Often Catholics are criticized for their belief in Mary as the highest of all saints, as the Mother of God, as immaculate. It is however that these accusations can be dismissed by reading The Gospel of St. Luke 1:1-50. The Angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she is “full of grace”, someone full of grace would be that with no sins, therefore immaculate and placed above all of the saints. St. Gabriel continues to tell Mary that she will give birth to Emmanuel - God with us, therefore, Mary is the Mother of God.
It is in this very Annunciation by the Angel Gabriel that God announces that Mary will be the source of salvation for the entirety of creation. With this announcement comes Mary’s world-changing answer: Yes. It is Mary’s “yes”, her fiat that the worlds salvation would be ushered in. Without the Virgin Mother there would be no Christ! There would be no cross! There would be no Easter! There would be no hope! There would be no life. There would be no eternal salvation. Mary is the source of salvation as she ushered in Jesus Christ who IS our salvation. Mary leads us closer to Jesus Christ who is our sole salvation.
For two thousand years Christians have turned to the Madonna for their needs. The Blessed Virgin has appeared throughout history to call the faithful to pray and to turn to Christ. Mary has always had a role in Holy Mother Church, this cannot be denied. It was the Early Church Fathers who declared Mary as the “New Eve.” We cannot question nor deny Sacred Scripture when it reads that Eve was created without sin. St. Irenaeus (130 AD) taught that since Mary was the New Eve, she is the source of “salvation for herself and the whole human race.”
In 397 AD St. Ambrose called Mary the “Mother of Salvation.”
In 420 AD St. Jerome says there is “death through Eve, life through Mary.”
In the year 250 AD the Sub Tuum Praesidium was written, “We fly to your patronage, O holy Mother of God, despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us from all dangers. O ever glorious and blessed Virgin."
It was by the year 390 AD that there is evidence in writing from the saints of direct prayer to Mary as the Mother of God. However, ancient Christian practice holds that after Christ’s Ascension the faithful began to recite the Pater Noster (Our Father) and the Ave Maria (Hail Mary).
Mary’s role was evident in the Early Church. Mary’s role remains untouched today in Holy Mother Church, she is our advocate, our mother. We must turn to her with all of our struggles, worries, and desires.
Fiat mihi secundum verbum!