My college roommate is an obsessed Catholic. She is a great friend but I cannot begin to understand why she thinks Mary is to be worshipped. I have been a born-again Christian since I turned 15, and I cannot find anything in my Bible that says very much about Mary. Can you help me understand why my friend prays to Mary and talks about her as if she is on the same level as Jesus?
Thank you for your time, and I love reading your great column every week.
I can appreciate your question. Your friend is deceived by her church. The Roman Catholic Church places Mary on a pedestal of idolatry. The New Testament has surprisingly little to say about Mary. Her last recorded words were spoken at the marriage in Cana, at the very beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, “Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it” (John 2:5).
We see her only once more during Jesus’ public ministry when she and His brothers come seeking Him, only to draw rebuke: “Who is my mother and My brethren?…Whosoever shall do the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is my brother and sister, and mother (Matthew 12:46-50.)
Mary was present at the Cross, where Jesus committed her care to John. And in Acts 1:14 she is mentioned as having been with the Disciples, other women and the Lord’s brethren engaged in prayer. But she had no prominent place. The Apostles never prayed to Mary. John took care of her until she died but he does not mention her in any of his three epistles or in the book of Revelation.
When the Church was instituted at Pentecost there was only one name mentioned among men whereby we must be saved—Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). God has given us all the record we need concerning Mary in the Bible and that record does not include worship or veneration of Mary or anyone else in any form.
But the Roman Catholic Church has elevated Mary to a place of extreme idolatry—a seriously blasphemous condition. To understand the place Mary has in the average Roman Catholic psyche, notice what is written in a popular Catholic book titled, From the Glories of Mary. “She [Mary] is truly a mediatress of peace between sinner and God. Sinners receive pardon by…Mary alone” (pp. 82-28).
“Mary is our life…Mary is obtaining this grace for sinners by her intercession, thus restores them to life…The holy Church commands worship peculiar to Mary. Many things…are asked from God and are not granted; they are asked from Mary, and obtained,” for “She…is even queen of hell and sovereign mistress of the devils” (pp. 127, 141, 143).
It gets even worse. The author of the book , Alphonsus De Ligouri, also states:
Mary is called the gate of heaven because no one can enter that blessed kingdom without passing through her (p.16). “The way to salvation is open to none otherwise than through Mary. And since our salvation is in the hands of Mary…he who is protected by Mary will be saved, he who is not will be lost” (pp. 169-170).
Pure and total blasphemy. Frightening. The Roman Catholic Church elevates Mary above Jesus (God). I shudder to think of the fate that is ahead for those who have promulgated these lies and have mislead millions and millions of people. The Roman Catholic Church also states:
We declare, pronounce and define that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the instant of her conception was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin.” (Mary alone, by a special “miracle” was excepted.) This doctrine did not become official until 1854, more than 18 centuries after Christ was born of the Virgin Mary.
Along with the decree there was issued this condemnation of any who dared to disbelieve it:
Therefore, if some shall presume to think in their hearts otherwise than we have defined, they shall know and thoroughly understand that they are by their own judgment condemned, have made shipwreck concerning the faith, and fallen away from the unity of the Church; moreover, that they, by this very act, subject themselves to the penalties ordained by the law, if by word, or writing, or by other external means they dare to signify what they think in their hearts.
The latest addition to the long list of Roman Catholic beliefs came on November 1, 1950, with the ex cathedra pronouncement by Pope Pius XII from St. Peter’s chair that Mary’s body was raised from the grave shortly after she died, that her body and soul reunited, and that she was taken up and enthroned as Queen of soul were reunited, and that she was taken up and enthroned as Queen of Heaven.
And to this pronouncement there was added the usual warning: “Anyone who henceforth doubt or deny this doctrine is utterly fallen away the divine and Catholic faith.”
So there you are, Sissy. What I have shared with you should be enough to give you a good idea why your friend is obsessed with Mary. I can recommend some good books for her to read, that might take her to the Word of God, and help her understand that she is involved in a very corrupt religion that is part of the apostasy that the apostle Paul wrote about in his First Epistle to Timothy:
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1).
Please realize that trying to get through to someone who is so immersed in this type of heresy is not an easy undertaking. If you attend a good Bible teaching church, try to get your friend to go with you. Since she is also your roommate, you can create many opportunities at home to share the truth with her.
See if you can encourage your friend to read these books:
Queen of All: The Marian Apparitions’ Plan to Unite all Religions under the Roman Catholic Church, by Jim Tetlow and Roger Oakland.
The Gospel According to Rome: Comparing Catholic Tradition and the Word of God, by James McCarthy.
A Woman Rides the Beast: The Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days,by Dave Hunt.
In closing, I leave you with Scripture that you can share with your dear friend; there is only one gospel, which applies not only to the Roman Catholic Church but to all cults, false teachings and false religions.
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”
The Catholics are taught to serve and please the hierarchy of that church—men, which is totally in conflict with the Scriptures. We are to please God and follow His biblical precepts, not the rules and regulations of fallen men who wear costumes and perform rituals that are outside of God’s holy Word.
God bless you, Sissy. Have patience with your friend and ask the Lord to guide you as you try to witness to her. Many good (former) Catholics have come to their senses and have renounced the false teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Please keep in touch with me and let me know how things work out with your friend.
In God’s love,
“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).