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Why pray to Mary?

Matka Boża z Lourdes

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Fr. Peter John Cameron, OP - published on 05/07/23

The Beloved Disciple embraced devotion to God's Mother.
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Why pray to Mary? The best answer comes right from the Bible. Dying on the cross, Jesus commanded the Beloved Disciple — and so us — “Behold, your Mother!” (Jn 19:27). The Gospel relates that “from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” This does not mean merely that the disciple brought Mary to live in his house. It means rather that he received the Mother of God into those things that are proper to him as a believer. He embraced devotion to the Blessed Mother. Our Lady became an indispensable part of the disciple’s relationship with God. To receive God’s Mother into one’s own is to receive Mary — who is a symbol of the Church — among all the gifts conferred upon the believer by Jesus Christ that enable us to live a life of holiness.

We behold our Mother when we pray to her. How crucial this is to our sanctification. As the great apostle of Marian devotion, St. Louis de Montfort, declared, “I do not believe that any person can achieve intimate union with our Lord unless he has established a very deep union with the Blessed Virgin and a great dependence on her help.” This makes sense because there is no other creature upon whom God has showered such blessing and delight. Marian devotion consists simply in our taking delight in the delight that God has in his Mother. Blessed Julian of Norwich expresses it well: “All who delight in God would take delight in Mary, and in the delight that he has in her and she in him.”

This is why St. Bernard of Clairvaux ardently exhorts us, “Let us venerate Mary with every fiber of our being, from the deepest part of our heart, because this is the will of him who wanted us to receive everything through Mary.” We joyfully pray with the 4th-century St. Methodius: “You, O great Mother, are the beginning, the middle, and the end of our happiness.”


Follow Fr. Cameron’s series on prayer here.

See some of the earlier pieces below:

PrayerPrayer Is:Virgin Mary
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