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WHY DO CATHOLICS...?
From time to time, we answer a question about Catholic beliefs and experiences. Submit your question to Laura Broyles by emailing email@example.com.
Why do Catholics have so many names for Mary?
Catholics devotion to Mary is often the most misunderstood of all Catholic practices. Mary is known by many names. I will attempt to explain some of them.
- The Blessed Mother—a natural motherhood, mother of Jesus; a divine motherhood, mother of “my Lord”; mother of God; a spiritual motherhood, “mother” of John, mother of the Church.
- The Blessed Virgin—virgin mother, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”; ever virgin, in those times, bother referred to a close friend so “brothers of the lord” was not referring to children of Mary.
- The Seven Wounds of Mary—Scripture records Mary speaking seven times. In Luke 1:34 is her response to the annunciation. In Luke 1:38 is her acceptance of her vocation. In Luke 1:40 is the visitation to Elizabeth. In Luke 1:46 is her joyful reflection on God’s fidelity (the Magnificat). In Luke 2:48 is her finding the child of Jesus in the temple. In John 2:3 is her intercession on behalf of the Cana wedding hosts. In john 2:5 is her instruction to the waiters at the Cana wedding feast.
- The Seven Sorrows of Mary—The prophecy of Simeon. The flight into Egypt. The loss of the child Jesus in the temple. Meeting Jesus on the way of the cross. The crucifixion of Jesus. The taking down of Jesus from the cross. The burial of Jesus.
- The Seven Joys of Mary—The annunciation. The visitation. The nativity. The epiphany. The presentation of Jesus. The finding of Jesus in the temple. Her assumption into heaven.
- Our Lady of Sorrows (Mater Dolorosa)— the image of the “Sorrowful Mother” is familiar in Christian art.
- Our Lady of the Snows—In Rome a elderly couple saw an apparition of Mary during which she requested a shrine be built on one of the city’s celebrated hills. The next morning the city woke to find the Esquiline Hill covered in snow. Today, the Church of St. Mary of the Snows St. Mary Major) stands on this site.
- Our Lady of Guadalupe—Four times Mary appeared to Juan Diego in Mexico.
- Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal— Three times Mary appeared to Catherine Laboure of France.
- Our Lady of LaSalette—Mary appeared to two children as a sorrowing and weeping figure.
- Our Lady of Lourdes—Eighteen times Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous as the Immaculate Conception.
- Our Lady of Knock—Mary appeared to fifteen people with figures of Joseph and John the Apostle in Ireland.
- Our Lady of Fatima—Mary appeared to three children six times in Portugal popularizing devotion to the rosary.
Each week, we update this page with a new question to be answered about our Catholic faith. If you have a question about the Catholic faith that you would like to submit, email the Faith Formation chair at firstname.lastname@example.org, Adult Faith Formation Director Laura Broyles at email@example.com, or leave a note in the Faith Formation box in the Parish Office.
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