Mary, The Most Powerful Woman in the World… (Part 5)
Author: Luis Béjar Fuentes | Source: Catholic.net
It was more than 25 years ago when Dr. Mark Miravalle (theologist and mariologist), President of Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici —People’s Voice for Mediator Mary— invited me to participate in his ‘Marian Apostolate’ in the quest for the proclamation of a 5th Marian dogma. I was surprised and puzzled. Surprised because, being involved in consulting about social and environmental topics I am used to expect anything but an invitation of religious nature; and puzzled because, I must say it honestly, I was ignorant of that matter called “Marian dogmas”, mainly when I learned that the Catholic Church already had proclaimed four of them during the last twenty centuries! That meant, Mary, the Most Powerful Woman in the World —the National Geographic’s title that got me started writing this article— has a new and last mother lode to be known, to be explored in depth, and… to be shared with you.
To begin with, I acknowledge my ignorance on the topic accepting fully aware that this is widespread among the rest of the Catholics —let alone those that are not— with respect to knowing which are those dogmas, why and by who were they proclaimed, and their occurrence in history. Suffice it to present the most relevant of the dogmas, not mentioning the tens of books, articles, symposiums, conferences, and treaties open for consultation via the amazing searching mechanisms available today, through which all history is practically at everybody’s finger tips just one “click” away in the Internet.
But before proceeding to a detailed description of what happened, in the “Magnificat” (Lk. 1, 46-55) I find —as I already mentioned previously in the article— the most risky and challenging self-prophecy stated by any human being at a given time, and that, twenty centuries later, had its perfect and provable fulfillment. Hopefully all of us shall read it and pray it, striving to delve into the meaning of every word especially in the part that textually reads: “From now on all generations shall be pleased with me because the Almighty has done great deeds for me, Holly is His name, and His mercy reaches the faithful ones generation after generation” (49-50).
- I can assure, without fear of being wrong, that in this very moment —as it has been in the past twenty centuries with approximately sixty generations— in many parts of the world there are hundreds of thousands of people greeting Her, remembering Her, imploring Her with the prayer of hundreds of different prayers and dedications, especially with the Ave Maria and the Rosary.
- And when it says “all generations” and “generation after generation”, it points out that this has been this way and will continue to be in the future, regardless of the great crisis hapenning historically within and outside of the Catholic Church founded by Her Son.
- And then I ask myself, what are those “great deeds for me”… that the Almighty has done for Her? The answer I share now is precisely the answer related to the four dogmas of Faith that have been proclaimed about Her. No other woman in the history of mankind have received such titles, in such a solemn manner, and made it noticeable “in crescendo” in Her apparitions, miracles, and extraordinary interventions, as we were able to see in Moureen Orth’s graph published in the initial article.
- It is really amazing when one reflects on what that simple young girl in a little town in Israel once told her cousin Isabel, who later told Luke, was registered in the Bible, and reached our days without losing sharpness and freshness… 20 centuries later! This is not a simple historic yet extraordinary fact that gets our attention, nothing similar has happened that surpasses the merely human phenomenon, and transcends dimensions being comprehensible only through the eyes of the faith. Indeed, Moureen, there cannot be an explanation under the light of the sole human reasoning, faith is necessary to reach an understanding of the truth of so many facts that are extraordinary as well as inexplicable for science.
Synthesizing those “great deeds the Almighty has done for Her”, we can consider the following solemn proclamations:
- Mother of God –the Theotókos– in the year 431, by Pope Celestine I, at the Council of Ephesus, confirming that She is truly the Mother of God in the flesh and body of Jesus Christ.
- Perpetual Virgin (before, during, and after giving birth) in the year 649, by Pope Saint Martin I, at the Council of Letran, holding as the main reasoning that, Her Son being conceived without human seed and being born –Her Son– without corrupting Her virginity, She remained intact after His birth, fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy: “here is that the virgin will conceive and give birth to a boy…” (Is 7, 14), pronounced seven centuries before this event.
- Immaculate Conception in December of 1854, by Pope Pio IX, with a gap of twelve centuries with respect of the previous dogma, by the papal bull Ineffabilis Deus, affirming that “blessed Virgin Mary was preserved immune of any stain from the original sin, right from the very instant of Her conception by the unique grace and privilege of Almighty God, corresponding to the merits of Jesus Christ Savior of the humankind”, and finally
- Assumption to the Heavens, in 1950, by Pope Pio XII, assuring that, after Her death –or the Virgin’s transit– Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God, perpetual Virgin, “once Her earthly life was completed, She was taken to the celestial glory in body and soul”, sharing with Her Son the glorification of Her body that did not know corruption.
Nonetheless, at some point we all might ask ourselves: what is a dogma, and why the need of a new solemn proclamation specially referring to the Holy Virgin Mary?
Here are some of the aspects to consider in order to understand it:
- Some truths have been defined by the Church as dogmas of faith. It is not that these topics begin to be true. They are true facts that have always existed, which belief has started to be mandatory upon their definition.
- It is not the invention of a doctrine what defines it but the authoritative declaration revealed by God, that is it is part of a set of true facts that constitute the Christian Revelation.
- Sometimes the emergence of new mistakes against the foundations of the faith has made the Church define and declare again what has always been true, but the circumstances at the time required clarification.
- Dogmas are not true facts that the Church imposes arbitrarily. They are objective truth illuminations under the special light of the Holy Spirit, given to the Church through Pentecost. They are not walls to limit our intelligence but rather clarity to dissipate the darkness of error.
- There are immutable and absolute truth in the exact sciences, and the attempt to change them would mean to go backwards losing fundamental principles; likewise in the field of the faith, what has been defined by the Church’s educational practice cannot and must not be changed since it would deny the objective truth. Hence, Mary is the Mother of God, and just like that we, the Catholics worldwide, accept it and believe it in full understanding with the Pope
- Obviously, it is not mandatory for the non-believers who might object it since they do not accept the Church’s educational practices, but they, being individuals of good will, might as well be enlightened to understand “the wonders He has done in Her”. Taking into consideration the extraordinary power She has demonstrated throughout the centuries, this can be reason enough for them to see and comprehend there is something that goes beyond the rejection they might feel toward the dogmas and their “obligatory nature”.
Very well then, you might say, that is a fact and is already part of history for all Catholics, dealing with ‘dogmas of faith’ in which we must believe to keep in full unison with the Pope, but… why to look and ask for a 5th Marian dogma now?, since when has it been requested?, and who has done it?
Finally, it was explained to me –since I did not understand it either– that those four dogmas are about Her as a person, but, from the beginnings of the last century there has been deeper research regarding the relationship of the Mother with us, ‘Her spiritual children’, with the delivery of us to Her in the words of Jesus referring to His beloved disciple John, right at the moment before dying after three hours of agony with outrageous torture and anguish, and nailed to the cross. This synthesizes the relevance of searching for a 5th dogma that refers to Her as the Spiritual Mother of Mankind:
- More than 100 years ago, Cardinal François-Joseph Mercier started a campaign to respectfully request the Pope to define the universal mediation of Mary.
- In the 1920’s Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe was already asking for Mary to be proclaimed as Co-redeemer and Mediator of all graces.
- Just five years after the dogma of the Assumption of Mary to the Heavens –in 1955– the Mexican Bishops sent a petition signed by all –a total of 42– to Pope Pio XII respectfully requesting him for the solemn proclamation of Her as “Our Mother in the Order of the Grace”.
- Four years later, the majority of those bishops and some new ones sent a second request with a total of 38 signatures, confirming their petition now addressed to Pope John XXIII, at the time being José Garibi Rivera, the first Mexican Cardinal.
- From 1994 to date, 82 Mexican Pastors have contacted the Popes John Paul VI, Benedict XVI, and Francisco to ask again for that dogmatic proclamation, promoted by Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici – being the only case in the history of the Church that in the last 60 years is requested in humbleness and obedience, in three occasions and by the majority at the time–.
- To date it amounts to 576 Cardinals, Archbishops, and Bishops of 79 countries around the world that have asked, supported by more than 4,200 Contemplative Sisters, and nearly 7’0 million of baptized believers that have asked verbally or in writing.
- Resuming the second part of this article, it is furthermore stated that The Lady of All Nations insisted, in no less than 39 occasions, in Her 56 messages, through 15 years of apparitions deemed of divine nature –May 31st of 2002– by the Ordinary Bishop (local) Msgr. José María Punt, in a new dogmatic proclamation under the title of Co-redeemer, Mediator, and Advocate, and lastly that
- Since its approval, the image and the prayer dictated by Her to Ida Peerdeman, already translated to 70 languages, has been given official authorization (imprimatur) from more than 60 Bishops, which has been confirmed by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in times when the Pope Emeritus Benedicto XVI acted as its Prefect, placing only the concept of Advocate in the prayer.
Without a doubt all the above stated provides reason enough to regard Mary –that humble young Nazarene girl, now glorified with 4 dogmas of faith solemnly proclaimed– as the Most Powerful Woman in the World, well beyond the human phenomenon presented in the article of National Geographic, sustained through two millennia of active and constant presence, particularly during the last two centuries. The vast number of miracles, scientifically inexplicable, attributed to Her extraordinary and verifiable interventions, let us catch a glimpse with increasing clarity that this is a worldwide phenomenon that goes beyond the ‘breaking news’ scenario taking us to another undeniable dimension: this is, indeed, about a human-spiritual reality that the faith requires, and it is supported for all men and women of good will and open spirit –believers and non-believers– living in any of the 194 countries that conform humanity, to listen and be shaken by Her calling as a preoccupied Mother, who has come to the point of crying tears of blood (101 verified crying, as presented in the 4th part of this article), because, if the international events keep the current path, we will be facing the serious danger of an unprecedented punishment, as She Herself has warned.
We all yearn for peace, we all look for happiness and prosperity in a more inhabitable world, respecting each other regardless of the differences; it is not utopia, when truth, justice and peace reign again, acknowledging that we all have a common origin as passengers on this blue spacecraft that has been navigating for millennia, by an act of love of one God that is Love, and to Him we reach. Mary, the Mother of the One that was crucified, and from Who radiates all the power She reveals in our favor, Her spiritual children, by participating in the redemption in a unique manner She invites us to return to Him, God one and trinity, as the safest way for universal coexistence and fraternity.
Her image and Her prayer are the tools She gives us so that each one of us do our part, repeating frequently and asking Pope Francisco to proclaim Her as our Mother Co-redeemer, Mediator, and Advocate, so that Her wish is fulfilled: “With this title She will save the world”. (20/3/53)
Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of the Father,
Send now your Spirit over the earth.
Let the Holy Spirit live
in the hearts of all nations,
that they may be preserved
from degeneration, disaster and war.
May the Lady of All Nations,
The Blessed Virgin Mary,
be our advocate.