In 1906, Pope Pius X approved a prayer which says “Mary, Virgin Priest, pray for us.” However, a Holy Office decree of 1916 forbade the use of any image that had Mary wearing vestments – some say for fear of the possibilty of an argument for women’s ordination, others that Mary as a priest was a metaphorical image taken too far. -The Priesthood of Mary

NOTE: There is a related thread on this question but the accepted answer is Mary Virgin Priest is not a real priesthood. Are Catholics permitted to honour Mary as a priest?.


For those who believe that Mary Virgin Priest is a valid expression , what kind of priesthood does Mary possessed? Is it similar to the Sacramental Order of the ministerial priesthood instituted by Christ or is it a unique concept associated with Mary at the foot of the Cross.


What is the basis of St. Pius X in 1906 that led to the approval of the prayer devotion; Mary Virgin Priest, pray for us.?

  • christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/47798/…. The referred link accepted the answer that Mary Virgin Priest is not a real priesthood. What the question asked is, for all who viewed it as a real priesthood. – jong ricafort Oct 23 '19 at 0:34
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    Dear Jong Ricafort, if you can reword your question to make not a duplicate, please do so. If you believe I have made an err in calling it a duplicate, please flag your question and explain your thoughts to the moderators who will take a look at it. Sorry but I truly think it is a duplicate. – Ken Graham Oct 23 '19 at 1:06
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    I think it is good now. – Ken Graham Oct 23 '19 at 2:36
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    I'm voting to close this question because no credible source is given for claiming that «In 1906, Pope Pius X approved a prayer which says “Mary, Virgin Priest, pray for us.”». – Geremia Oct 23 '19 at 2:54
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    @Geremia "“Three hundred days of indulgence acquires whoever piously and devoutly has recited this prayer” (Pope Pius X, Acta Sanctae Sedis 9 May 1906.)This is the source.womenpriests.org/mrpriest/popes.asp#piusxi – jong ricafort Oct 23 '19 at 4:41

What is the basis of St. Pius X in 1906 that led to the approval of the prayer devotion; “Mary Virgin Priest, pray for us”?


The prayer image attached contains ten names of the Saints, Theologians and Pope cited by St. Pius X that formed the basis, like St. Thomas of Villanova, St. Ephrem, and Pope Pius IX, etc.

Prayer to which Pope Pius X attached 300 days’ indulgence in 1906

Oh Mary, Mother of Mercy, “Mother and Daughter of Him who is the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation” (1), “Distributress of all the treasures of your Son” (2), “Minister of God” (3), “Mother of our High Priest Christ, both priest and altar” (4), “Immaculate Tabernacle of the Word of God” (5), “Teacher of all Apostles and Disciples of Christ” (6), protect our Supreme Pontiff, intercede for us and for our priests that the High Priest Jesus Christ may purify our consciences, and that we may worthily and piously approach his sacred meal.

enter image description hereO Immaculate Virgin, who not only “has given us Christ the celestial bread in forgiveness of sins (7), but who is yourself ”A most acceptable sacrifice offered to God" (8), “and the glory of priests” (9), and who, as your most blessed servant Saint Antoninius declares, “although you did not receive the Sacrament of Order, you were full of whatever in dignity and grace is given by it”, you are therefore rightly hailed as “Virgin Priest” (10). Please, look down on us and on the priests of your son, save us, purify us, sanctify us, that we may receive the ineffable treasures of your sacraments in a saintly manner and may deserve to obtain the eternal salvation of our souls. Amen - WOMEN CAN BE PRIESTS

What is an indulgence?

The word indulgence (Latin indulgentia, from indulgeo, to be kind or tender) originally meant kindness or favor; in post-classic Latin it came to mean the remission of a tax or debt. In Roman law and in the Vulgate of the Old Testament (Isaiah 61:1) it was used to express release from captivity or punishment. In theological language also the word is sometimes employed in its primary sense to signify the kindness and mercy of God. But in the special sense in which it is here considered, an indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, the guilt of which has been forgiven. Among the equivalent terms used in antiquity were pax, remissio, donatio, condonatio. - Catholic Encyclopedia

Who can grant indulgences?

The distribution of the merits contained in the treasury of the Church is an exercise of authority (potestas iurisdictionis), not of the power conferred by Holy orders (potestas ordinis). Hence the pope, as supreme head of the Church on earth, can grant all kinds of indulgences to any and all of the faithful; and he alone can grant plenary indulgences. The power of the bishop, previously unrestricted, was limited by Innocent III (1215) to the granting of one year's indulgence at the dedication of a church and of forty days on other occasions. Leo XIII (Rescript of 4 July. 1899) authorized the archbishops of South America to grant eighty days (Acta S. Sedis, XXXI, 758). Pius X (28 August, 1903) allowed cardinals in their titular churches and dioceses to grant 200 days; archbishops, 100; bishops, 50. These indulgences are not applicable to the souls departed. They can be gained by persons not belonging to the diocese, but temporarily within its limits; and by the subjects of the granting bishop, whether these are within the diocese or outside--except when the indulgence is local. Priests, vicars general, abbots, and generals of religious orders cannot grant indulgences unless specially authorized to do so. On the other hand, the pope can empower a cleric who is not a priest to give an indulgence (St. Thomas, "Quodlib.", II, q. viii, a. 16). - Catholic Encyclopedia

It would seem to appear that the Church Traditions and numerous Saints & Theologians had acknowledge Mary as Virgin Priest, even St. Pius X predecessors had acknowledge this teaching.

The Popes and devotion to Mary Priest

Pope Pius VII (1800 - 1823 AD) Pius VII approved the devotion to Mary ‘Pastrix Animarum’ [=‘sheperdess of souls’]. This title had arisen in the Capuchin Order at Seville (Spain) from the beginning of the 17th century. Request for the formal approval was submitted to the Holy Father by Jérôme Joseph OFM Cap, a consultor of the Holy Office, in 1796 (addressed to Pope Pius VI who died soon afterwards).

Pope Pius IX (1846 - 1878 AD) Pius IX wrote a letter to recommend the book Marie et le Sacerdoce [‘Mary and the Priesthood’] by Mgr. O. van den Berghe, Paris 1873. This book is entirely devoted to describing the priesthood of Mary and to documenting its theological and spiritual antecedents in Christian tradition.

Pius IX’s letter of approval was printed as a preface to the book. It contained the following paragraph:

“To inculcate an attitude of sacrifice in the clergy, nothing can be a greater help than the patronage of the Mother of God. There is no more striking example, none more relevant and effective than the deeds of her who reflected divine holiness in herself, as in a mirror without stain, better than it is reflected in any other creature. From Christ’s virginal conception to his cruel death, Mary united herself so closely to the sacrifice of her divine Son that she has been called the 'Virgin Priest' by the Fathers of the Church”. (Marie et le Sacerdoce, pp. V-VI.)

Note 1. Authors sometimes say that the Fathers never used the title ‘Virgin Priest’. However, ‘Virgin Priest’ is a correct translation of the expression ‘young woman, sacrificial priest’ used by Theodore the Studite. This had been pointed out by Mgr, O van den Berghe in his book.

Pope Pius IX’s letter was seen as giving official approval to the devotion to Mary, Virgin Priest. To quote just two examples:

“I have rejoiced to see this glorious title of Virgo Sacerdos [=Virgin Priest] vindicated, a title which the growing devotion of the last centuries has built up on a text of ecclesiastical antiquity, then hallowed by the authority of our great Pope Pius IX! It will give a new impulse to the devotion to the priestly Virgin, to Mary Mother of the clergy and Mother of priests.” Cardinal L. Pius, Archbishop of Bordeaux in 1875. “[Theologians . . . ] have interpreted with knowledge and piety the thoughts of the Doctors of the Church relating to the mystical priesthood of Mary, and these thoughts are like a concert of praise to our majestic Queen. Without having been invested with the priestly character, Mary was so closely associated with the sacrifice of the eternal Priest that the Fathers of the Church called her Virgo Sacerdos [Virgin Priest] and the Brief of our great Pope Pius IX accepts and hallows that glorious title. I too salute this divine Queen of the Priesthood.” Cardinal V. Vannutelli, Vatican in 1875.

Pope Leo XIII (1878 - 1903) Pope Leo XIII received ‘with joy’ a painting by the artist Capparoni, of Our Lady in priestly vestments. L. Laplace, La Mère Marie de Jésus, Paris 1906, p. 404. (The illustration is given in the book on page 392; I have not been able to trace it so far.) - The Popes and devotion to Mary Priest It would be fair to conclude that St.Pius X uses the teachings of his predecessors, their appreciation and devotion in granting indulgences and approving the prayer devotion. Therefore, Mary Virgin Priest is not a metaphor but a real priesthood.

Mary Virgin Priest, pray for us.(St. Pius X; 1906 prayer devotion)

The only question to resolve are:

When was Mary ordained and who ordained Her as a priest?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Peter Turner Oct 23 '19 at 19:41
  • You must add links to posted quotes. To bad they are in favour of women priests which is against Catholic Tradition. – Ken Graham Oct 23 '19 at 20:37
  • “The prayer image attached contains ten names of the Saints, Theologians and Pope cited by St.Pius X that formed the basis, like St. Thomas of Villanova, St.Ephrem, and Pope Pius IX, etc.” Not so, my friend, he merely added footnotes to relevant sources as as an invocation or various titles that Mary had historical been invoked as. Read it carefully. – Ken Graham Oct 24 '19 at 21:49
  • @KenGraham Does the footnote guide the faithfuls to refer to the teachings of that cited names? Do the cited names affirmed Mary is a Virgin Priest? Yes. – jong ricafort Oct 24 '19 at 21:55
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    @jongricafort "Mary Virgin Priest is not a metaphor but a real priesthood [having sacrament of Holy Orders]." Why is that not a metaphor when the Litany of Loreto's calling her a rose, tower, house, gate, star, etc., clearly is metaphorical? – Geremia Oct 26 '19 at 3:59

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