Mary

 


  1. Bullet Mary is the Mother of Jesus and rightly deserves a special place in our hearts.


  1. Bullet Mary was a virgin betrothed to Joseph.


  1. Bullet Mary herself was conceived without sin.


  1. Bullet Mary remained a virgin after Jesus was born.


  1. Bullet Mary was bodily assumed into heaven.


  1. Bullet Mary is to be honored and venerated but never worshiped.


No doctrine perhaps has had more trouble for Protestants than Mary yet the sad reality is that for just over 1500 years most of the Christian world accepted the four Marian Doctrines: Mother of God, Immaculate Conception and Bodily Assumption, and Perpetual Virginity. Ironically even some of the early reformers accepted some of the Marian doctrines but in time to come eventually all were rejected by most Protestants. To approach the objections of most Protestants over these doctrines two of which became dogmas let us first define what the Catholic church first means by each of them.



Immaculate Conception:


From the Catechism of the Catholic Church we find the following meaning of the Immaculate conception: 491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:


    The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.


Hence the Immaculate Conception means that Mary was saved from sin from the moment of conception. Not at a later date but at conception.


Mother of God


Also from the Catechism of the Catholic Church we find the following meaning of Mary's divine motherhood: 495 Called in the Gospels "the mother of Jesus", Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the mother of my Lord".144 In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God" (Theotokos).


Mary – The Ever Virgin


Also from the Catechism of the Catholic Church we find the following meaning of Mary’s Perpetual virginity: 499 The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary's real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ's birth "did not diminish his mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it."And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the "Ever-virgin".


500 Against this doctrine the objection is sometimes raised that the Bible mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus.157 The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph, "brothers of Jesus", are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls "the other Mary". They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression.


Mary’s Bodily Assumption


Pope Pius XII infallibly proclaimed and defined the Dogma of the Assumption on November 1, 1950:

“The Immaculate Mother of God, Mary Ever-Virgin, after her life on earth, was assumed, body and soul, into heavenly glory.”


The simplest of the four Marian doctrines is oddly enough the Mother of God and so we begin with this.


  1. Bullet OBJECTIONS to the Mother of god


Objection #1 – God is the Alpha and Omega. He existed from all time. How can Mary be called the Mother of God?


The answer to this question actually lies in the fact that Mary is Jesus earthly Mother.  Since Jesus is both fully human and fully divine, the fully human part of him had an earthly mother, therefore by extension Mary becomes the Mother of Jesus or the Mother of God.  We are not doing him a disservice in any form or fashion as Mary herself tells us that she will be called blessed in Luke 1:48. “Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid: for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” Finally, it must be remembered that Mothers do not create children. They give birth to children who ultimately come from God.


Objection #2 – I have heard that Mary has other titles such as Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, & Mediatrix. How can this be if Jesus is the one Mediator between man and God?


Titles like names mean something and Mary’s other titles are no exception. To acquire the titles we must first understand what Mary did.  When asked by God to bear his son Mary responds in Luke 1:38. with “And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.” Mary in summary said YES to God. She could have said no but said YES instead. This is in contrast to Eve who said NO to God through her disobedience, and for her being given this honour to bear the Lord and saying yes to God she is bestowed many titles. Her closeness to Jesus throughout his life, his death and resurrection are also other reason she is bestowed many titles. Catholic believe that she can intercede for us when we ask her to take our prayers to Jesus.


Objection #3 – The Hail Mary prayer is unbiblical


Actually the Hail Mary prayer has its roots entirely from scripture. Consider the prayer in italics and scriptural verses in bold with underlined emphasis.


Hail Mary, full of grace, Our Lord is with thee

(Luke 1:28 - Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee:. )


Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

(Luke 1:42 Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb).


Holy Mary,

(Luke 1:35…And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee [Mary] shall be called the Son of God).


Mother of God,

(Luke 1:43. And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?)


Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Many passages refer to the Communion of Saints and praying for us such as Col. 4:3; 1 Thess 5:25 which as to Pray for us, and 2 Th 3:1 – finally brothers pray for us).



  1. BulletOBJECTIONS to the Immaculate Conception


Objection #1 – Luke 1:28 in my NIV bible reads “The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."  That tells me Mary was simply favored by God and no more.


Unfortunately this rendering of this verse in the NIV version and many others does not do justice to the correct translation of the original Greek word Kecharitomene whose root word charis means Grace. A proper translation of the word is “you who have been Graced” or “Full of Grace”. Of the two possible meanings the latter is more appropriate to show the significance of what happened when the angel Gabriel came to Mary.  Hence the Catholic Bible uses the “Full of Grace” translation. In AD405 Jerome in his Latin rendition of the same passage of the complete Bible wrote “have gratia plena” which means “Full of Grace”.  Assuming the phrase Full of grace is correct what therefore does it mean to be full of Grace?  The Oxford dictionary defines Grace as “The free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings” but St. Paul goes further in Rom 6:14 when he says in Rom. 6:14.
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace. So while Grace is a free gift as acknowledged by all Catholic and Protestants alike and is a virtue of blessings, Paul links Grace and sin as antithetical.  In other words they are diametrically opposite.  Hence to be full of Grace means to have no sin or be sinless since that person [Mary] has all of God’s blessings. A graphical illustration of this is listed above.



Objection #2 - I have doubts about the Full of Grace statement but surely Mary must have had sin. Romans 3:23 tells us “that all have sinned”.


In that passage Paul is talking about personal sin and it is obvious that by all he means all of mankind with the few exceptions. What are those exceptions and if there are exceptions it must mean that the word all really means a broad swat? If one can be found then it implies all minus one. Well Jesus for starters, Adam and Eve before the Fall and importantly babies that died before the age of reason. We know babies do not have personal sin because they are incapable of having it as they cannot think for themselves before they are old enough.  Note babies are born with original sin which is the sin that we all inherit from our fore parents Adam and Eve.


Objection #3 Mary herself states that God is her Savior. If she stated herself that she needed a savior, then she knows that she was a sinful person.


It is correct to say that Mary needed a saviour.  Catholics do not deny this reality. Jesus was her saviour but Catholics say that it was Jesus who saved her from sin through redemption by preemption.  In other words before sin could enter her he [God] prevented it at the start.  Hence the name Immaculate Conception. Is this really possible? Of course all things are possible with our Lord who transcends space and time and he could do what he wills as he sees it fit and he did. It is also logical because Jesus would not give Satan dominion over his mother for one second. Otherwise sin would be passed on to him and that was impossible.

A good way to understand redemption by preemption is to use the analogy of a child who can take medicine after the cold has affected them in order to get better, but Mary received the ultimate of flu shots before she was born hence she never sinned (personal sin) or had sin (original sin).


Objection #4– Apart from Luke 1:28 I see no other scriptural proof of Marys sinlessness? She was chosen to carry the son of God. There is no indication in the Bible that she was prefabricated to do this.


Actually there is abundant proof at the beginning of the Bible in Genesis 3:15 which reads.


15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel."


First of all God is addressing this passage to the Serpent, the devil, the ancient of creatures and after cursing him he tells the devil he will put enmity between the Devil and the woman and between his offspring and his offspring.  Who then is the woman? It cannot be Eve because Eve had just given herself over to the devil. Furthermore, the offspring of the woman is the one who will strike at the serpents head. In some translations this is rendered as crush the serpent head which is a more fatal blow than to blow to the offspring heel. The offspring is a he who must be Jesus Christ as he is the only one capable of crushing the serpents head. His mother was Mary and therefore the woman referred to in Genesis 3:15. The word Enmity means hostility and so we can deduce that enmity begins at the womans introduction into the world. The devil never ensnared Jesus with sin as he did with Adam and Eve, but Enmity started before that in Jesus mother Mary, because she too could not be snared with sin, hence the passage between your offspring and hers. Note the final blow to sin was Jesus death on the cross for all of mankind.


Objection #5 - No person could go through life being “perfect” and then be confused as to why God would choose them out of the entirety of humankind.


Being perfect in a human sense does not mean that one knows everything and anyone can be confused at the supernatural. It simply means that Mary was without both original and personal sin. Being perfect in a human and divine sense means that one will know everything as Jesus did.


Objection #6 - If she were sinless, she would have known she was different, and her response to the angel would have been more like: “I have been waiting for you to come. I know I am different than all others. I am worthy to carry the Son of God.”


She did know she was different but she could not have known the future and what to say.  She is not God and therefore cannot predict the future.  Note she did said in Luke 1:38. And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”  That shows her immediate acceptance without questioning the Angels word. It is also presumptuous to second guess what Mary might have said given the presence of an Angel of the Lord in front of her.


Objection #7 – The Early Christians did not believe Mary was sinless


Far from the opposite we see that the early Christians and in particular the church fathers did believe that Mary was sinless by their writings:


Justin Martyr

    "[Jesus] became man by the Virgin so that the course which was taken by disobedience in the beginning through the agency of the serpent might be also the very course by which it would be put down. Eve, a virgin and undefiled, conceived the word of the serpent and bore disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy when the angel Gabriel announced to her the glad tidings that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her and the power of the Most High would overshadow her, for which reason the Holy One being born of her is the Son of God. And she replied ‘Be it done unto me according to your word’ [Luke 1:38]" (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 100 [A.D. 155]).


Irenaeus

    "Consequently, then, Mary the Virgin is found to be obedient, saying, ‘Behold, O Lord, your handmaid; be it done to me according to your word.’ Eve, however, was disobedient, and, when yet a virgin, she did not obey. Just as she, who was then still a virgin although she had Adam for a husband—for in paradise they were both naked but were not ashamed; for, having been created only a short time, they had no understanding of the procreation of children, and it was necessary that they first come to maturity before beginning to multiply—having become disobedient, was made the cause of death for herself and for the whole human race; so also Mary, betrothed to a man but nevertheless still a virgin, being obedient, was made the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race. . . . Thus, the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith" (Against Heresies 3:22:24 [A.D. 189]).


    "The Lord then was manifestly coming to his own things, and was sustaining them by means of that creation that is supported by himself. He was making a recapitulation of that disobedience that had occurred in connection with a tree, through the obedience that was upon a tree [i.e., the cross]. Furthermore, the original deception was to be done away with—the deception by which that virgin Eve (who was already espoused to a man) was unhappily misled. That this was to be overturned was happily announced through means of the truth by the angel to the Virgin Mary (who was also [espoused] to a man). . . . So if Eve disobeyed God, yet Mary was persuaded to be obedient to God. In this way, the Virgin Mary might become the advocate of the virgin Eve. And thus, as the human race fell into bondage to death by means of a virgin, so it is rescued by a virgin. Virginal disobedience has been balanced in the opposite scale by virginal obedience. For in the same way, the sin of the first created man received amendment by the correction of the First-Begotten" (ibid., 5:19:1 [A.D. 189]).


Ephraim the Syrian

    "You alone and your Mother are more beautiful than any others, for there is no blemish in you nor any stains upon your Mother. Who of my children can compare in beauty to these?" (Nisibene Hymns 27:8 [A.D. 361]).


Ambrose of Milan

    "Come, then, and search out your sheep, not through your servants or hired men, but do it yourself. Lift me up bodily and in the flesh, which is fallen in Adam. Lift me up not from Sarah but from Mary, a virgin not only undefiled, but a virgin whom grace had made inviolate, free of every stain of sin" (Commentary on Psalm 118:22–30 [A.D. 387]).


Augustine

    "Having excepted the holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom, on account of the honor of the Lord, I wish to have absolutely no question when treating of sins—for how do we know what abundance of grace for the total overcoming of sin was conferred upon her, who merited to conceive and bear him in whom there was no sin?—so, I say, with the exception of the Virgin, if we could have gathered together all those holy men and women, when they were living here, and had asked them whether they were without sin, what do we suppose would have been their answer?" (Nature and Grace 36:42 [A.D. 415]).


  1. Bullet OBJECTIONS TO: Mary the Ever Virgin


Objection #1Mary had other children after Jesus was born as shown in Matthew 1:25: But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. (NIV)".


From this statement at a first glance one can deduce that Mary had other children after Jesus was born and therefore lost her virginity. A closer examination of it however, shows that it is equally possible that after Jesus was born Joseph did not have sexual relationships with her because the word until does not signify the event actually did happen. The words before simply tells us what happened before that actual point in time. That is Joseph had no union with Mary as she was with child. As further proof of this consider the statement “Jim will not be a millionaire until he wins the lottery”.  One cannot infer that Jim automatically becomes a millionaire because one can win the lottery and receive a share of the price less than one millions dollars or simply not win the top prize. Prior to the day of event it is safe to say that Jim was not a millionaire but not afterwards.


Another example occurs in the gospel of John 9:18 which reads “9:18. The Jews then did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight,”. We know for a fact that they did not even believe him afterwards so the word until again cannot be used to infer this is what happened afterwards. Similar verses are 2 Sam. 6:23. Therefore Michol the daughter of Saul had no child to [until] the day of her death. Can we assume she had children after she died?


Objection #2 - The Bible explicitly states that Jesus did have other brothers in Matthew 13:55 “Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary, and his brethren James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Jude:”


Two things must be brought forth here. The first is that the word “brethen” which in Jesus language of the day Aramic and Hebrew had no special distinction between brothers, half or otherwise and cousin. Secondly in Mt 27:56 we read “Among whom was Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.” Clearly here Matthew is referring to a different Mary whose children were James and Joseph and not the brothers of Simon and Jude and the brother of Jesus. Actually Simon and Jude were the children of a brother of St. Joseph. It should also be noted that the so called brothers of Jesus are never called “the sons of Mary” only Jesus is called “the son of Mary”


Objection #3 – Ok, but other places in the Bible refer to the brothers and sisters of Jesus


That is true (See Matt. 12:46; Matt. 13:55; Mark 3:31–34; Mark 6:3; Luke 8:19–20; John 2:12, 7:3, 5, 10; Acts 1:14; 1 Cor. 9:5) but similar reasoning applies as the terms were used loosely then to mean close relatives.  Consider the situation between Lot and Abraham in Genesis,


11:26. And Thare lived seventy years, and begot Abram, and Nachor, and Aran.

11:27. And these are the generations of Thare: Thare begot Abram, Nachor, and Aran. And Aran begot Lot.

11:28. And Aran died before Thare his father, in the land of his nativity in Ur of the Chaldees.


And


14:14. Which when Abram had heard, to wit, that his brother Lot was taken, he numbered of the servants born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, well appointed: and pursued them to Dan.


In Genesis 11:26-28 the connection between Abraham and Lot is clearly established through kindred.  Lot is Abrahams nephew, yet in Genesis 14:14, Lot is referred too as Abrahams brother showing that the term brother was loosely applied in those times to close relatives.


It should also be mentioned that the early church reformers had high regards for Mary the ever virgin. Consider the words of Martin Luther, Calvin and Zwingli


Martin Luther

Christ...was the only Son of Mary, and the Virgin Mary bore no children besides Him... “brothers” really means “cousins” here, for Holy Writ and the Jews always call cousins brothers. (Sermons on John, chapters 1-4, 1537-39).


John Calvin

[On Matt 1:25:] The inference he [Helvidius] drew from it was, that Mary remained a virgin no longer than till her first birth, and that afterwards she had other children by her husband . . . No just and well-grounded inference can be drawn from these words . . . as to what took place after the birth of Christ. He is called 'first-born'; but it is for the sole purpose of informing us that he was born of a virgin . . . What took place afterwards the historian does not inform us . . . No man will obstinately keep up the argument, except from an extreme fondness for disputation.

({Harmony of Matthew, Mark & Luke, sec. 39 (Geneva, 1562), vol. 1, p.107 / From Calvin's Commentaries, tr. William Pringle)


Ulrich Zwingli

I firmly believe that Mary, according to the words of the gospel as a pure Virgin brought forth for us the Son of God and in childbirth and after childbirth forever remained a pure, intact Virgin. (Zwingli Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Berlin, 1905, v. 1, p. 424.)



Objection #4 - The church fathers never believed that Mary remained a virgin


Quite to the contrary. From the early church fathers (www.catholionline.com) we see the following writings:


Origen

"The Book [the Protoevangelium] of James [records] that the brethren of Jesus were sons of Joseph by a former wife, whom he married before Mary. Now those who say so wish to preserve the honor of Mary in virginity to the end, so that body of hers which was appointed to minister to the Word . . . might not know intercourse with a man after the Holy Spirit came into her and the power from on high overshadowed her. And I think it in harmony with reason that Jesus was the firstfruit among men of the purity which consists in [perpetual] chastity, and Mary was among women. For it were not pious to ascribe to any other than to her the firstfruit of virginity" (Commentary on Matthew 2:17 [A.D. 248]).


Hilary of Poitiers

"If they [the brethren of the Lord] had been Mary’s sons and not those taken from Joseph’s former marriage, she would never have been given over in the moment of the passion [crucifixion] to the apostle John as his mother, the Lord saying to each, ‘Woman, behold your son,’ and to John, ‘Behold your mother’ [John 19:26–27), as he bequeathed filial love to a disciple as a consolation to the one desolate" (Commentary on Matthew 1:4 [A.D. 354]).


Athanasius

"Let those, therefore, who deny that the Son is by nature from the Father and proper to his essence deny also that he took true human flesh from the ever-virgin Mary" (Discourses Against the Arians 2:70 [A.D. 360]).


Epiphanius of Salamis

"We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of all things, both visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God . . . who for us men and for our salvation came down and took flesh, that is, was born perfectly of the holy ever-virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit" (The Man Well-Anchored 120 [A.D. 374]).


"And to holy Mary, [the title] ‘Virgin’ is invariably added, for that holy woman remains undefiled" (Medicine Chest Against All Heresies 78:6 [A.D. 375]).


Jerome

"[Helvidius] produces Tertullian as a witness [to his view] and quotes Victorinus, bishop of Petavium. Of Tertullian, I say no more than that he did not belong to the Church. But as regards Victorinus, I assert what has already been proven from the gospel—that he [Victorinus] spoke of the brethren of the Lord not as being sons of Mary but brethren in the sense I have explained, that is to say, brethren in point of kinship, not by nature. [By discussing such things we] are . . . following the tiny streams of opinion. Might I not array against you the whole series of ancient writers? Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, and many other apostolic and eloquent men, who against [the heretics] Ebion, Theodotus of Byzantium, and Valentinus, held these same views and wrote volumes replete with wisdom. If you had ever read what they wrote, you would be a wiser man" (Against Helvidius: The Perpetual Virginity of Mary 19 [A.D. 383]).


"We believe that God was born of a virgin, because we read it. We do not believe that Mary was married after she brought forth her Son, because we do not read it. . . . You [Helvidius] say that Mary did not remain a virgin. As for myself, I claim that Joseph himself was a virgin, through Mary, so that a virgin Son might be born of a virginal wedlock" (ibid., 21).



  1. Bullet OBJECTIONS TO: Mary’s Bodily Assumption


Objection #1 – Nowhere in scripture does it say that Mary was bodily assumed.


Our response to that should be nowhere in scripture does it say the word Trinity either. This is not to be facetious but it is simply stating the facts. Scripture does not explicitly come out and say that Mary was assumed, but neither does it say that St. Joseph died but all believed that he did. In other words just because something is not explicitly in scripture does not mean that it did not happen. The bodily assumption comes from several sources including apocryphal writings which deal specifically with the assumption and the writings of the church fathers. One such apocryphal writing in The Book of John Concerning the Falling Asleep of Mary


And while she was praying, I John came, the Holy Spirit having snatched me up by a cloud from Ephesus, and set me in the place where the mother of my Lord was lying. And having gone in beside her, and glorified Him who had been born of her, I said: Hail, mother of my Lord, who brought forth Christ our God, rejoice that in great glory you are going out of this life. And the holy mother of God glorified God, because I John had come to her, remembering the voice of the Lord, saying: Behold your mother, and, Behold your son…. Go also, Thomas, to Bethlehem to salute the mother of your Lord, because she is taking her departure to the heavens. And a cloud of light having snatched me up, set me down beside you. And Mark also answered and said: And when I was finishing the canon of the third day in the city of Alexandria, just as I was praying, the Holy Spirit snatched me up, and brought me to you…. The apostles said all these things to the holy mother of God, why they had come, and in what way; and she stretched her hands to heaven and prayed, saying: I adore, and praise, and glorify Your much to be praised name, O Lord, because You have looked upon the lowliness of Thine handmaiden, and because You that are mighty hast done great things for me; and, behold, all generations shall count me blessed. Luke 1:48 And after the prayer she said to the apostles: Cast incense, and pray. And when they had prayed, there was thunder from heaven, and there came a fearful voice, as if of chariots; and, behold, a multitude of a host of angels and powers, and a voice, as if of the Son of man, was heard, and the seraphim in a circle round the house where the holy, spotless mother of God and virgin was lying, so that all who were in Bethlehem beheld all the wonderful things, and came to Jerusalem and reported all the wonderful things that had come to pass. And it came to pass, when the voice was heard, that the sun and the moon suddenly appeared about the house; and an assembly of the first-born saints stood beside the house where the mother of the Lord was lying, for her honour and glory.


Note Catholic doctrine does not say that Mary died. It says that Mary like Enoch and Elijah were assumed into heaven and if God could make exceptions for Enoch and Elijah from scripture he could do the same for Mary his own Mother. A secondary proof for this doctrine comes from the fact that no remains of Mary were ever found. It is generally believed that Mary ended her life in Jerusalem, or perhaps in Ephesus, yet neither place can claim any bones, but Ephesus claims her tomb.


Theodosius of Alexandria, commenting in his Homily on the Dormition The Falling Asleep of Mary also known as the Assumption of Mary from the 4th or 5th century wrote:


When our Saviour had said these things, He turned His face to us, even to me Peter and to John; and said to us, Be of good cheer, My friends and apostles. I will not suffer her to be long away from you, but she shall appear to you quickly.  There are two hundred and six days from her death unto her holy assumption.  I will bring her unto you arrayed in this body again, even as this body also, as ye see her now, whilst she is with you, And I will translate her up to the heavens to be with My Father and the Holy Ghost, that she may continue praying for you all.  Now when He had said these things, again He said to us, Arise, go into the holy place; and ye shall find on the altar heavenly garments and perfumes of the heavens, which My good Father and the Holy Ghost. have sent Me for the honour of the body of My beloved mother.  And when we had gone in, we brought them out to Him; and He said to us, [111] Spread them on this bed.  And when we had spread them, He said to His mother, Haste thee, O thou queen of all women, enter these; and rest thee from the grief and the trouble and the groaning.  Enter thou into the joy and eternal gladness.


And she arose, and spread forth her hands, and said this prayer, Adonai, Eloi, Sabaoth, Messias, Rabba, Emmanuel receive me, my Son, in this very hour.  Let the royal doors of Thy holy courts be opened before me, that I may enter in by them, and worship before Thee, my Master.  For it is to Thee that the glory is due, and to Thy good Father and the Holy Ghost, giver of life and of one essence with Thee, for ever. Amen.


VI,  Now when she had said these things, she lay down on the garments, and she turned her face to our Saviour, and straightway she commended her spirit into His hands.  He said to me, even to me Peter and to John, Make haste, shroud the body of My mother before I go away from you.  And we arose, and prepared her well for burial, even as He commended.


See also the writings of St. Gregory of Tours and St. John Damascene.


Questions:


Were you present when Mary died to confirm that she was not assumed into heaven?


If Mary really has no place in Protestant lives, then why was she highly regarded by the reformers?


Marian apparitions have appeared in various places in the world with messages of warnings and hope.  For example Lourdes, Fatima, Guadaloupe and Rwanda. Can you disprove the events that took place in these areas did not occur and if not can you provide explanations for them?


Why did the early church fathers have such a strong belief in Marys role in Salvation history?