Hello and welcome to the first Saintly Saturday post!
The first saint I want to focus on in Mary, the mother of Jesus. Before going too far, I want to clarify a common misunderstanding:
Catholics don’t worship Mary, but we do honor her.
I can understand where this misunderstanding comes from. We do place quite a bit of emphasis on Mary, but out of a place of honor and love, not out of a place of worship.
From the beginning of her life, Mary was special.
As Catholics, we believe that Mary was conceived without sin (the Immaculate Conception). Not only at her conception, but throughout her life, Mary remained without sin (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], para. 966). Other than Jesus, Mary is the only person to have lived without the taint of sin.
But her sinlessness isn’t the only thing that sets her apart.
At the Annunciation, Mary said yes to God’s plan of her being Jesus’s mother. But she didn’t have to say yes. God gives each one of us free will, the ability to choose. Mary could’ve said no. But she said yes. She said yes to a life changing decision.
Not only did she become Jesus’s mother, but she eventually became our mother as well.
According to John 19:25-27, Jesus gave Mary to be John’s mother. In doing so, we believe He gave Mary to be our mother as well. We honor and love Mary as our mother as we do for her being Jesus’s mother.
Mary’s role doesn’t just end there.
We as Catholics believe that those who are in Heaven can pray for us. And Mary is by far no exception.
There’s an analogy that I’ve heard to help explain this: we would ask our friends and family to pray for us when we need prayers, right? Well, we can do the same with the saints. We can ask for their intercession and they will intercede with God on our behalf.
But wait! There’s more!
I heard someone explain Mary’s influence as an intercessor. The person said something along the lines of since Mary is Jesus’s mother, He is more likely to listen to her and follow her encouragement more than anyone else’s.
How comforting it is to know that we have all of the saints praying for us? And how much more encouraging it is to have Jesus’s mother herself praying for us and bringing our prayers to Jesus.