Do Catholics Worship Mary?

936full-virgen-de-guadalupeRecently I wrote Pray for St. Louis, an article about the flooding of the Mississippi River and requesting prayers for its abatement through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

In the article, I mentioned how a prayerful procession to the Mississippi River with the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was credited for the abatement of the Great Flood of 1993. You may read that article here.

In response to my article, I received an email that accused me of idolatry. Here is what the gentleman said:

Greetings Dan,

 I’m a Christian who is appalled at your trust in idols. I’m sure you have a Bible; have you never read what it says about relying on idols?

 I know that you’ve been taught to follow what others say rather than what God says, but what those others say will not help you in the Great Day. Only a saving trust in Christ, and Christ alone, can do that. This necessarily means putting away all idolatry and trusting in saints, Mary, or anyone else but the one spotless Lamb of God. Mary was a sinner just like you and I; she showed her need of a Savior in Luke 1:47. She trusted in Christ alone, not herself. Unless you do the same, all your efforts to appear religious will be revealed as filthy rags when Jesus appears and shows that His word, not the traditions of men, is everlasting truth.

Hoping for better things,

Here is my response to my accuser that I emailed on January 1, the day of the Solemn Feast of Mary, Mother of God:

Dear John,

I received your email in which you accuse me of “idolatry” for honoring the Blessed Mother Mary. You may remember that the Holy Spirit said through her, “All generations will call me blessed.” (Luke 1:48).

Today is the Solemn Feast of Mary, Mother of God. Elizabeth was inspired by the Holy Spirit to refer to Mary as “the mother of my Lord.” (Luke 1:43).”

Jesus obeyed the fourth commandment and honored His Mother (Luke 2:51) and so should we. When we honor His Mother, we glorify God who created her.

Mary is our Mother in the order of grace (not nature) from the time that Jesus gave her as our Mother to St. John and to all humanity as His universal gift from His Cross when He told St. John, “Behold your Mother.” (John 19:27). Catholics follow Mary’s advice to “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5) and we behold her as our Mother, as Jesus asked us to do. The dogma of Mary, Mother of God, was defined by the Catholic (universal) Church at the Council of Ephesus in 431.

The Catholic Church is “the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” (1Timothy 3:15). The Catholic Church is the only authoritative teacher of God’s revelations to humanity. It has consistently taught these teachings that were believed by all Christians until Protestants began to deny them over 1500 years later.

Jesus came to leave a Church and not a book. He said to Peter, You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.” (Matthew 16: 18). He also said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18). He gave this authority over to Peter, upon whom He founded His Church. The Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, gave us the Bible about 90 years after the death of Jesus. There was no Bible before that. The contents of that Bible were intact for over 1500 years until Protestants deleted parts of it and made up their own interpretations of it which continue to this day resulting in over 20,000 Protestant assemblies, none of which agree with the other as to what is the full truth of God’s revelation.

The Protestant teaching that only the Bible is the foundation of truth (sola scriptura) does not appear anywhere in the Bible and is contrary to the Bible itself that states that the Church is the foundation of the truth. (See 1 Timothy 3:15). This false teaching that the Bible is the foundation of truth was simply made up by those who protested the constant 1500+ years of the Catholic Church’s teachings. Only the Catholic Church, by the grace of God, has constantly taught without error the truth of what we are to believe and what we are to do, or not to do, in order to be saved, for over 2000 years.

So, regarding your accusation of my “idolatry” you should understand that an idol is an image or object that is worshipped as a god. I do not worship any image or object, particularly of the Blessed Mother, as a god. Catholics worship only the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Blessed Trinity, just as Jesus, true man and true God, one divine person having a divine nature and human nature, revealed Him to us.

Catholics honor, not worship, Mary, their heavenly Mother, through images and statues.  However, these are simply representations of her to help us to remember her blessedness and to ask her for her help because she is living and in heaven. She intercedes to God on our behalf, much like she interceded to Jesus at the wedding of Cana for the bride and the groom when they ran out of wine. All Christians believed this and honored Mary in this way for over 1500 years until Protestants started disbelieving and started calling those who did so idolaters.

I hope that this explanation will help you to stop making such accusations and to honor Mary as your spiritual Mother who is living in heaven caring and interceding for you.

Contrary to your assertion that Mary was a sinner, by God’s grace she was not. God saved and preserved Mary from sin at her Immaculate Conception in anticipation of the merits of Christ. There is no time with God and He could and did save Mary by His grace before the crucifixion and death of Christ. That is how He honored His Mother as the New Eve, in the same way as He created the original Eve without sin, until she later committed the original sin, from which Christ redeemed repentant sinners by His gift of eternal life. 

May you have a Blessed New Year!

Sincerely in Christ,
Dan Lynch


  • Ramanie

    Very well said. May God bless you.

  • career desperado

    This should be the standard response to the uninformed. Thank you

  • tom bordeau

    Yes, well stated Dan. Problem is – attempting to tell protestants that this is truth when in particular evangelicals/fundamentalists are bible readers with little true knowledge of scripture. So when the correct example can be illustrated to them, they are a sea of individuals these bible readers and it’s like trying to empty the oceans with a thimble, one at a time. They lack any cohesiveness and despise the true church, as they live by their preconceived notions of anything catholic as being evil.

  • Marie Baron

    Excellent, Dan. Did John ever respond to your letter?

  • sliver1935

    Couldn’t have said it better Dan. The old Protestant canard that we worship Mary and are idolaters, is as old as the reform itself. What I have discerned from the reform argument is, not only do they not revere Mary, in many cases they actually despise our belief in “The Immaculate Conception.” Too bad for them. They are missing out on a most beautiful and soul sanctifying relationship with the Mother of God.

  • melissadove5

    I have always thought it very strange indeed, that Fundamentalists cannot see the obvious parallels of the Old and New Testament. In this case, Mary being the Ark of the New Covenant. The Ark of the Covenant in the OT carried the Ten Commandments, the jar of Manna, and Arron’s staff. The Ark was so holy, it wasn’t looked upon and was housed in the Holy of Holies, it could only be carried with poles inserted thru rings on the sides, so was not to be even touched. Mary carried Our Savior, Who Is the fulfillment of the Law, Who is Our Bread from Heaven, our Holy Priest (Aaron’s staff), and Who is The Word. Simply comparing Mary, Jesus’ Mother, a human being, to a gold covered, holy box, the contents therein, and how it was revered doesn’t take a huge understanding of our Catholic belief in Mary’s holiness. Therefore, the vessel, Mary (the New Ark of the Covenant), with whom God our Father chose to carry His Son in her womb, and who chose to be obedient to God, really makes rather indisputable logical sense for any Christian of how holy, blessed and worthy of honor Mary our Mother is.

  • BillinJax

    If that dose not open his eyes to the truth nothing will.
    He should be extremely grateful and thankful himself for Mary’s “Yes” in order to have his savor to (alone) worship.