Do Catholics adore the Virgin Mary? Did Mary have other children besides Jesus? Was Mary an unwed mother? What does the Immaculate Conception mean? Don't prayers to Mary diminish prayers to God? What is the history of the rosary? What did Archbishop Fulton Sheen say about Mary and the Muslims? Do Catholics have to believe in Marian apparitions? Which apparitions are approved or disapproved? What was the Third Secret of Fatima?
If you would like the answer to these and ninety other questions about Mary, you should order this book, not only for yourself, but for family, friends, those who teach religion, and those interested in coming into the Catholic Church.
Q. Do Catholics adore the Virgin Mary and make her equal to Jesus?
A. No, Catholics only adore God, but they do pay high honor to Mary for the holy life she led and because she was chosen by God to be the mother of His Son. The Fourth Commandment tells us to honor mothers and fathers. Did Jesus keep this commandment by honoring His mother? Of course He did. So in honoring Mary we are just following the example of our Lord. What's wrong with honoring the holiest woman who ever lived? We are like the "beloved disciple" who took Mary "into his home" (John 19:27).
The Bible tells us to call Mary "blessed" (Luke 1 :48), so Catholics are just following Scripture when they pay tribute to the Blessed Mother. Does this tribute take away from our worship of Jesus? Not at all. Devotion to Mary always leads us to her Son. Mary's final words in the Gospels, speaking about her Son at the wedding feast in Cana, suggest the course that we are to follow: "Do whatever he tells you" (John 2:5).
Q. What about those who want to have Mary declared co-redeemer with Jesus?
A. Catholics believe that Jesus is the one Mediator between God and us and the sole Redeemer of humanity, but that His mother has been given a share in the saving role of her Son. Thus, the Virgin Mary is invoked by the Church, said the Second Vatican Council, "under the titles Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, and Mediatrix. These, however, are to be so understood that they neither take away from nor add anything to the dignity and efficacy of Christ the one Mediator. For no creature could ever be classed with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer" (Lumen Gentium, n. 62).
The Council said that "the Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary. She experiences it continuously and commends it to the hearts of the faithful, so that encouraged by this maternal help they may more closely adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer" (Ibid.). For a correct understanding of the Virgin Mary's unique place in the Church, read the eighth chapter of Lumen Gentium, Pope John Paul II's encyclical letter Mother of the Redeemer, and paragraphs 963-975 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
"With catechetical skill and thorough historical research, James Drummey answers challenging questions about Mary with depth and faithfulness to the Gospel and the teachings of the Catholic Church. All need to read this book."
Most Rev. Emilio S. Allue, SDB, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston
About the Author
James J. Drummey, editor of the weekly "Catholic Replies" column that has appeared in The Wanderer newspaper since 1991, has been involved in the religious education field for more than 30 years. He is the author of two question-and-answer books, Catholic Replies and Catholic Replies 2, co-author of the five-volume Catholicism textbook series that is being used in hundreds of Catholic high schools and parish religion programs, and a popular speaker and defender of the Catholic Church.