Marian Shrine at Lourdes reopens. See the live video feed.

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An incomparable photo essay of an incorruptible saint


Every photo ever taken of the beautiful Saint Bernadette Soubirous.

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Submitted by Nancy W.

Monsignor Charles Pope turns the tables on the “Why do you Catholics worship Mary?” people.

Most of us who are Catholics eventually get asked, “Why do you Catholics worship Mary?”

More often than not the question is not a real question it is a rhetorical question. A “rhetorical question,” is a “question” whose purpose is not to seek an answer, but, rather, to make a (usually hostile) point. For example the expression “Who do you think you are!?” is in the form of a question but it does not seek an answer. Instead it is meant as a rebuke. And so it usually is when we Catholics get asked the “question” Why do you worship Mary?” we’re usually aware that it is not a sincere question seeking a sincere answer. However, for those cases where an answer really issought I might propose the following approach:

“Well, of course we don’t worship Mary since that would be a terrible sin. Worship belongs to God alone. We DO honor her though. After all, she is Jesus’ mother.

But let me ask you a question. Why in your church, do you NOT honor Mary at all? Doesn’t scripture say Every generation will call [Mary] blessed because God who is mighty has done great things for [her]? (Luke 1:48-49) It seems to me that we Catholics are fulfilling Scripture but that in your denomination you are not fulfilling or following it. So why don’t you honor her at all? Why don’t you call her blessed as the Bible says?”

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Catholic faith resources from the Knights of Columbus

Good stuff to know about why Catholics (quite rightly) venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary


— a good starting point is the place where Jesus began His earthly ministry, the Wedding Feast at Cana as described in John 2: 1-11.

On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

A close examination of this passage reveals a great deal about our Blessed Lady and the gift that awaits those who turn to her.

For starters, it is reasonable for us to believe that Jesus was fully aware of the needs of the wedding party even before He was approached by Mary. Yet in spite of this, He chose to meet this need only at His Mother’s suggestion.

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Slide show: “Why Catholics Venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary”

What Are the Four Marian Dogmas?

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Q: What Are The Four Dogmas of the Virgin Mary?

A: In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death. From the Byzantine Liturgy … Troparion … Feast of the Dormition, August 15th

The Roman Catholic Church affirms four truths concerning the role of the Virgin Mary in God’s plan of salvation:

1) The perpetual virginity of Mary: The perpetual virginity of Mary of Nazareth is expressed in 3 parts: in her virginal conception of Christ; in giving birth to Christ, and her continuing virginity after His birth:
virginitas ante partum: virginity before birth [CCC#396; 510]
virginitas in partu: virginity during birth [CCC#510]
virtinitas post partum: virginity after birth [CCC# 510] The usage of this triple formula to express the fullness of this mystery of faith became standard with St. Augustan [354-430AD], St. Peter Chrysologus [c. 400-450AD], and Pope St. Leo the Great [440-461AD]. See CCC # 496-507; 964.
CCC499: The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ’s birth “did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.” And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the “Ever-virgin.”
[Note: The so called “brothers” of Jesus mentioned in Scripture are His kinsmen. In Hebrew there was no designation for siblings, or half-brothers, or step-brothers. The Greek word used to designate Jesus’ brothers adelphos is the same word used for kinsmen, brothers like St. James and John Zebedee, and all “brothers” in the faith].

2) Mary the Mother of God: That Mary was the mother of Jesus who is God was defined as dogma at the very city where Mary had lived for several years—at the Council of Ephesus in 431AD. CCC# 495: Called in the Gospels “the mother of Jesus,” Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as “the mother of my Lord,” In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father’s eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity, Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly “Mother of God (Theotokos). Also #509.

3) Immaculate Conception of Mary: That Mary of Nazareth was conceived without original sin was defined as dogma by Pope Pius IX in 1854. See CCC# 491-492; 508. CCC# 508: From among the descendants of Eve, God chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of his Son. “Full of grace,” Mary is “the most excellent fruit of redemptions” (SC 103): from the first instant of her conception, she was totally preserved from the stain of original sin and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her life.

4) Assumption of Mary into heaven: That Mary’s body did not experience corruption but was assumed into heaven was defined as dogma by Pope Pius XII in 1950. See CCC# 966; 974. CCC# 974: The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven, where she already shares in the glory of her Son’s Resurrection, anticipating the resurrection of all members of his Body.
Each of these truths concerning the role of Mary of Nazareth in salvation history were teachings within the Church from the very beginning of the Church’s formation but became defined more fully as God the Holy Spirit expanded the Church’s understanding of the revelation of Jesus Christ in Christian doctrine and theology through the centuries. For example the oldest canonical feast of Mary in the Church is the Feast of the Assumption which was already celebrated on its own feast day by the 5th century. The doctrine of the Assumption of the Virgin is also part of the Tradition reflected in the writings of the early Church fathers even though Pius XII defined it as dogma in 1950. The same is true of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, which was formally defined by Pope Pius XI in 1854.

While Scripture reveals nothing about Mary’s death, St. John Damascene [died 749] recorded a story reportedly shared at the Council of Chalcedon in 451AD that Mary had died in the presence of the Apostles but when the tomb was opened they found it empty, “wherefrom the Apostles concluded that the body was taken up to heaven.” From this testimony the Church has taught that Mary was assumed bodily and now tastes the Resurrection for which all Christians hope.

Early Church hymns speak of “Mary conceived without sin” and the teaching is explicitly stated in the writings of Sts. Ambrose, Augustan, Andrew of Crete, Germain of Constantinople and other Fathers of the Church. This teaching was also celebrated in the early Church liturgy. A feast commemorating the Immaculate Conception.

http://www.agapebiblestudy.com/documents…

Pope Benedict XVI – On Our Lady’s coredemptive role with Jesus at Calvary

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Pope Benedict XVI – On Our Lady’s coredemptive role with Jesus at Calvary 

On January 11, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI released his 2008 World Day of the Sick Address for February 11, in which he presented his strongest teaching to date on Our Lady’s coredemptive role with Jesus at Calvary. The Holy Father states:

For this reason, Mary is a model of total self-abandonment to God’s will: she received in her heart the eternal Word and she conceived it in her virginal womb; she trusted in God and, with her soul pierced by a sword (cf. Lk 2:35), she did not hesitate to share the Passion of her Son, renewing on Calvary at the foot of the Cross her “yes” of the Annunciation. … Associated with the Sacrifice of Christ, Mary, Mater Dolorosa, who at the foot of the Cross suffers with her divine Son, is felt to be especially near by the Christian community, which gathers around its suffering members who bear the signs of the passion of the Lord. Mary suffers with those who are in affliction, with them she hopes, and she is their comfort, supporting them with her maternal help. And is it not perhaps true that the spiritual experience of very many sick people leads us to understand increasingly that “the Divine Redeemer wishes to penetrate the soul of every sufferer through the heart of his holy Mother, the first and the most exalted of all the redeemed”? (John Paul II, Salvifici Doloris, n. 26)

From an article at Catholic Exchange