Now that I’m an adult and I’m diving back into my Catholic faith, it’s funny how my interests in certain aspects of my faith have changed. While I’m definitely interested in learning more about mothers who were saints, I find myself particularly drawn to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I have no doubt that I’m drawn to the Blessed Virgin Mary more so now that I’m a mother.
For example, my heart breaks whenever I’m participating in the Stations of the Cross and we come to the fourth station. Can you imagine what she must have felt like watching her son suffer and struggle all while knowing that he was walking on his way to his death? Personally, I tend to hold my two boys just a little bit tighter every single time I hear this station.
While the topic of the Blessed Virgin Mary is certainly something I want to dig into on various deeper levels, I thought that a great starting point for my Catholic mom blog would be to work on answering some of the common questions Catholics, Christians and non-believers alike often have regarding this incredible woman.
5 Common Questions and Answers About the Blessed Virgin Mary
Although there are so many questions that could be asked and answered regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary, I tried to simplify them as much as I could. Here are just a handful of what I came up with:
Question about the Blessed Virgin Mary #1: Who is the Blessed Virgin Mary?
The Blessed Virgin Mary, often referred to as Mary, is a central figure in Christianity. According to Christian tradition, she was the mother of Jesus Christ, conceived him through the Holy Spirit, and gave birth to him in Bethlehem. Mary is highly venerated by Catholics and other Christian denominations as the Mother of God and a model of faith and obedience.
Question about the Blessed Virgin Mary #2: Why is Mary considered blessed or “The Blessed Virgin Mary”?
Mary is called “The Blessed Virgin” due to her unique role as the mother of Jesus Christ. The title “blessed” refers to the special favor and grace bestowed upon her by God, as she was chosen to be the vessel through which the Son of God entered the world. In the Gospel of Luke, the angel Gabriel addresses her as “blessed among women” (Luke 1:28) when announcing her divine pregnancy.
Question about the Blessed Virgin Mary #3: What are some key events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary?
Some key events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary include:
- The Annunciation: When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce that she would conceive and bear the Son of God (Luke 1:26-38).
- The Nativity: The birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, where Mary laid him in a manger (Luke 2:6-7).
- The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple: Mary and Joseph presented Jesus to the Lord as prescribed by Jewish law (Luke 2:22-38).
- The Wedding at Cana: Where Mary interceded with Jesus, leading to his first miracle of turning water into wine (John 2:1-11).
- The Crucifixion and Resurrection: Mary stood at the foot of the cross during Jesus’ crucifixion (John 19:25-27) and was present with the apostles after his resurrection (Acts 1:14).
Question about the Blessed Virgin Mary #4: Do all Christian denominations share the same beliefs about Mary?
While Mary is venerated by various Christian denominations, the extent and manner of her veneration can vary. The Roman Catholic Church, for example, has a strong devotion to Mary, including doctrines like the Immaculate Conception (Mary’s own conception without original sin) and her Assumption into Heaven. Other Christian denominations may view Mary with great respect but might not hold the same level of theological significance or emphasize specific doctrines related to her.
Question about the Blessed Virgin Mary #5: Are there Marian apparitions, and what do they signify?
Marian apparitions are reported instances where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to individuals or groups. Throughout history, there have been numerous claims of such apparitions around the world. Some of the most well-known apparitions include Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, Lourdes in France, and Fatima in Portugal. These apparitions often convey messages of prayer, repentance, and the call for spiritual renewal. While the Catholic Church investigates and approves some apparitions as worthy of belief, individual believers may have varying views on their authenticity and significance.
What is the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary?
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, often simply referred to as the Assumption, is a dogma of the Catholic Church that teaches that at the end of her earthly life, Mary was taken body and soul into Heaven. According to this belief, unlike ordinary human beings who experience physical death followed by resurrection at the end of time, Mary was assumed, or taken up, directly into Heaven by the power of God.
The Assumption of Mary is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, but it has a long history of theological and devotional tradition within Christianity. The belief gained significant momentum in the early centuries of Christianity and was formally declared as a dogma by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950, through his apostolic constitution “Munificentissimus Deus.”
The Assumption is closely related to the belief in Mary’s Immaculate Conception, which asserts that Mary was conceived without original sin. The idea behind the Assumption is that since Mary was sinless and full of grace, it was fitting that she would not experience the corruption of the body in death but would be taken up to be with her son, Jesus Christ, in Heaven.
The Assumption is celebrated by Catholics on August 15th each year, and it holds a significant place in Marian devotion and theology. It is important to note that while the Assumption is a dogma in the Catholic Church, not all Christian denominations accept this belief, and opinions on this matter can vary within Christianity.
My Closing Thoughts on the Blessed Virgin Mary
As I mentioned earlier, now that I am a mother, I feel as though I hold Mary closer to my heart. The challenges, uncertainty and worry that she must have experienced on a regular basis is something that must have been hard for her at every turn. However, her incredible faith and trust in God and His plan was unwavering. The role model of the Virgin Mary is something that I always try to be conscious of as I go through my own Catholic mom journey.