She is an "echo of God," a pure channel that takes our prayers directly to her Heavenly Father.
When Catholics pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is not an act of worship, as worship is given only to God.
Do Catholics worship the Virgin Mary?
St. Louis de Montfort, an 18th-century priest devoted to the Virgin Mary, explains what happens with prayers addressed to Our Lady. The explanation is found in his book True Devotion to Mary. He starts off by writing that sincere and devout prayers to the Virgin Mary “will give more glory to Jesus in a month than in many years of a more demanding devotion.”
Montfort explains that Mary is a pure conduit for our prayers, transforming them into glorious prayers to her Heavenly Father.
She is an echo of God, speaking and repeating only God. If you say “Mary” she says “God.” When St. Elizabeth praised Mary calling her blessed because she had believed, Mary, the faithful echo of God, responded with her canticle, “My soul glorifies the Lord.” What Mary did on that day, she does every day. When we praise her, when we love and honour her, when we present anything to her, then God is praised, honoured and loved and receives our gift through Mary and in Mary.
If you say “Mary” she says “God.”
In another example, Montfort envisions the Virgin Mary taking our prayers in her hands and transforming them when presenting them to God.Our Blessed Lady, in her immense love for us, is eager to receive into her virginal hands the gift of our actions, imparting to them a marvelous beauty and splendour, and presenting them herself to Jesus most willingly. More glory is given to our Lord in this way than when we make our offering with our own guilty hands.
The next time you offer prayers to the Virgin Mary, remember how she receives your prayers and takes them directly to God. In a very real way, the closer we are to Mary, the closer we are to God.
Do Catholics worship statues?