Mary And The Saints


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RCIA presentation Mary and the Saints by David Jensen, 23 March 2010, St. Patrick Catholic Church, Colorado Springs, CO.

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Mary And The Saints

  1. 1. Mary and the Saints
  2. 2. Opening Prayer Sub tuum præsidium1 We fly to thy protection, O holy Mother of God. Despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers O glorious and blessed Virgin.
  3. 3. Overview • What do we mean • Honor & by “saints”? Intercession of • Communion of Saints Saints • Doctrines about Mary • Prayer for the • Praying the Rosary Dead • Do we “worship” the saints?
  4. 4. What do we mean by “saints”? • Saints – Grk “hagios,” Latin “sanctus” = holy , sacred • Broad sense: A name given in the New Testament to Christians generally (e.g. Jude 14, Col 1:2) • Narrow sense: Early usage, restricted to persons who were eminent for holiness2
  5. 5. What do we mean by “saints”? • The Church has always called to mind her famous dead • Rev 2:13 - “Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you” • Martyr - literally “witness”; special category of saints, killed because of their Christian faith • Saints commemorated in the prayers of the Mass and in the Divine Office
  6. 6. What do we mean by “saints”? • Strict sense: saints are those who distinguish themselves by heroic virtue during life and whom the Church honors as saints either by her ordinary universal teaching authority or by a solemn definition called canonization2
  7. 7. Communion of Saints • Indicates common sharing of all the members of the Church in holy things: the faith, the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, the charisms, and the other spiritual gifts; the root of this communion is love3
  8. 8. Communion of Saints • Also refers to the communion between holy persons; that is, between those who by grace are united to Christ3 • Some are pilgrims on the earth still battling evil (Church Militant); others, having passed from this life into purgatory, are helped by our prayers (Church Suffering); others already enjoy the glory of God in heaven and intercede for us (Church Triumphant)
  9. 9. Discussion Question • Why do we pray for the dead?
  10. 10. Prayer for the Dead • “In doing this [praying for the dead] he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the dead to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin" (2 Maccabees 12:43–45).
  11. 11. Prayer for the Dead • Constant Christian practice in every century since the advent of Christ –Acts of Paul and Thecla [A.D. 160]), Epitaph of Abercius [A.D. 190]). –The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity 2:3–4 [A.D. 202])
  12. 12. Discussion Question • Do we worship saints? –“Adoration is the first act of the virtue of religion. To adore God is to acknowledge him as God, as the Creator and Savior, the Lord and Master of everything that exists, as infinite and merciful Love. „You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve,‟ says Jesus, citing Deuteronomy” (CCC 2096)
  13. 13. Honor & Intercession of Saints • Ancient roots - Jews beseech deceased tzaddik („righteous ones‟) to intercede on their behalf4 • It is permissible and profitable to honor the saints in heaven, and to invoke their intercession – Psalm 103, 148 – Invoking heavenly hosts in prayer – Rev 5 – intercessory prayers of saints – 2 Macc – Onias & Jeremiah intercede
  14. 14. Doctrines about Mary • Mother of God • Mother of the Church • How does our Mother help the Church? • Devotion to our Mother • Immaculate Conception, Ever- Virgin, and Assumption of Mary
  15. 15. Marian Doctrines and Biblical Typology • The Ark of the Covenant was made pure (acacia wood, purest gold), kept pure (Uzzah killed for attempting to touch it), and kept from corruption (St. John sees the ark in heaven, cf. Rev 11) • In what way does the Ark of the Covenant prefigure Mary, the Living Ark of the Living Covenant?
  16. 16. Praying the Rosary • The holy Rosary is a compendium of the whole Gospel5 • Gospel-centered prayer, recommended even by non-Catholic pastors – A Protestant Pastor Look at Mary, by Rev. Charles Dickson – Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy – Meditations on the Rosary, by Rev. J. Neville Ward
  17. 17. Praying the Rosary • The Joyful Mysteries – The Annunciation – The Visitation – The Nativity – The Presentation – The Finding in the Temple
  18. 18. Praying the Rosary • The Mysteries of Light – The Baptism of Jesus – The Wedding Feast of Cana – The Proclamation of the Kingdom, with the call to Conversion – The Transfiguration – The Institution of the Eucharist
  19. 19. Praying the Rosary • The Sorrowful Mysteries – The Agony in the Garden – The Scourging at the Pillar – The Crowning with Thorns – The Carrying of the Cross – The Crucifixion
  20. 20. Praying the Rosary • The Glorious Mysteries – The Resurrection – The Ascension – The Descent of the Holy Spirit – The Assumption – The Coronation of Mary Queen of Heaven and Earth
  21. 21. See here for further info:
  22. 22. References • [1] The oldest extant hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary, written in Greek, from an Egyptian papyrus which dates approx. to AD 250 • [2] Fr. John Hardon, S.J., Modern Catholic Dictionary, “saints”, URL: htm , accessed on 23 March 2010; on canonization: “the Church's official recognition of sanctity implies that the persons are now in heavenly glory, that they may be publicly invoked everywhere, and that their virtues during life or martyr's death are a witness and example to the Christian faithful”
  23. 23. References • [3] Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), no. 194, see also CCC 946-953, 960 • [4] Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, Ask the Rabbi - Is it okay to ask a deceased tzaddik to pray on my behalf? , URL: 2222/jewish/Is-it-okay-to-ask-a-deceased-tzaddik- to-pray-on-my-behalf.htm , accessed on 23 March 2010 • [5] Compendium of the CCC, no. 198
  24. 24. Further Reading • Hahn, Scott, Hail, Holy Queen – The Mother of God in the Word of God, Image (September 19, 2006) • Chacon, F., Burnham, J., Beginning Apologetics 6: How to Explain and Defend Mary, San Juan Catholic Seminars (December 1, 2003) • Madrid, P., Any Friend of God's Is a Friend of Mine, Basilica Press (August 15, 1996) • Catholic Answers, Mary and the Saints, URL: , accessed on 23 March 2010