Mary (the mother of Jesus)

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Praying to people outside the Trinity

I understand that the Roman Catholic church direct some prayers to Mary, the mother of Jesus. For me it would be strange to address my prayers to anyone outside the Holy Trinity. Do Catholics pray to ...
21
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4answers
4k views

Why was Zachariah punished while Mary was not?

The gospel of Luke states that when the angel Gabriel appeared to Zacharia and told him that his wife Elizabeth would concieve John the Baptist, Zacheria doubts the prophecy and so is temporarily ...
18
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3answers
541 views

According to Roman Catholic doctrine, why does Mary refer to God as her Savior if she was born without sin?

In the Magnificat, Mary refers to God as her Savior. According to Roman Catholic doctrine, Mary was born sinless and remained sinless throughout her life. So, why does Mary refer to God as her ...
17
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3answers
703 views

Protestant arguments for perpetual virginity of Mary

It's common knowledge that Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodoxy have the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary. Protestants generally don't have that belief. Less known is that Zwingli and ...
16
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5answers
948 views

What exactly is a “Hail Mary”?

The practice of a saying a "Hail Mary" is often referred to in colloquial speech, sometimes as a way to caricaturize Catholics. References to the practice instantly conjure up images of Catholicism, ...
16
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4answers
608 views

What significance, if any, does the doctrine of the eternal virginity of Mary have?

I understand that the Catholic Church (and perhaps the Orthodox church as well) teaches that Mary is "the eternal virgin" Mary. If this were an important doctrine, it seems there would be fairly ...
15
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5answers
1k views

What is the Biblical evidence against the perpetual virginity of Mary?

I understand that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that Mary is the eternal virgin in that she never had sexual relations with Joseph (or any other man)--either before or after the miraculous ...
15
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8answers
3k views

Why can't Catholicism just drop its Marian devotion?

Catholicism puts great emphasis on the importance on the Mary, the Mother of God. It honors her and insists upon her perpetual sinlessness and perpetual virginity. And in my observation, it seems as ...
15
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3answers
1k views

What is the biblical basis for the Immaculate Conception?

According to Catholic Doctrine, the Immaculate Conception refers to the teaching that Mary's own conception (not that of Jesus) was without the stain of original sin. What is the biblical basis for ...
14
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3answers
1k views

When did Mary and Joseph learn that they were never supposed to have marital relations, according to Roman Catholic doctrine?

Roman Catholic doctrine teaches that Mary remained a virgin her entire life, even after marrying Joseph. It would seem that Joseph and Mary, at their betrothal, had likely expected to have, and ...
13
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2answers
508 views

How is “Veneration” similar or different from “Adoration”?

Most Catholics teach about honoring the saints, and mostly about "venerating" the Blessed Virgin Mary. Though in my country (I'm from the Philippines), the line between honoring saints / Mary and the ...
13
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3answers
423 views

How could a sinless Mary die?

Ignatius Theophorus's answer to this question about the assumption of Mary states: In addition, there is an ancient document which actually relates the death of Mary and the assumption of her ...
13
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1answer
332 views

On what do Catholics base their doctrine of the eternal virginity of Mary?

I understand that the Catholic Church teaches that Mary is the eternal virgin in that she neither had sexual relations with Joseph (or any other man) either before or after the miraculous conception ...
12
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4answers
1k views

Why do Catholics put so much faith in the Virgin Mary?

I'm not sure how to express the relationship that Catholics have with the Virgin Mary, so please excuse the word Faith in the question title. giving Mary praise I understand that Mary gave birth to ...
12
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1answer
199 views

Justification of perpetual virginity of Mother Mary

How do Catholics justify St. Joseph not being able to consummate his marriage with his wife? It would seem as though the doctrine of Mary's perpetual virginity is at odds with Catholic teaching ...
11
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9answers
2k views

Why did God choose Mary?

The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, was conceived full of sanctifying grace and free of any stain of original sin. In Catholicism, this is called the Immaculate Conception. She was conceived ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Why was it necessary for Mary to be a virgin?

A lot of emphasis seems to be placed on the virginity of Mary. (For discussion on that, see this question) Is there a theological reason why Jesus's birth had to be a virgin birth? Obviously God ...
10
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4answers
182 views

Was the virgin conception of Jesus known to the people at the time?

From Bible, it seems that Mary consulted with Elizabeth after the Annunciation but from the people's reaction to Jesus at ministry, it occurs to me that they are not aware of the surrounding story ...
10
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2answers
425 views

Did Mary know that her Baby Boy would “soon deliver her”?

It's a little past Christmas, but I forgot to ask this question based on the song "Mary did you know", which really raises the question. Did Mary know? As a Catholic, there are lots of traditions ...
10
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4answers
225 views

Are there any Catholic sects which disagree with the sinlessness of Mary?

As a protestant, the concept of the sinless state of Mary is one of the hardest aspects of Catholicism to swallow. The historical account of the adoption of this doctrine doesn't lend any credibility ...
9
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3answers
377 views

Did Mary know she was sinless, according to Roman Catholic teaching?

The Roman Catholic Church teaches the Immaculate Conception that asserts Mary was conceived without sin and remained sinless for her entire life. Assuming this to be true, did Mary know that she ...
9
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1answer
139 views

What is the basis for the claim that Ezekiel 44 is about Mary the Mother of Jesus?

Upon being referred to the statements of Thomas Aquinas in Summa Theologia, I read this: It is written (Ezekiel 44:2): "This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass ...
8
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6answers
11k views

What is significant about the swaddling clothes with which Jesus was wrapped as a baby?

Luke gives the account of Jesus' birth and mentions that Mary wrapped Him in "swaddling cloths". And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a ...
8
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4answers
391 views

Relationships between God the Father, Mary and the two natures of Jesus Christ

Would it be okay to say this: Jesus Christ is both God and Man, which means that He possesses both divine and human nature. Divine nature in Him is from God the Father and the human nature in ...
8
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4answers
425 views

Why did Pope Francis say, “When we encounter the Cross, do we turn to Mary,” rather than to Christ?

When we encounter the Cross, we turn to Mary: Give us the strength, Mary our Mother, to accept and embrace the Cross! —His Holiness Pope Francis Source Since I'm not a theologist, can ...
8
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3answers
296 views

What support is there in the Patristic writings for Marian Devotion?

Specifically, I want to know if there is evidence in the early Church of Christians venerating Mary. Evidence from the time following Mary's earthly life is preferred, though not required.
8
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1answer
307 views

Why is the Exsultet so keen on bees?

The Exsultet or Exultet is a beautiful Latin hymn for the Easter vigil. There are a few different versions. Part of the ceremony involves lighting the Paschal candle, and the text thanks the bees who ...
8
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2answers
121 views

Is the Virgin Mary ever referred to as “the Holy Table” (ἡ ἁγία ἡ τράπεζα)?

I'm still in the process of translating a work of John of Damascus concerning the Eucharist and the body of Christ, entitled Περὶ τοῦ ἀχράντου σώματος, οὗ μεταλαμβάνομεν. In section 4, he writes, ...
8
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2answers
304 views

Is there any tradition that informs us of the possible age of Mary on Christmas day?

I have heard that the legal age of marriage was quite young in Jewish culture at the time of Christ. I believe a young girls at the age of twelve could marry. However, I find it difficult to imagine ...
7
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4answers
7k views

Why isn't the virgin birth of Jesus mentioned in all of the gospels?

I recently saw Bill Maher's documentary and he mentions that the virgin birth is only mentioned in two of the gospels. He goes on to bug Christian people several times by asking questions such as "How ...
7
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2answers
134 views

How old is the doctrine of a sinless Mary?

What are the oldest known writings that state that Mary was without sin?
7
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1answer
212 views

Is the desire for a spiritual mother natural to mankind?

I've been answering a few questions on this site raised about the intercessory power of the Blessed Virgin Mary and this question popped into my mind. St. Thomas Aquinas can posit a rational proof ...
7
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4answers
138 views

Was the Assumption of Mary a belief in the early church?

Was the Assumption of Mary a belief in the early church? If so, where's the evidence? The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life is a defined dogma of the ...
6
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2answers
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How do we know Mary was a virgin at the time of Jesus' conception?

Luke 1:26-26: 26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of ...
6
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3answers
279 views

What is the source DNA for the body of Jesus? [closed]

This question focus on the physical body used by Jesus during his time on Earth. I believe there is much biblical support for and little question that the body of Jesus gestated in the body of Mary ...
6
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1answer
253 views

Did Mary die, or was she translated like Enoch and Elijah?

According to the Bible, did Mary die? From a comment on another question, it seems that at least some denominations (including the Roman Catholic Church) teach that, like Elijah and Enoch, Mary did ...
6
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1answer
352 views

What did the Dominicans have against the immaculate conception?

I was readIng an ad for a movie about blessed Duns Scotus which said he was debated and won against the Dominicans in the 13th century about the special privilege given to Mary, her Immaculate ...
6
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1answer
318 views

Why do Catholics bow for icons of the Virgin Mary?

It doesn't surprise me when orthodox Christians bow for icons of the Virgin Mary, since they believe that she is present in the icon. But why do (some) Catholics also bow for icons of Mary? There are ...
6
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1answer
152 views

Who believes the incarnation and resurrection wouldn't have happened without Mary's faith?

A group called the Steering Committee for the National Consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is, as the name suggests, seeking the consecration of the nation of Ireland to the ...
5
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7answers
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Shouldn't Mary’s genealogy be Jesus' family history?

Matthew 1 The Family History of Jesus the Messiah: Abraham was the father of Isaac . . . . Matthan was the father of Jacob. 16 Jacob was the father of Joseph. Joseph was the ...
5
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2answers
108 views

Why is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception treated differently?

I know that the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a seemingly immoveable feast. Unlike the other holy days the obligation is not transferred when it falls on a Saturday or a Monday (so you ...
5
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2answers
286 views

What criteria do Catholics use to determine if an old testament character prefigures Mary?

I was at a Catechetical training seminar in my parish and the presenter on topic of the creed when touching on the Blessed Virgin Mary said that lots and lots of characters prefigure Mary in the old ...
5
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2answers
231 views

Do Luke 1:48 and Luke 11:27-28 contradict each other?

I have been replaying Luke 1:48 and Luke 11:27-28 in my mind. Something doesn't make sense here. Luke 1:48 is the part of Mary's song where Mary announces that all successive generations will call her ...
5
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2answers
328 views

Mary's painless birth

Where does the Catholic tradition that Mary's birth was painless come from? My wife just got home from a non-denominational study about Mary and she said she thought everybody knew this, but ...
5
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2answers
678 views

What is the Little Office of Our Lady in connection to the Scapular Devotion?

This is particularly confusing and the wikipedia entry is not helpful. I've worn a scapular since going to World Youth Day in 2005, but I've never asked a priest to consecrate my devotion. The ...
5
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1answer
5k views

From where does the tradition come that Mary rode on a donkey to Bethlehem prior to the birth of Jesus?

It seems that most every movie or depiction of Mary and Joseph on the way to Bethlehem depicts Mary as riding on a donkey. However, I don't recall any place in Scripture from which this idea could be ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Why do Protestants not refer to Mary by the title “Mother of God”?

I have heard the title "Mother of God" in connection with the so-called "Hail Mary" prayer that is recited by Catholics. However, I have never heard this term used in any Protestant setting. (I'm ...
5
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1answer
120 views

Why didn't Mary tell Joseph what Gabriel had said to her?

From Gabriel's visitation of Mary in Luke 1:26-38, ending with this famous line: "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May your word to me be fulfilled." Then the angel left her. And also ...
4
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4answers
463 views

What do Protestants say was the source for the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary?

Not counting Martin Luther, who appears to have believed in the doctrine of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, what do other Protestants think is the source and reason for Catholic adherence to the ...
4
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4answers
790 views

Why worship saints / Mary / Angels?

When John falls down in his knees to worship the angel, the angel tells him immediately to stop because he is just a worshiper like him, so all the glory is for the Lord. It is I, John, who heard ...