Privileges Of The Blessed Virgin Mary

Privileges Of The Blessed Virgin Mary

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There are four Marian Catholic dogmas which we can also refer to as privileges of Mary and these are: Immaculate Conception, Mother of God, Perpetual Virginity of Mary and Assumption of Mary.

Theologians have also identified some other privileges of Mary such as Queenship of Mary, Mediatrix of all graces, Mother of the Church, Full of geace, Cooperation in redemption and that Mary is above all the Saints most excellent in glory. This is but a few of the privileges granted by the Most Holy Trinity to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

We take a look at a few of them:

1. Immaculate Conception.

On December 8, 1854, having spent all of his holy life – his boyhood, his priesthood, as bishop, cardinal and Pope – at the feet of the Mother of God, the most Blessed Virgin Mary, and having deeply considered also, in his exile at Gaeta, the earnest petitions of Catholics all over the world in its behalf, Pope Pius IX defined ex cathedra, in the glorious Basilica of Saint Peter’s before one hundred and seventy bishops and innumerable pilgrims come literally from the ends of the earth, the divine dogma of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception. The voice of the Sovereign Pontiff broke and tears filled his eyes as he paused before uttering the infallible words:
“We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful….”

As the Holy Father finished speaking, the cannon of the Castle of Sant’ Angelo boomed and the bells of the basilicas and churches of Rome long rang out the glorious news, which ushered in the Age of Mary – the last age of the world. The Catholic faithful rejoiced, and grace flooded their souls as they prayed the prayer Our Lady herself had given twenty years before to Catherine Laboure, “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”

2. Mother of God

Mary’s most fundamental privilege is that of being the Mother of God. We do not mean she produced the divine nature, of course. But her Son is God, so she is the Mother of God.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

Mary conceived her son by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). The Archangel first told her that her Son was to be the Son of the Most High. However, any devout Jew could be called a son of God. But there was more: the angel told her He would reign over the house of Jacob forever: right then she would know He was to be the Messiah, for Jews then commonly believed the Messiah would reign forever. Finally, the angel said He would be conceived when the Holy Spirit would “overshadow” her. That word, she would know, was the one use to describe the Divine Presence filling the ancient Tabernacle in the desert (Exodus 40:35). Her Son was to be called Son of God “for this reason”. So that He was the Son of God in a unique sense. From this alone she likely knew of His divinity, especially when she would add the words of Isaiah 9:5-6 that the Messiah would be “God the Mighty”.

3. Perpetual Virginity of Mary

So this was a virginal conception, that is, without the intervention of a man. Both Matthew and Luke make this clear. If we believe the Gospels, we will understand that readily. The teaching of the Church, already in the oldest creeds, which call her “ever-virgin,” tells us she remained a virgin during and after His birth.

Therefore when the Gospels speak of the “brothers and sisters” of Jesus, they do not mean other children of Mary. The Hebrew words were very broad, could cover any sort of relationship. For that matter, modern English uses these words even more broadly for members of fraternities and sororities.

4. Assumption & Queenship of Mary

At the end of her earthly life, Mary was taken up (assumed) into heaven, body and soul. Pius XII, in defining the Assumption, explained that “Just as the glorious resurrection of Christ was an essential part and final sign of this victory [over sin and death by Calvary] so that struggle [Calvary] which was common to the Blessed Virgin and her Son, had to be closed by the glorification of her virginal body”. That is, the struggle, a work common to the two was a common cause. It brought Him glorification; it had to bring the same to her. (In all this it is understood she is subordinate to Him, and really depends on Him for all her ability to do anything at all).

As a result, just as He is now King of the Universe, she is Queen of the Universe. “And her kingdom is as vast as that of her Son and God, since nothing is excluded from her dominion” (Pius XII, Bendito seia, May 13, 1946).

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