Sunday, February 21, 2010

Responding to a question about Our Lady and the objections of Protestants

In regard to the story of the miraculous resurrection of the mother and two children at the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, this blog received a comment which I would like to try to address.

It reads:

“This kind of a post confuses Protestants. They accuse us of "Mary Worship". I think you should clarify that this was done by Mary's INTERCESSION, and not of her own power as if she was a goddess.


Yes, it is absolutely correct to say that we Catholics believe that God is ultimately the Source of all power, virtue and grace.  Nothing happens that He does not Will.

In the collect of the Mass for the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, we read:

“Father, you have given us the mother of your Son to be our queen and mother. With the support of her prayers may we come to share the glory of your children in the kingdom of heaven. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

And, therefore, of herself, Our Lady has no power.  

But for that matter, nor does any creature.  For example, the little bird that lands on the ground, nibbles a seed, and flies back to his perch on a branch, does all these things by the power of God.

However, I never hear a Protestant say: 

“The bird, by the power of God flies up and down; by the power of God it eats and sleeps, etc.)

It is not reasonable to qualify every statement we make with the phrase, “by the Power and Will of God.” 

Sadly, Protestants are constantly looking for a way to try to justify their rejection for the Blessed Mother by framing the discussion in terms that are simply not true: that we Catholics worship Mary as a goddess.

Going back to the bird analogy,  how far superior is Mary to a little bird?

Moreover, in regard to the Blessed Virgin Mary, we know that her intercession before the Throne of God is omnipotent. 

In his treatise on True Devotion to Mary, Saint Louis de Montfort writes:

10. (4) God chose her to be the treasurer, the administrator and the dispenser of all his graces, so that all his graces and gifts pass through her hands. Such is the power that she has received from him that, according to St Bernardine, she gives the graces of the eternal Father, the virtues of Jesus Christ, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit to whom she wills, as and when she wills, and as much as she wills.

It is in this sense that we Catholics says “by the grace of Our Lady”, or “thanks to Our Lady.”

In another passage, Saint Louis says:

“But the power of Mary over all the devils will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lay his snares against her heel: that is to say, her humble slaves and her poor children, whom she will raise up to make war against him. They shall be little and poor in the world’s esteem, and abased before all like the heel, trodden underfoot and persecuted as the heel is by the other members of the body. But in return for this they shall be rich in the grace of God, which Mary shall distribute to them abundantly. They shall be great and exalted before God in sanctity, superior to all other creatures by their lively zeal, and so well sustained with God’s assistance that, with the humility of their heel, in union with Mary, they shall crush the head of the devil and cause Jesus Christ to triumph.”

Of course, Saint Louis, by saying “the power of Mary” does not means that this power comes from Her, but that is was given to Her by God to use to crush the devils.  And, in that second sense, Our Lady has an effective power over the devils.

Saint Bernadine of Siena, speaks of Our Lady’s sway over the devils in these terms: 

“The Most Blessed Virgin Mary rules over the infernal regions.  She is therefore called the ruling mistress of the devils because She brings them into subjection.”

I have no more beautiful expression of the protection of Our Lady for her faithful servants than this passage of Saint Louis de Montfort:

“Mary, the beloved Mother of chosen souls, shelters them under her protecting wings as a hen does her chicks. She speaks to them, coming down to their level and accommodating herself to all their weaknesses. To ensure their safety from the hawk and vulture, she becomes their escort, surrounding them as an army in battle array.

“Could anyone surrounded by a well-ordered army of say a hundred thousand men fear his enemies? No, and still less would a faithful servant of Mary, protected on all sides by her imperial forces, fear his enemy. This powerful Queen of heaven would sooner dispatch millions of angels to help one of her servants than have it said that a single faithful and trusting servant of hers had fallen victim to the malice, number and power of his enemies.

And, finally, allow me to conclude with these words taken from AD CAELI REGINAM by Pope Pius XII:

“Let all Christians, therefore, glory in being subjects of the Virgin Mother of God, who, while wielding royal power, is on fire with a mother's love.“


  1. It seems to me that anyone who knowingly knocks the Blessed Mother,for any reason, should realize that this must sadden her Son.

  2. It seems to me that anyone who knocks the Blessed Mother for any reason, must realize that it must sadden her Son.