside from huge church buildings and sanctuaries, Marian devotion marks its territory in the form of small shrines disseminated in crossroads, hospitals, schools, apartment blocks, and offices to signify the nearness of Mary in everyday life and in every place. Each apparition generated the rise of more devotional practices, such as pilgrimages and shrines to the memory of the apparition and to further its message.

The most famous Marian apparitions are those associated with Guadalupe in Mexico, in Lourdes, France , and in Portugal. Rather than promoting a Bible-based, Christ-centered faith, all these messages have reinforced Marian practices and venerations. I live with this wonderful reflection in my heart, mind and soul.

I thank God for this wonderful blessing and grace. As an aside, in the next prayer group meeting after this vision our priest asked us if anyone envisioned our Blessed Mother, and a majority of the group raised their hands. He thanked God and Blessed Mother for granting his prayer of revealing her in the divine presence. I will tell you what she definitely did NOT look like while she was on earth: the most physically attractive woman who ever lived, as Taylor Marshall and Dr.

Mark Miravalle have expressed — the former on his blog and the latter in a class I took with him.

Who Is Mary, Mother of Jesus, and Why Does It Matter?

You are incorrect. As I heard one priest comment, St. Bernadette—who saw Our Lady at Lourdes—said that the Blessed Virgin was so beautiful that, if you saw Her once, you would die to see Her again. And all saints—Padre Pio, St. John Vianney, the children of Fatima—have said the same.

The glorified Mary, certainly. Every fully-hallowed saint in heaven will overpower us with his glory if we were to see them in that state, even if not to the extent Mary would. I doubt Mary was knocking people over dead when she walked the earth. You did not read my post closely enough.

Were you there? God never chooses the most physically attractive. Look at Scripture. Many flat-chested women were very offended by this. And consequently if it be not the same body which the soul resumes, it will not be a resurrection, but rather the assuming of a new body. If the glorious body looks exactly the same as the human body, why did the Apostles not recognize the Risen Christ? Now, care to actually address my arguments?

Mary: Ever Virgin

Specifically, about God never choosing the most physically attractive? Saw a similar video on the faces of Christ. This one was only OK. All the images were either from icons or from European paintings.


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In fact, all the images are well known, not a surprise among all of them. I felt he was more interested in the morphing process than in the actual art and representations of Mary. Interestingly we may have something like a photograph of Jesus in the image on the Shroud of Turin. Some may doubt what the image of the man in the Shroud represents, but it is fascinating that we have an image of a Crucified man bearing the wounds of Jesus, which was produced before photography existed, but whose details would only be visible in our time via the use of modern photographic imaging technology.

Obviously if the Blessed Mother was a real person, who walked, and breathed, ate and drank in the Middle East of years ago she could not look like everyone… What real person can be described this way? In fact to the extent that we do not want to mythologize her, then we must be grownups and realize that she probably did not look much like an Asian woman from say Korea, or an African from the Congo, or even an Irish woman from Belfast, She probably looked something like an Israeli woman of today who maybe lives in Haifa True the private revelations of Mary have seen her in various ways, but when it comes to private revelation the image is always filtered through the human medium, as Fr, Benedict Groeschel has pointed out.

Even if we accept the revelations, which in many cases I do Guadalupe, Fatima, Lourdes The actual description of the Blessed Mother probably is not exactly like seeing her as she looked standing in her home in Nazareth next to the 25 year old Jesus. This is fine for children dealing with fantasy figures, so you can feel free to depict Santa Claus fat or thin, young or old, and belonging to whatever group you fancy.

But with real people, than well… they were what they were…. But this is something Catholics have always done, particularly if you look at the artwork of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Baroque period. Depicting Our Lady as a European peasant or noble woman was never a problem before, why should depicting her as Asian, or African, or Latin American be a problem today?


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  • I suppose the answer is something similar to what Bender wrote above, about what she did look like and what she now looks like. Her glorified body is not like ours and not limited the way ours are now. If you accept the truth of certain apparitions you accept the reasons why and in what way she appeared in those places to those visionaries.

    Surely she did so in the knowledge that she would be depicted as she appeared in those visions and could have appeared as she was in First century Galilee if it were necessary for our devotion. I believe you just need to look at our Lady of Guadalupe to see the true picture of what Mary looked like at the age when she conceived our Lord, for this is her Self Image.

    Mary, the Mother of Jesus

    Since we have both been to the National Shrine to Our Lady, it always makes me wonder, how all the different groups have been able to find space in that really big shrine for the many different chapels to honor Our Blessed Mother. I hope in the future that can still be done. She is pure love and in our imperfect state it would be imposible to comprehend that. I would agree that she comes to us in ways we understand but she is not some sort of changelling. I just want to be with her and her son for eternity.

    Jesus constantly seems to want us to look below the surface for the deeper meaning. Second, Mary is an amalgamation of all women. Thus the reference to the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D. She is all things to all women and not just women. Our Lady of Guadalupe is a Mexican native American and responsible for the conversion of Mexico just through her appearance. Mary was around 13 years old when she became pregnant with Jesus.

    She must have some hint that this is a special birth and that her son will be unique. She takes on the role of Mother of the family and takes care of the hard work to which this demands, i. She goes with her husband to Jerusalem and then heads home only to discover that Jesus is with neither of them after walking down from Jerusalem to Jericho.