Hello Rosary Lovers! In this post we are going to look at some facts about the Virgin Mary.
This isn’t an exhaustive post. It is impossible to exhaust the glory of the Virgin Mary. There is more to know about Mary than about everything else in created existence.
So we had better get right to it!
Mary was Predestined from All Eternity
God is outside of time, so everything God does he does eternally in one simple act. We see this sort of thing taught by St Thomas Aquinas.
Well, God always wanted Mary to be his Mother. How amazing is that?
From all eternity, before the foundation of the earth was laid, God had long ago chosen Mary to be his Mother and to be the Greatest Creature he would ever create.
Mary’s entire life and future was all governed by divine predestination. Yes, she had her free-will, but she only ever freely wanted to love God. She never ever went outside of God’s plan for her.
Mary was Immaculately Conceived
Mary is absolutely, totally and utterly, spotless. ‘There is no stain in you, my dove’ (Song of Songs).
For this to be the case, she had to have been redeemed from the very first moment of her existence in the womb of her mother, St Anne, the Grandmother of God.
Mary was saved from the very moment she came into being in time. She was redeemed by her future Son Jesus and what he would do on the cross of us all, and for his mother in particular.
Mary never sinned in her entire life. There wasn’t a moment that any stain of sin – actual or original – ever came close to her.
As Temple of the living God, Mary is purest Gold. Only the holiest creature imaginable could have housed the thrice holy God in her womb for 9 months. Only the holiest creature ever could have breastfed the Infinite as a babe.
To gaze upon the holiness and purity of Mary is to gaze upon the glory of her Son Jesus. How could Jesus be God if he dwelt in a sinful Mother?
Heaven is the holiest place of all, and this is because this is where God dwells. How can Mary be any less holy than heaven itself?
Mary and Heaven and one in purpose and purity. Both are the everlasting Temple of God.
In a sense, Mary is Heaven.
Mary was Given to the Temple
Eastern Catholic tradition celebrates the 21st November as the day Mary entered the Temple as a little girl.
Mary was handed over by her parents to be the property of God at this young age. For then on, Mary and the Temple became inseparable.
Mary and the Temple were one.
This was later fulfilled when Mary herself literally became the Temple of the New Covenant when she conceived God in her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Mary Studied Scripture
Many Catholic icons/pictures depict Mary studying Scripture, especially when Gabriel comes to visit her at the Annunciation.
We just saw that Mary was given to the Temple in Jerusalem at a young age, and this implies that she studied Scripture a lot.
It seems only reasonable that the future Mother of God would have known Scripture back-to-front. She would have memorised enormous amounts of it.
Mary was a student of Holy Scripture and it is from this that she might have gathered that she would become the Mother of the Saviour.
Certainly Mary’s study of Scripture would have helped her to realise that her Son was in fact the Messiah of Israel and of the world.
Mary knew how to do Lectio Divina. We read in Luke’s gospel that she pondered many things that happened to Christ, and kept them in her heart silently.
In silence and solitude, Mary pondered the Gospel, meditating on her Son and on Holy Scripture which she knew so well.
If Mary read Scripture this way, can we do any better?
Reading chunks of Scripture is awesome and very soul-feeding, but there is also a lovely place for reading just a small passage over and over until it takes secret refuge in our hearts.
Mary was a Nun
Mary was a true monastic. Given to the Temple early on, she spent her childhood in God’s presence all the time. Incense filled her nose and chest everyday. Sacrifices were normal for her to see.
Mary was ‘the handmaid of the Lord’ (Luke 1). She was totally devoted and given over to God.
Mary had no time to give her body to anyone else. She was consecrated entirely to God in her soul, mind, will, body and spirit.
One of the best things a Catholic can ever do is to consecrate themselves to Mary.
By giving yourself to Mary, you are giving yourself to the Temple of God, as Mary was given to the Temple of God.
You are giving yourself to silence and solitude. You are giving yourself to God wholeheartedly.
There is no quicker way to Jesus than through his Mother.
Mary is Ever-Virgin
Never did she have sex. Never did any kind of impurity ever touch her. Once a Virgin, she was always a Virgin.
Again, this is fitting since she is God’s Mother.
Mary had no other children. Christ was her only-begotten. This is why Jesus gave Mary to John in John 19. Had Jesus had other literal brothers and sisters, Jesus would have given his Mother to one of them.
Truly, Mary loved St Joseph very, very dearly. But their marriage was undeniably an entirely celibate one. They never engaged in sexual activity.
Mary’s body was GOD’S and God’s alone.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7 that the married woman is divided in herself: she longs to give herself to God but also to her husband. But the virgin is given over entirely to God and is not divided.
God forbid that Mary, the Mother and Temple of God, was divided in herself!
Once the handmaid of the Lord, always the handmaid of the Lord.
Mary had no Pain in Childbirth
Her virginity remained so intact that she didn’t even feel any pain when she gave birth to the Saviour.
Why would she, when death could not touch her, when the curses in Eden never fell upon her?
Pain in childbirth was given by God as punishment for our sins. Mary is completely separate from all of this.
Mary is the New Eve
Where the first Eve messed up, the New Eve – Mary – conquers the Serpent.
Where Eve was disobedient, the New Eve was entirely obedient.
Where Eve tempted her husband, the New Eve brought forth a Man who knew how to withstand every temptation.
Where Eve failed in the garden, the New Eve became the New Garden.
Mary is the New Eve because Christ is the New Adam.
As the first Eve came out of the first Adam from his rib, so the New Eve brought forth the New Adam from her womb.
Mary was Assumed Bodily into Heaven
I’ve written about this here in another post.
Mary has been Crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth
Upon entering heaven when God took her bodily to be with him forever, Mary was crowned supreme Queen of all.
All of heaven fell down and applauded her. They all honoured her and reverenced the eternal Mother of God.
I’ve written about this topic in this post.
Mary has Appeared to People All over the World
Since going to Heaven, many saints and people (including non-Catholics) have testified to seeing Mary.
She has visited many people. She has visited huge crowds (as at Fatima in 1917) and individuals (as St Bernadette).
Mary loves us. She longs for our salvation and longs to guide us to her Son.
The most crucial way she seeks to guide us is by daily recitation of the Rosary. Constantly, Mary urges this of us. She recommends it above all else. Daily pray her Rosary.
If you don’t own a Rosary and fancy getting one, please check out this helpful post.
Mary loves St Joseph before all other Saints
St Joseph is Mary’s absolute favourite saint. He is her Spouse and loves her with all of his heart.
Mary would rather us approach St Joseph than any other saint. She sometimes urges saints to go to St Joseph to be helped and that she gets glory if we go to St Joseph with our needs.
Like Mary, St Joseph is the other saint who can help with ANYTHING. Many saints have specific patronage, but Mary and St Joseph are the patrons of all things, anything you can think of.
Any problem you have, go to Mary or St Joseph, or better still, to both of them.
After Mary, St Joseph is the most prized creature in heaven. After Mary, he is the greatest saint and the Saint and Father of saints.
St Joseph is the Patron of the holy Catholic Church.
A most wonderful prayer to offer to him can be found here.
Mary and Joseph’s marriage is the perfect model to follow. We perhaps should be thinking much more about self-control and temporary times of celibacy in our marriages.
Even Paul recommends this in 1 Corinthians 7:1-5. We seem to have forgotten this in this day of instant gratification.
A beautiful prayer to pray everyday is:
‘Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart, soul and body. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, assist me in my final agony. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, let me breathe out my soul in peace with Thee. Amen.’
Mary is the Jewel of Christ and God’s Heart
There is nothing in all creation that compares with Mary the Virgin.
When God created her, he poured all of his power into her. He poured all of his wisdom and knowledge, love and glory into her, so that there is nothing in all creation that so bears resemblence to God as she does.
As a creature, Mary represents God far, far more than any other creature, even the highest Archangel, the Seraphim and Cherubim.
If you put Mary on one side, and all the angels and saints and all the universe on the other, Mary would far outweigh the whole lot.
Nothing in all creation compares to her. She is the Daughter of God, the supreme thing God has ever made.
God said it was very good when he created the world. But when he created Mary he yelled from the rooftops of heaven: ‘SHE IS VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY GOOD! And that millions of times over!’
There is no creature God loves more than he loves her. She bears God’s glory like nothing else.
And yet, the gap between Mary and God is infinite. Compared to God she is nothing and less than nothing. Compared to God, she is worthless. Her ENTIRE worth comes from God.
So there you have it, some facts about the Virgin Mary.
Can you think of any more?