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Catholic Answers Part II — Then Along Comes Mary

Rich Kelsey

Pope Benedict

 

This particular papal mitre depicts Mary standing upon a celestial orb with a crown above her head. Also, people are bowing before Mary; and, rays of light are emanating from her. Catholic theologians point to symbolism in prophetic scripture to make a case for this representation. However, the symbolism in question[1] may have little,[2] if anything[3] to do with Mary. In ancient Rome, pagan gods and goddesses were illustrated in the same manner.

The temple[4] of the Greek goddess Artemis,[5] known in Rome as Diana,[6] was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Out of all the gods and goddesses in Roman religion, Diana[7] was the most worshipped. Considered a great goddess, Diana[8] stood as head over all of Rome’s gods. When pagan worship was supposedly phased out and replaced with Christianity, Diana’s shrine was rededicated to Mary, whose old age and death was placed at Ephesus by Church legend.

“Diana was known to be the virgin goddess…”[9]

Mary became known as,

“The Virgin Mary.”

With the term, “Virgin Mary,” Catholics express their belief[10] that Mary lived her entire life as a virgin. While nothing in the Bible demands Mary remained a virgin; Catholics insist she did! The Bible does mention that when Mary first became engaged to Joseph she was a virgin; then, it gives us this account of Christ’s birth:

“This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.” (Matt. 1:18)

When it became obvious to Joseph that Mary was pregnant, Joseph almost didn’t go through with the marriage; that is, until he was visited by the angel of the Lord, in a dream:

"When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife." (Matt. 1:24)

After Jesus was born, Mary is never again called a virgin; neither does scripture imply that she remained a virgin throughout her lifespan. What the Bible does say is:

“But he [Joseph] had no union with her [Mary] until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.” (Matt. 1:25)

The words in the text,

“… had no union with her until…”

are highly suggestive[11] of Joseph and Mary having consummated their marriage after the Christ-child was born. Also, in the gospels there are references to Christ’s brothers and sisters. Yet, Catholics claim that Mary had taken a vow of chastity and that the brothers and sisters[12] mentioned in scripture[13] are actually Christ’s cousins.

Yet, when the Apostle Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia, he said,

“I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother.” (Galatians 1:19)

It seems rather odd that this foundational Catholic doctrine is based on speculation.[14] One thing is certain: the dogma of Mary’s perpetual virginity[15] had its beginnings in Rome.  Romans viewed Christianity as a refinement to their established pagan religion. Diana was originally the goddess who ruled over them. Is it possible that Mary simply replaced her?

 

Titles of Diana Given to Mary:

The goddess Diana had been known as the “Divine Mother.” Mary was given a similar title: During the Third Ecumenical Council[16] in 431 A.D., the non-biblical title,

Mother of God,”[17]

was formally bestowed upon Mary, and affirmed at, “The Church of Mary” in Ephesus.

“The competing view, advocated by Patriarch Nestorius of Constantinople, was that Mary should be called Christotokos, meaning ‘Birth-giver of Christ,’ to restrict her role to the mother of Christ's humanity only and not his divine nature.”[18]

Nestorius’ view was rejected and labeled as heresy by the council. The council then removed Nestorius from his position in the Church; and, his teachings were banished.  

Another title of Diana’s was:

“Queen of Heaven.”

Mary was also given the title,

“Queen of Heaven.”[19]

In the ancient Mediterranean, a number of goddesses had been called,

“Queen of Heaven,”[20]

including “Hera”[21] and her Roman aspect “Juno” during Greco-Roman times. When Mary was given this title,[22] it signified that she, not Diana, or any other goddess, was now recognized as the true,

“Queen of Heaven.”[23]

Catholics also venerate Mary as:

·      Queen of the universe”[24]

·       center of the whole world”[25]

·       greater than the many-eyed cherubim and the six-winged seraphim”[26]

and claim that,

·      “Heaven and earth are filled with the sanctity of … [her] glory."[27]

St. Ildephonsus of Toledo honored Mary with this salutation:

“O my Lady, my Sovereign, You who rule over me, Mother of my Lord.”[28]

Catholic Saint Bernard said:

"For, desiring to save the whole human race, He [God] has laid the full price of redemption in Mary's hands, letting her dispense it at her pleasure."[29]

Nowhere in the bible does it say that God gave authority to Mary to dispense redemption at her pleasure? On this subject Jesus said:

“… All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matt. 28:18)

Catholic leaders maintain:

“God exalted her [Mary] over all other creatures, and Christ crowned her Queen of heaven and earth." (Pope Benedict XVI, Catholic World News, CatholicCulture.org, November 27th 2006)[30]

Again, this teaching cannot be found in scripture.

St. Germanus said,

“Be enthroned, Lady, for it is fitting that you should sit in an exalted place since you are a Queen and glorious above all kings.”[31]

The Bible states that Jesus Christ is the

KING OF KINGS[32]

which highly suggests that Christ alone is above all kings.  

 

Pope Pius XII said,

“The theologians of the Church, deriving their teaching from these and almost innumerable other testimonies handed down long ago, have called the most Blessed Virgin the Queen of all creatures, the Queen of the world, and the Ruler of all.”[33]

It’s interesting that Pope Pius XII pointed to

“testimonies handed down long ago”

to give weight to Catholic dogma. But, what if those testimonies were formed by men who were steeped in the pagan concepts of ancient Rome?

 

“St. Andrew of Crete said,

“[Mary] … the Queen of the entire human race … is exalted above all things save only God himself.”[34]

However, the Bible claims that,

“… God placed all things under his [Christ’s] feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church” (Eph 1:22).

Not Mary![35]

The odds that anyone reading the bible alone would end up developing these Marian doctrines are extremely slim. In reality, the teachings of a highly exalted Mary came from:

·       Church council meetings[36]

·       Ex cathedra teachings[37]

·       Accepted traditions[38]

·       Figurative analogies[39]

·       Interpretations of symbolic scriptures[40]

As well as,

·       Marian apparitions[41]

 

More Extra-Biblical Dogma:

Catholics maintain that Mary was conceived and

“preserved exempt from all stain of original sin.” [42]

This doctrine is called the Immaculate Conception; however, it is not found in scripture.

Catholic also claim that Mary lived a

“perfectly sinless life.”[43]

If Mary was born without any stain of original sin, and then lived a sinless life, then why is it written in scripture: 

“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.’” (Luke 1:46-47)

Evidently Mary needed a savior because she had the same problem everyone else in the world has — sin.  On this subject the Bible records:

·   “… There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10)

·   “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)

In the Book of Revelation, a search was made for someone who was worthy to break the seals and open a scroll; the only person found worthy in all of heaven and earth was Jesus Christ.  Nobody else was worthy to open the scroll or even look inside it; this no doubt would include Mary.[44]  According to scripture, Jesus is the only person who made it through life without sin.[45]

 

Catholics also insist that Mary,

“… having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.”[46]

This teaching is called the "Assumption"[47] of Mary. Yet, there are no[48]  biblical passages to support this teaching.

“The earliest known literary reference to the Assumption is found in the Greek work De Obitu S. Dominae[49] — which is a late dated (Sixth Century) spurious gospel supposedly written by the resurrected Apostle John. However, the lack of scriptural evidence did not prevent Mary’s bodily assumption into heaven from becoming dogma.[50]

On November 1st 1950, Pope Pius XII proclaimed:

It is forbidden to any man to change this, our declaration… or, by rash attempt, to oppose and counter it. If any man should presume to make such an attempt, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”[51]

One might wonder why a recent pope would threaten people with,

“the wrath of Almighty God,”

for opposing his proclamation on a subject which has no basis in scripture?

 

Mary — Ruler of All?

Catholics maintain that,

“…the sovereign King [Jesus] has in some way communicated to her [Mary] his ruling power.”[52]

The words,

“in some way”

point to Catholic leaders having not found any clear proof[53] for this Marian dogma.

 

Conclusion:

From the Book of Acts, which records what Christ’s Apostles said and did, all the way through, to the end of the Bible, Mary’s name is mentioned once:

“They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” (Acts 1:14)

Contrast this with:

“Overall, there are significantly more titles, feasts and venerative Marian practices among Roman Catholics than any other Christian traditions.” (Encyclopedia of Catholicism by Frank K. Flinn, J. Gordon Melton, p.p. 443–444)

To make matters worse, Catholic scholars admit:

"Towards the end of the fourth century, the name Mary becomes rather frequent among Christians…" (Catholic Encyclopedia, The Blessed Virgin Mary, newadvent.org)

Therefore, from the start of the New Testament Church in Jerusalem, about 30 A.D., throughout the next two centuries, the name Mary was not in frequent use among Christians. Then, about the time Christianity becomes Rome's official religion,[54] the name Mary becomes used frequently. Obviously, when Rome got control of Christianity, the gospel of Christ[55] changed.[56]

Perhaps the most troubling Marian doctrine of all is the supposed role she plays in man’s salvation:

“No sinner in the world is beyond the hope of redemption; no one is so cursed that he cannot obtain pardon if he calls upon Mary.  It is necessary to be in a state of sanctifying grace to be saved, but it is not necessary to be in a state of grace to call on Mary.  As she was the representative of sinful humanity who gave consent to the Redemption, so she is still the representative of those who are not yet in a state of friendship with God… This role Mary plays.” (Call Upon Mary, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen).

The understanding that sinners can obtain pardon by calling upon Mary, not only lacks any scriptural basis; what is recorded in the Bible clearly contradicts it: The Apostle Peter, speaking of Jesus Christ, said,

 “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2:21)

Peter went on to say,

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

Mary’s name was not mentioned by Peter. Yet, if there is still any doubt over which name should be called upon, perhaps the following scriptures will settle the matter:

·   “[There is] one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5)

·   “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)

 

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[1] “A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.” (Revelation, 12:1) 

[2] “Chapter 12 gives us a brief but all-important summary of the whole course of events… The first symbolical person, subject of the prophecy and result of all God's ways in it, is a woman clothed with the sun, having a crown of twelve stars, and the moon under her feet. It is Israel, or Jerusalem as its centre as in the purpose of God (compare Is 9:6 and Ps 87:6). She is clothed with supreme authority, invested with the glory of perfect administration in man, and all the original reflected glory of this under the old covenant, under her feet. She was travailing in childbirth, distressed, and in pain to be delivered…” (John Darby’s Synopsis, Revelation 12)   

[3] “The church, under the emblem of a woman, the mother of believers, was seen by the apostle in vision, in heaven. She was clothed with the sun, justified, sanctified, and shining by union with Christ, the Sun of Righteousness. The moon was under her feet; she was superior to the reflected and feebler light of the revelation made by Moses. Having on her head a crown of twelve stars; the doctrine of the gospel, preached by the twelve apostles, is a crown of glory to all true believers.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Revelation 12) 

[4] “Ephesus owed its chief renown to its temple of Artemis (Diana), which attracted multitudes of visitors. Its first architect was the Cretan Chersiphron (seventh to sixth century B.C.) but it was afterwards enlarged. It was situated on the bank of the River Selinus and its precincts had the right of asylum. This building, which was looked upon in antiquity as one of the marvels of the world, was burnt by Herostratus (356 B.C.) the night of the birth of Alexander the Great, and was afterwards rebuilt, almost in the same proportions, by the architect Dinocrates. Its construction is said to have lasted 120 years, according to some historians 220. It was over 400 feet in length and 200 in breadth, and rested upon 128 pillars of about sixty feet in height.” (Ephesus, Catholic Encyclopedia, newadvent.org)

[5] “’There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.’ When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: ‘Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!’” (Acts 19:27-28, NIV) 

[6] “So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth. And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. (Acts 19:27-28, KJV)

[7] “In Roman mythology, Diana (lt. "heavenly" or "divine") was the goddess of the hunt and moon and birthing, being associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. She was equated with the Greek goddess Artemis, though she had an independent origin in Italy. Diana was worshiped in ancient Roman religion… Diana was known to be the virgin goddess… She was one of the three maiden goddesses, Diana, Minerva and Vesta, who swore never to marry.” (Diana, mythology, Wikipedia) 

[8] “Men of Ephesus, what person is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the keeper of the temple of the great Diana and of her image that fell from heaven ?" (Acts 19:36)

[9] (Diana (mythology) Wikipedia) 

[10] "Today He transports from her earthly dwelling, as Queen of the human race, His ever-Virgin Mother, from whose womb He, the living God, took on human form." (19. S. Andreas Cretensis, Homilia II in Dormitionem Ssmae Deiparae: PG XCVII, 1079 B.) 

[11] "'Knew her not' [KJV] - The doctrine of the virginity of Mary before the birth of Jesus is a doctrine of the Scriptures, and is very important to be believed. But the Bible does not affirm that she had no children afterward. Indeed, all the accounts in the New Testament lead us to suppose that she did have them. See the notes at Matthew 13:55-56. The language here evidently implies that she lived as the wife of Joseph after the birth of Jesus." (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

[12] "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren't all his sisters with us?" (Matt. 13:55-56, NIV) 

[13] “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” (Acts 1:14)

[14] “As a consequence of the doctrine of perpetual virginity, which does not allow that Mary had children after Jesus, Jerome considered that the term ‘brother’ of the Lord should be read ‘cousin’” (James the Just, Wikipedia) 

[15] "In connection with the study of Mary during Our Lord's hidden life, we meet the questions of her perpetual virginity, of her Divine motherhood, and of her personal sanctity. Her spotless virginity has been sufficiently considered in the article on the Virgin Birth. The authorities there cited maintain that Mary remained a virgin when she conceived and gave birth to her Divine Son, as well as after the birth of Jesus." (Catholic Encyclopedia, The Blessed Mary, Mary's perpetual virginity, newadvent.org) 

[16] “The First Council of Ephesus was the third ecumenical council of the early Christian Church, held in 431 at the Church of Mary in Ephesus, Asia Minor. The council was called amid a dispute over the teachings of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople. Nestorius' doctrine, Nestorianism, which emphasized the disunity between Christ's human and divine natures, had brought him into conflict with other church leaders, most notably Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria. Nestorius himself had requested that the Emperor convene council, hoping to prove his orthodoxy, but in the end his teachings were condemned by the council as heresy.

Nestorius' dispute with Cyril had led the latter to seek validation from Pope Celestine I, who authorized Cyril to request that Nestorius recant his position or face excommunication. Nestorius pleaded with Roman Emperor Theodosius II to call a council in which all grievances could be aired, hoping that he would be vindicated and Cyril condemned.

Approximately 250 bishops were present. The proceedings were conducted in a heated atmosphere of confrontation and recriminations and created severe tensions between Cyril and Theodosius. Nestorius was decisively outplayed by Cyril and removed from his see, and his teachings were officially anathematized.” (The First Council of Ephesus, Wikipedia) 

[17] “The mystery of her [Mary’s] divine motherhood … contains in superabundant measure the gift of grace that all human motherhood bears within it, so much so that the fruitfulness of the womb has always been associated with God’s blessing. The Mother of God is the first of the blessed, and it is she who bears the blessing… Mary is the mother and model of the Church… The Church also participates in the mystery of divine motherhood, through preaching, which sows the seed of the Gospel throughout the world, and through the sacraments, which communicate grace and divine life to men.” (Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, 45th World Day of Peace Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI, Vatican Basilica Sunday, 1st January 2012)

[18] (First Council of Ephesus, Wikipedia)

[19] “From the earliest ages of the Catholic Church a Christian people, whether in time of triumph or more especially in time of crisis, has addressed prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven” (Ad Caeli Reginam, His Holiness Pope Pius XII Encyclical on Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary Promulgated October 11, 1954, NewAdvent.org)

[20] “The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes of bread for the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to provoke me to anger.” (Jer. 7-18; also see Jer. 44:17-25) 

[21] “Respecting the real significance of Hera, the ancients themselves offer several interpretations: some regarded her as the personification of the atmosphere (Serv. ad Aen. i. 51), others as the queen of heaven or the goddess of the stars (Eurip. Helen. 1097), or as the goddess of the moon (Plut. Quaest. Rom. 74), and she is even confounded with Ceres, Diana, and Proserpina. (Serv. ad Virg. Georg. i. 5). According to modern views, Hera is the great goddess of nature, who was every where worshipped from the earliest times. The Romans identified their goddess Juno with the Greek Hera.” (Hera - Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology)

[22] QUEEN OF HEAVEN
(melekheth ha-shamayim…): Occurs only in two passages: Jer. 7:18; 44:17-19,25, where the prophet denounces the wrath of God upon the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem who have given themselves up to the worship of the host of heaven. This is no doubt a part of the astral worship which is found largely developed among the Jews in the later period of their history in Canaan… (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)

[23] “The phrase “the queen of heaven” appears in the Bible twice, both times in the book of Jeremiah. The first incident is in connection with the things the Israelites were doing that provoked the Lord to anger. Entire families were involved in idolatry. The children gathered wood, and the men used it to build altars to worship false gods. The women were engaged in kneading dough and baking cakes of bread for the “Queen of Heaven” (Jeremiah 7:18). This title referred to Ishtar, an Assyrian and Babylonian goddess also called Ashtoreth and Astarte by various other groups. She was thought to be the wife of the false god Baal, also known as Molech. The motivation of women to worship Ashtoreth stemmed from her reputation as a fertility goddess, and, as the bearing of children was greatly desired among women of that era, worship of this “queen of heaven” was rampant among pagan civilizations. Sadly, it became popular among the Israelites as well.” (Catholic Questions, “Who is the Queen of Heaven,” gotquestions.org) 

[24] IDENTEM PIUMQUE ANIMUM
excerpts from (On the Rosary) by Pope Leo XIII

“… The form of prayer We refer to has obtained the special name of "Rosary," as though it represented by its arrangement the sweetness of roses and the charm of a garland. This is most fitting for a method of venerating the Virgin, who is rightly styled the Mystical Rose of Paradise, and who, as Queen of the universe, shines therein with a crown of stars. …” (Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII Promulgated on 20 September 1896) 

[25] (Ethiopic Missal - Missale Aethiopicum, Anaphora Dominae nostrae Mariae, Matris Dei., quoted in Ad Caeli Reginam, His Holiness Pope Pius XII, Encyclical on Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary, Promulgated October 11, 1954) 

[26] Ibid 

[27] Ibid 

[28]  (S. Germanus, In Praesentationem Ssmae Deiparae, 1: PG XCVIII, 303 A., quoted in Ad Caeli Reginam, His Holiness Pope Pius XII, Encyclical on Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary, Promulgated October 11, 1954) 

[29] (St. Bernard, quoted in THE GLORIES OF MARY, CHAPTER 3, PART 2, by St. Alphonsus Liguori, Redemptorist Fathers, 1931)

[30] “Christ's kingdom will be fully realized on earth, the Pontiff said, ‘after all the enemies - and in the last instance, death - have been defeated.’ Until then, he encouraged the faithful to ‘freely accept the truth of God's love.’ The prefect exemplar of that acceptance, he pointed out, is the Virgin Mary. Her humble and unconditional acceptance of God's will in her life, the Pope noted, was the reason that ‘God exalted her over all other creatures, and Christ crowned her Queen of heaven and earth.’" (Catholic World News, CatholicCulture.org, November 27th 2006) 

[31] (S. Germanus, In Praesentationem Ssmae Deiparae, 1: PG XCVIII, 303 A.)

[32] “On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:16, NIV)

[33] (Ad Caeli Reginam, His Holiness Pope Pius XII, Encyclical on Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary, Promulgated October 11, 1954) 

[34] (Quoted in, Ad Caeli Reginam, His Holiness Pope Pius XII, Encyclical on Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary, Promulgated October 11, 1954 — Id., Homilia III in Dormitionem Ssmae Deiparae: PG XCVII, 1099 A.)

[35] [Christ is] “… far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” (Eph 1:21) 

[36] “Councils are legally convened assemblies of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts for the purpose of discussing and regulating matters of church doctrine and discipline.” (General Councils, Catholic Encyclopedia, newadvent.org)

[37] “… infallibility is not attributed to every doctrinal act of the pope, but only to his ex cathedra teaching… It must be clear that he speaks as spiritual head of the Church universal. Then it is only when, in this capacity, he teaches some doctrine of faith or morals that he is infallible...  Further it must be sufficiently evident that he intends to teach with all the fullness and finality of his supreme Apostolic authority, in other words that he wishes to determine some point of doctrine in an absolutely final and irrevocable way, or to define it in the technical sense… papal infallibility is a personal and incommunicable charisma, [good gift] which is not shared by any pontifical tribunal.” (Infallibility - papal infallibility, Catholic Encyclopedia, newadvent.org) 

[38] “The word tradition (Greek paradosis) in the ecclesiastical sense, which is the only one in which it is used here, refers sometimes to the thing (doctrine, account, or custom) transmitted from one generation to another; sometimes to the organ or mode of the transmission (kerigma ekklisiastikon, predicatio ecclesiastica)… [Tradition is] … a given doctrine or institution [that] is not directly dependent on Holy Scripture as its source but only on the oral teaching of Christ or the Apostles. Finally with regard to the organ of tradition it must be an official organ, a magisterium, or teaching authority.” (Tradition and Living Magisterium, Catholic Encyclopedia, newadvent.org)

[39] “Is she not a rainbow in the clouds reaching towards God, the pledge of a covenant of peace?” (Ad Caeli Reginam, His Holiness Pope Pius XII, Encyclical on Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary, Promulgated October 11, 1954) 

[40]  “In the Apocalypse (12:1-16) occurs a passage singularly applicable to Our Blessed Mother: …Owing to her unspeakable privileges, Mary may well be described as ‘clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars’. It is true that commentators generally understand the whole passage as applying literally to the Church, and that part of the verses is better suited to the Church than to Mary. But it must be kept in mind that Mary is both a figure of the Church, and its most prominent member. What is said of the Church, is in its own way true of Mary” (The Blessed Virgin Mary, Catholic Encyclopedia, newadvent.org)

[41]“The Virgin Mary herself desired this tie. ‘What the Sovereign Pontiff defined in Rome through his infallible Magisterium, the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, blessed among all women, wanted to confirm by her own words, it seems, when shortly afterward she manifested herself by a famous apparition at the grotto of Massabielle. . .’ Certainly the infallible word of the Roman Pontiff, the authoritative interpreter of revealed truth, needed no heavenly confirmation that it might be accepted by the faithful. But with what emotion and gratitude did the Christian people and their pastors receive from the lips of Bernadette this answer which came from heaven: ‘I am the Immaculate Conception!’ … Soon the illustrious Pontiff who, like his predecessors, had honored the anniversary celebrations of the apparitions by sending a legate, decided to conclude the Jubilee of the Redemption at the Grotto of Massabielle where, in his own words, ‘the Immaculate Virgin Mary appeared several times to Blessed Bernadette Soubirous, and, in her kindness, exhorted all men to do penance at the scene of these wondrous apparitions, a place she has showered with graces and miracles.’ Truly, Pius XI concluded, is this sanctuary ‘now justly considered one of the principal Marian shrines in the world.’” (Le Pelerinage de Lourdes, Catholic Encyclopedia, newadvent.org)

[42] “In the Constitution Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December, 1854, Pius IX pronounced and defined that the Blessed Virgin Mary ‘in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin.’" (Immaculate Conception, Catholic Encyclopedia, newadvent.org)

[43] ALL-HOLY ‑- Mary, “the All-Holy,” lived a perfectly sinless life. (Catechism 411, 493) 

[44]

Rev 5:1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals.

Rev 5:2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll”

Rev 5:3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it.

Rev 5:4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.

Rev 5:5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:1-5)

[45]

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

“He [Christ] committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” (1 Peter 2:22)

[46] “We pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory” (Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus, no 44)

[47] “Now God has willed that the Blessed Virgin Mary… by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body.  Thus, when it was solemnly proclaimed that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, was from the very beginning free from the taint of original sin, the minds of the faithful were filled with a stronger hope that the day might soon come when the dogma of the Virgin Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven would also be defined by the Church's supreme teaching authority. (.5 -.6 APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION OF POPE PIUS XII MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS DEFINING THE DOGMA OF THE ASSUMPTION November 1, 1950) 

[48] Clement is mute about the Assumption, so is Ignatius, Polycarp, Barnabas, Papias and Justin Martyr. From 70 A.D. to 403 A.D. there is not one word about what happened to Mary after her death. The silence is broken by Epiphanius (315-403 A.D.) but he breaks the silence only to inform us that the Scripture is silent about how Mary passed from this world. He writes, "Either the holy Virgin died and was buried; then her falling asleep was with honor, her death chaste, her crown that of virginity. Or she was killed, as it is written; 'And your own soul a sword shall pierce'; then her glory is among the martyrs and her holy body amid blessings, she through whom the light rose over the world. Or she remained alive, since nothing is impossible with God and he can do whatever he desires; for her end no one knows" (Theotokos, p. 117).

[49] “The earliest known literary reference to the Assumption is found in the [sixth century] Greek work De Obitu S. Dominae. Catholic faith, however, has always derived our knowledge of the mystery from Apostolic Tradition. (The Feast of the Assumption, Catholic Encyclopedia, newadvent.org / Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 6) 

[50] “… it is in our own age that the privilege of the bodily Assumption into heaven of Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, has certainly shone forth more clearly.  That privilege has shone forth in new radiance since our predecessor of immortal memory, Pius IX, solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the loving Mother of God's Immaculate Conception.”  (APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION OF POPE PIUS XII MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS DEFINING THE DOGMA OF THE ASSUMPTION November 1, 1950) 

[51] “45. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith. 46. In order that this, our definition of the bodily Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven may be brought to the attention of the universal Church, we desire that this, our Apostolic Letter, should stand for perpetual remembrance… 47. It is forbidden to any man to change this, our declaration, pronouncement, and definition or, by rash attempt, to oppose and counter it. If any man should presume to make such an attempt, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul. 48. Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, in the year of the great Jubilee, 1950, on the first day of the month of November, on the Feast of All Saints, in the twelfth year of our pontificate.” (Sections 45-48, APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION OF POPE PIUS XII MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS DEFINING THE DOGMA OF THE ASSUMPTION November 1, 1950) 

[52] (Ad Caeli Reginam, His Holiness Pope Pius XII) 

[53] “From these considerations, the proof develops on these lines: if Mary, in taking an active part in the work of salvation, was, by God's design, associated with Jesus Christ, the source of salvation itself, in a manner comparable to that in which Eve was associated with Adam, the source of death, so that it may be stated that the work of our salvation was accomplished by a kind of ‘recapitulation,’” (# 38. Ad Caeli Reginam, His Holiness Pope Pius XII, Encyclical on Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary, Promulgated October 11, 1954) 

[54] “When the Roman Emperor Constantine I converted to Christianity in the 4th century, he launched the era of Christian hegemony. Despite a short-lived attempt by the Emperor Julian to revive and preserve traditional and Hellenistic religion and to affirm the special status of Judaism, in 391 under Theodosius I Christianity became the official state religion of Rome, to the exclusion of all others. Pleas for religious tolerance from traditionalists such as the senator Symmachus (d. 402) were rejected, and Christian monotheism became a feature of Imperial domination. Other religions were gradually transformed, absorbed or strictly suppressed. Many forms of traditional religious practice, particularly festivals and games (ludi), which might be divorced from theological implications, retained their vitality through the 4th and 5th centuries. Rome's religious hierarchy and many aspects of ritual influenced Christian forms, and many pre-Christian beliefs and practices survived in Christian festivals and local traditions.” (Wikipedia, Religion in ancient Rome) 

[55] “… from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I [Paul] have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. (Romans 15:19)

[56] “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:18)