Chapter I Blessed Virgin Mary
Q. Do Catholics adore the Blessed Virgin Mary as they adore God?
A. No, this would be idolatry; but Catholics honor her pre-eminent prerogatives with a degree of veneration infinitely inferior to that which is due to God, but much superior to that which is due to the angels and saints.
Q. Why honor her at all?
A. Jesus Christ himself—John xii, 26—says, “If any man serve me, him will my Father honor;” surely, then, even as God honors the Blessed Mary, for no one served his Divine Son with so great fidelity, our veneration for her cannot be misplaced. Even Dr. Pearson a Protestant, (Exp. of Creed, p. 178,) says,—”We cannot bear too reverend a regard to the Mother of our Lord, so long as WE GIVE HER NOT that worship which is due unto the Lord himself” [pg. 281]
Q. What do you discover so especially eminent in the Blessed Virgin as to demand our especial veneration?
A. Immediately after the fall of man, the Almighty honors her by pointing her out, four thousand years before the event, as the person whose seed should crush the serpent’s head. In Isaiah vii, 14, she is made again the subject of a prophecy, and the sacred lips of the Prophet of the Lord proclaim her virginity—a virtue which in all ages has obtained the first degree of honor. [Isa7:14 – Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.”
Q. What do we find in Luke i, 26?
A. We find she is chosen of all the daughters of Eve to be the Mother of Jesus,—the CHOICE is made by the ADORABLE TRINITY, and an ARCHANGEL announces the wonderful tidings to her.
Q. Is the heavenly message delivered by the Angel in such a manner as to give a strong proof of Mary’s exalted dignity?
A. Yes; for she is addressed in language so respectful as to leave no doubt about the matter. “Hail!” says the Angel, “FULL OF GRACE, THE LORD IS WITH THEE: BLESSED ART THOU AMONGST WOMEN.”
Q. What think you of those Protestants who call the Blessed Virgin an ordinary woman? [pg. 282]
A. We pity them, we tremble for them. An Archangel, bearing the words of the Adorable Trinity upon his tongue, tells them they are blasphemers of the saints of God. They utter a falsehood in the face of that exalted creature,—a falsehood in the Face of the Angel,—nay, a falsehood in the very face of God himself.
Q. Do the above passages of Scripture exhibit her as an ordinary woman?
A. No; but the contrary. Is she an ordinary woman who is made the subject of prophecy,—with whom the Blessed Trinity communes,—to whom that Blessed Trinity delegates an ARCHANGEL MESSENGER—Who is declared by the unerring lips of that Angel to be FULL OF GRACE,—to have THE LORD WITH HER, of all the women of the earth, to be particularly BLESSED?
Q. What should Protestants do to justify their language towards the Mother of God?
A. They should corrupt their Bible a little more, and make the Angel say,”Hail, thou that art an ordinary woman,—thou hast no grace,—thou art not blessed more than other,—the Lord is as much with the wives and daughters of the holy reforming ministers as he is with thee.”
Q. What does Origen, who lived fourteen [pg. 283] hundred years ago, say to our present purpose?
A. He says,—” ‘Hail Full of grace,’ &c., is a salutation addressed to MARY ALONE.”
City must add one commentary to this doctrinal catechism:
The 4th Commandment: (the first commandment outside the relationship of God, but with our parents). Thou shall Honor Thy Mother and Thy Father. (Ex20:12) We Catholics must ask these protestors, Q. “Do you adhere to the ten Commandments and have you ever heard of the fourth one? A. Of course they have and do. Q. We must ask ourselves and our christian brothers, did Jesus, model this in scripture? A. Yes, scripture is obvious that Jesus always taught us how he honored His Father, and His mother. His mother he gives to his beloved loyal Disciple John at the foot of the cross. As Catholic, we see therefore how fitting for Jesus to Honor his mother at the wedding in Cana, though his public mission had not begun. Her motherly request in charity is received for our first recorded Miracle of Jesus. We see He never refuses her, his mother, as any good son is called to do. Though he is true God, True Man, she is His THEOTOKOS! No one else. He honors “his own Word”. So, Jesus, Son of God, son of Mary, Honors, the woman through whom the grace of salvation reverses the course of sin begun by Eve.
Q Can we do no less? A. NO, we are called to follow Jesus’ example!
Q. Our brothers in their desire to feel better about themselves prefer blasphemes against the “Ever Blessed Mother of Jesus”. Who does that? A. Satan and his minions, and those in perpetual disobedience, that are blinded to the truth, by his deceitful doctrines.
Chapter II Mary’s Pre-eminent Dignity
Q. What says Luke, i, 35, on this question?
A. “And the Angel answering, said unto her, (Mary,) the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; therefore also that Holy Thing which shall he born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
Q. Does this passage prove the Blessed Virgin an ordinary woman?
A. Oh! blush for shame, ye reforming pretenders to Scriptural knowledge! Is SHE an ordinary woman, who holds direct intercourse with the three persons of the Adorable Trinity? She whose son is the Son of God?—She who is made the mother of the King of kings?—she whose son, as the Angel tells her, shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest, who shall sit on the throne of David, and reign over the house of Jacob for ever?
Q. Does she not, in verse 34, show some [pg. 284] doubt, when she asks—”How shall this be? seeing that I know not man?”
A. Yes; but the moment that the Angel tells her that the Holy Ghost shall come upon her,—that all is to be the work of the Most High,—she submits at once, and, with the most edifying docility and humility, exclaims—“Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word.”
Q. Is there any thing in the 40th verse of same chapter to throw additional light on the exalted dignity of the Blessed Mary?
A. Yes; at the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in Elizabeth’s womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.
Q. Did Elizabeth, filled thus with the Holy Ghost, and bearing in her womb the Baptist, than who none greater was ever born of woman,—did Elizabeth, who was made by God miraculously fruitful, who knew, though not present at the angelic interview, what had passed between the Angel and Mary,—did this honored, exalted, and inspired Elizabeth agree with Presbyterians in thinking the Blessed Virgin an ordinary woman?
A. No; she would have shuddered at such language. She proclaimed Mary’s blessedness, and, though exalted herself, she considered herself highly honored by Mary’s condescension in [pg. 285] paying her a visit. “And Elizabeth spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb; and whence is this to me, that the mother my Lord should come to me?”
Q. Is there any other proof, in this chapter, of Mary’s pre-eminent dignity?
A. The poorest daughter of Eve is ennobled and exalted by becoming the mother of a king. How great, then, must be the dignity of Mary, who became the mother of the King of king and Lord of lords! And, when we consider that Jesus could not dwell in an unholy tabernacle, how ineffably pure and exalted must Mary’s spiritual state have been !!
Q. Does not this chapter suggest still some other proofs of her extraordinary and singular dignity?A. Yes; she was troubled at the extraordinary nature of the angelic salutation; but the Angel Messenger of the Most High calmed her fears, by declaring to her the exalted place she held in the estimation of the Most High. “Fear not, Mary, thou hast found grace with God.” But the circumstance which proclaims above all others her singular pre-eminence is her maternity combined with virginity. She is a virgin and yet a mother!!! This alone is sufficient to put to shame those unhappy [pg. 286] men who seem to glory in reviling the blessed mother of their Redeemer, by proclaiming her, whose SON THEY ADORE, as an ordinary woman.
Q. What do we learn from Luke i, 18?
A. That the ever-exalted and blessed Mary is a prophetess. She declares of herself that all generations shall call her BLESSED; and: surely no one will be bold enough to say, that she, who was full of grace, and the temple of the Holy Ghost, could speak Falsehood.
Q. What inference should you draw from this revealed truth?
A. That Protestants belong not to the true people of God; for they refuse to fulfill this prophecy. They glory in contemning the Blessed Virgin: they proclaim her an ordinary woman, instead of obeying the Scripture, which says,—“From henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.”
Q. Does not the Blessed Jesus despise Mary—John ii, 40—in these words—“Woman, what have I to do with thee?”
A. Yes, according to the corrupt Protestant translation; but according to the Vulgate, which even the Protestant Grotius considers the SAFEST VERSION, our Saviour’s words are,”Woman, what is it to thee and to me?”
Q. Is the Protestant translation absurd and ridiculous as they understand it? [pg. 287]
A. Certainly; for they would make our Saviour,whose example we are all bound to imitate, despise and contemn his own mother. She is honored by being asked with him to the marriage; she was familiar with him previously, for she asks him to work a miracle, which she clearly knows he can perform. She does not seem hurt by the apparent refusal of Jesus. But the solution of the whole difficulty is found in the fact, that he works the very miracle requested by Mary immediately after. Thus, he works his first miracle at the suggestion or Mary. In Luke ii, 49-51, he treats her with the greatest respect; he forgets her not, when, even hanging on the Cross in the agony of death, he commends her with his last breath to the care of his beloved disciple; and yet, after all this, Protestants would make us believe that he despised her, and treated her with studied contempt at the marriage-feast of Cana !!
Q. What would you say to the difficulty, if the Protestant translation was correct?
A. He sometimes acted in his character as God, and sometimes as man, and, on this occasion, he wished to manifest that, as God, he knew their wants and would relieve them in the same manner as, on another occasion, he said to Mary—“Didst thou not know that I should be about my Father’s business?” [pg. 288]
Chapter III Ark of the Covenant
Q. What says St. Augustine (Serm. on the Announ.) as to the dignity of the Blessed Virgin?
A. “By what praises; O sacred Virgin, I may extol thee I know not, since thou hast been deemed worthy to bear in thy womb Him whom the heavens are unable to contain.”
Q. What says St. Epiphanius—Adv. Hæres. Lib. iii, F. 2?
A. “Truly life itself was introduced into the world by the Virgin Mary,….Eve brought to the human race the cause of death,….Mary brought the cause of life.”
Q. Is the Greek schismatical Church one with the Catholic Church on this head?
A. Photius, its great leader, speaks thus, (Serm. de Nativ.:) “But you, O Blessed Virgin, and also Mother of the eternal Lord, our propitiation and refuge, interceding for us with your Son and our God,….vouchsafe to render us your panegyrists.” See Council. of Ephesus and Nice, Act 6.
Q. Is the veneration of the Blessed Virgin an ancient practice in the Church?
A. It can owe its origin only to the Apostles, for it can be traced to no later age; no men, no body of men, no country, can be pointed [pg. 289] out as having originated it; hence, it is evidently Apostolical, and, consequently, it has the authority of heaven.
Q. What general conclusion
would you draw from all that we have said?
A. That Protestants, in their contempt for the Blessed Virgin, resist the irresistible evidence of their own Bible. They talk of her as an ordinary woman, whilst, in a flood of heavenly light, she shines the most singularly preeminent personage that ever was created. God himself makes honorable mention of her at the very dawn of the world;—the prophet Isaiah, centuries before the event, proclaims her the illustrious Virgin Mother of the future Messiah;—an all-wise Deity selects her, of all the daughters of Eve, to be the Mother of the Redeemer;—the Blessed Trinity sends an Archangel to obtain her consent;—she is saluted as full of grace;—she is assured that the Lord is with her;—that she is blessed among women;—that the Holy Ghost will come upon her;—that the Most High will overshadow her;—that her son shall be called the Son of God;—that she has found grace with God;—that, though a virgin, she shall conceive the Son of God, at once a VIRGIN and a MOTHER ! ! ! At the sound of her voice, the infant Baptist leaps in his mother’s womb, and his mother is filled [pg. 290] with the Holy Ghost. The inspired Elizabeth salutes Mary in the very words of the Angel—“Blessed art thou among women;” and this Blessed Mary herself bursts forth in the spirit of prophecy, and foretells, that all generations will call her blessed; and all generations, during fifteen hundred years, did so, and seven-eighths of Christianity do so at the present day.
Q. It does appear strange, that Protestants will despise her, whom God has so pre-eminently sanctified and exalted,—have you any additional considerations which may have a tendency to make them blush for their rash and unscriptural conduct?
A. Yes; many. For nine months did the Blessed Mary carry our Redeemer in her thrice holy womb;—she suffered with him at the crib of Bethlehem;—wept over his infant body, and wiped away his tears;—she sorrowed when he bled in the temple;—fled with him to Egypt;—tended him during youth;—and was sanctified by his Divine companionship during thirty three years. She was the companion of all his sorrows, suffering, and tortures;—her soul was transfixed by every wound he received,—her tears were mingled with every drop of blood which he shed;—a living monument or grief, she was found at the foot of the Cross, when all had abandoned him. In the dying [pg. 291] struggle of Jesus, we find her his anxious care—with his dying breath he commends her to the affectionate tenderness of his beloved disciple. She received into her arms his mangled and bloody body, and sorrowed with those who laid him in the tomb;—she sought him early on the morning of the Resurrection, and was found among his Apostles on the day of his Ascension and on the day of Pentecost; and even all this is not sufficient to induce wise and religious Protestants to regard with respect and veneration the Mother of Jesus !
Q. What should Catholics do in a country where torrents of blasphemous insults are every day poured fourth against the Mother of God by men calling themselves Christian ministers?
A. They should have ever on their lips the sweet address of the Archangel Messenger, thus paraphrased by the holy Athanasius fourteen hundred years ago: “Be mindful of us, O Blessed Virgin! Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee! Thee the angelical and terrestrial hierarchies proclaim blessed Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. O mistress, lady, intercede for us! Queen, and Mother of God, pray for us!” [pg. 292]
Daily Indulgence: In reparation for the most sinful nature of blasphemous creatures calling themselves Christians. Virgin Mary’s Last Vision of Fatima & Prayer. ” Oh most Holy Trinity, “Father Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly. ” I offer Thee the most precious ‘Body Blood, Soul, and Divinity’ of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the Outrages, Sacrileges, and Indifference by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, i beg the conversion of these poor sinners.”