A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Getting to Know Mary

Posted on: May 21, 2015

Mary is our great helper; she it is, who presents to her divine Son, all our prayers, our tears, and our sighs; she it is, who obtains the graces for us which we need for our sanctification.

~ St. John Vianney, quoted in “Celebrate May 2015,” Catholic Digest, May 2015

Icon of the Holy Family

An icon of the Holy Family, available at Desmarais & Robitaille.

Converts like me may come to the Catholic Church knowing just a few things about the Blessed Virgin Mary:

  • Mary became the mother of Jesus (see Luke 1:26-56, 2:1-7*).
  • Mary was there when Jesus performed the first of his signs during the wedding at Cana (see John 2:1-11).
  • Mary stood by Jesus’ cross until he died (see John 19:25-30).

If we want to learn more about the mother of Jesus and her role in the Church and as our spiritual mother, this month dedicated to Mary is a fitting time. So where do we look?

The rosary: A wonderful way to get to know Mary is by praying the rosary on our own or with a group. As we pray to Jesus through Mary, we meditate on the mysteries of the rosary, including the annunciation to Mary, her visit to Elizabeth, Jesus’ birth, and the assumption and queenship of Mary.

Rosary apps: The Spoken Rosary app guides the listener through the rosary and offers the options of hearing a scripture passage at the start of each decade and seeing a picture of each mystery. The Mary App by the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception provides an interactive rosary. It also offers information about Marian consecration, dogmas, feasts, apparitions, prayers, images, and more.

The Catechism: We can find Church teachings about Mary by checking the index, which lists many passages about Mary and her part in the Incarnation of Jesus, her assumption into heaven, her role as spiritual mother of and intercessor for the faithful, and so on.

Papal encyclicals: If we want to know more about Mary, encyclicals by Pope Pius XII deal with her queenship (Ad Caeli Reginam); her immaculate conception (Fulgens Corona; the dogma was originally proclaimed in Ineffabilis Deus, a papal bull by Pope Pius IX); and her assumption (Munificentissimus Deus). Redemptoris Mater, an encyclical by Pope John Paul II, tells about Mary’s role in the life of the Church.

The International Marian Research Institute: The “About Mary” page of the Institute’s website leads to information on Marian apparitions and shrines, Marian images, music about Mary, and much more.

Books about Mary: Scott Hahn’s Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God looks at Mary’s role as set out in the Bible and at Marian doctrines such as her perpetual virginity. In The Imitation of Mary by Thomas à Kempis, we learn about “Meeting Mary,” “Knowing Mary,” “Loving Mary,” and “Calling on Mary in Prayer and Song.” And Giovanna Parravicini’s Mary, Mother of God: Her Life in Icons and Scripture features scripture passages and beautiful Marian icons.

This month, I pray that we would draw closer to Mary—the Mother of God and our mother—who always leads us to Jesus.

Crowned by the Sovereign King,

O Mother clement, sweet, and dear,

be our Advocate, O faithful Virgin.

Let us bless and praise Jesus

Who divinely blessed His Mother Mary

for all eternity.

~ “Mary Prefigured,” The Imitation of Mary by Thomas à Kempis

(*Scripture references taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)


5 Responses to "Getting to Know Mary"


Thanks for the feedback 🙂

Mary also has a whole chapter dedicated for her in the quran

I wasn’t aware of that, although I knew that Muslims respect Mary. Thanks for pointing that out 🙂

Comments are closed.

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