Mary Worship and
Appearances by the “Virgin Mary”
Before beginning this study I feel it is important that I state that this study is not meant to be a slap in the face of Catholics. I am married to a former Catholic and have more Catholic relatives than I can count. I love them dearly, but truth is truth, and anything but the truth will lead us away from God.
It is with that attitude that I conduct this very controversial subject that is bound to offend many. I am sorry if your feelings are hurt by what you may read, but I do not apologize for the truth of what God's Word says. The only thing that should matter, if we love God, is truth. I pray that the truth will set you free and lead you away from error and back to Yeshua alone, if you believe in the worship of Mary as a means of salvation. What I am putting forth in this study is not personal opinion, nor a bias from an anti-Catholic stand. I am neither Catholic, Protestant, nor any other denomination. I believe in the Bible, and the Bible alone and teach its truths with no respect to any denominational theologies. I do not belong to a church. I fellowship when possible with like-minded believers, who have abandoned the churches and denominations in favor of God's infallible truth.
What is presented here is what God says about Mary and devotion to her, not this author's personal opinion. What mankind or an institution of mankind says about her is irrelevant in terms of our eternal salvation. Mark 7:7 “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” We are not to supplant God's commandments with the doctrines and rules of man. Otherwise our worship is in vain. Man and his theories are fallible (even if that man presents himself as the voice of God), God's Word is not, and it is God's Word which shows us the way of salvation. We must put our trust in it and Him. Anything that contradicts God's clear Word is not truth. It is a lie and a deception. We must look for, and worship God within, the truth of His Word. John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” First, we are to worship God, not anybody else, and second, we must worship Him in truth, not with vain traditions of men, or erroneous theologies, or worthless sacrifices. What God wants is obedience to His laws, Word, and instructions more than acts of sacrifice, devotion, veneration, or worship. To do any of these latter things to anyone else is an abomination to Him. It is our faith in God and our obedience to Him that leads to salvation, not all the works, or acts of devotion or contrition, especially to someone other than Him. The following verses explain this from the Old Testament through to the New Testament.
Isaiah 1:11-20 “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” God is saying In this passage that without obedience to His laws or Word, that all the sacrifices, prayers, incense burning, etc., is an abomination to Him. If we want God to hear our prayers and accept our sacrifices, first we must be obedient, which means following the path of salvation that God says we must follow, then we must do things that are good, not evil, but with the right motive, not thinking it will earn us a way into heaven.
Justification from our sins comes from faith not works. (justification is not the same as salvation – see my posts at the following sites for more in depth study of justification, salvation, works, and eternal security.)
http://endtimesstudies.blogspot.com/2010/07/answer-to-post-comment-of-rev-195.html, http://endtimesstudies.blogspot.com/2010/06/revelation-195.html, and http://endtimesstudies.blogspot.com/2009/08/revelation-31-6-sardis.html
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast.” Luke 5:20, “And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.” Luke 7:50 “And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” Luke 18:42 “And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. Acts 26:18 “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” Romans 3:25 “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” Romans 3:28 “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Romans 3:30 “Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.” Romans 4:5 “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Galatians 2:16 “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” These verses, and many more, tell us that it is faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, Yeshua, that gives us justification. If the reader has referenced my other blog articles above, he will see that justification is not the same as salvation. With no apologies to Protestants who believe in “faith alone” I present the following Scriptures and reference them to the above blog articles also that show that faith alone only gives justification, but does not ensure salvation.
The following verses (which are only a few of the many) show us that salvation requires more than justification. James 2:17, 20,24,26 “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” Again, there are many more verses, too many in fact, to go into here, so I recommend reading the articles listed above.
Getting back to the subject, obedience and faith comes first, and doing good comes as a result. Hosea 6:6 “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” Again the message is that studying God's Word to understand and know His ways are more important than any devotions or acts of contrition or anything else that we can do. We need to know not only what is right, but what is wrong and avoid that. However, if you prefer to trust in man and his traditions and theologies, or to someone other than God, that is your choice, but eternity is a long time to pay for believing in man or another spirit over God.
Now to the study. Several centuries after Yeshua was resurrected, Mary started to become an important person in the church. Over the centuries she went from being a person of honor to a person who has essentially supplanted Yeshua as the Savior of the world. Now she is viewed as co-Savior (actually even more savior than co-savior), as a co-mediator between God and man (again she has been elevated to mediator rather than co-mediator), the person to whom prayers can be (and some think preferably) directed, the person who can get you into heaven behind the back of her Son and the Father, and the one who basically tells the Son what to do. We need to examine this doctrine of Mariolotry and see if it is Biblical or totally unscriptural.
The second issue to be addressed is these sightings of Mary. The past few centuries have been ones of multiple appearances of an apparition that has called herself the Virgin Mary. Is it truly Mary, or is it some other spirit impersonating Mary for the purpose of leading people astray? We will look at a number of these appearances and analyze them by the Word of Scripture to see how they stand up under scrutinization.
We first need to take a look at what the Scriptures say both about Mary, to learn something about her and her importance in the scheme of salvation and the overall plan of God, and how the practice of Mariolotry is carried out to see if it is acceptable according to the Word of God. We will then examine Scripturally what we are told to do when we are confronted with a spirit. Finally we will look at a number of sightings and see how they stand up against Scripture.
Our first introduction to Mary is found in Luke (and Matthew) when she is chosen to be the mother of Yeshua. She was espoused to Joseph at the time. The angel Gabriel is sent to announce to Mary the fact that she will be with child by the Holy Spirit. When Mary goes to visit her cousin Elisabeth, who is six months pregnant with John the Baptist, she praises God. It is important that we examine this passage, as it tells us Mary's attitude toward God and how she felt about herself in the scheme of things.
Luke 1:46-55 “And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath hewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the might from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent away empty. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.”
Mary is praising God and calling Him her Savior. She does not see herself as a savior, but the Lord God as the Savior of Israel, and further, mankind and more specifically herself. She sees herself as being of low estate. She does not exalt herself up to an equal level with God. What human being, who truly believes in God, would dare to be so prideful. The first person to do that was Satan. Look where he ended up. Would Mary dare be so prideful as to magnify herself to the position of Savior or even co-Savior? This does not seem to be her attitude at all. She sees herself as a lowly handmaiden who is as needful of salvation as anybody else. She is aware that all generations will call her blessed, but not because she is important in and of herself. Nobody should think that of themselves. We are only instruments in God's hands and when He blesses someone with great importance in His plans, others look at that person and say how blessed they are to have been chosen by God to have a part in some work for God. In and of ourselves, we are nothing. To bring the Savior into the world was the greatest blessing any woman could have hoped for, and Mary is aware that all would look at her and say how blessed she was to have been chosen for this job. She does not consider that any of this is because she is better than anyone else, or that she plays any part other than simply bringing the Savior into the world. She states that God's mercy is on those who fear him and she fears Him. She also states that those who are full of pride are going to be put down. She would never exalt herself in pride or think that she is worthy of being worshiped. That would go against everything that she was (and incidentally still is) and has been taught, or God would not have chosen her at all to be the mother of His Son. In fact, she knows that God does not tolerate worship of any other than Himself. She knows the law or Torah, and especially the Ten Commandments. We will come back and visit this truth after we finish covering what the Bible says about Mary's life.
Next we see Mary having Yeshua and pondering all the things that are going on and being said about her baby. They have Yeshua circumcised and take him to the temple where Mary is given the prophecy that her heart will be pierced. The wise men come to worship Yeshua (not Mary) and Joseph is warned to take the family and flee to Egypt which they do. After Herod dies, they return to Nazareth to live. Then nothing is mentioned of their lives until Yeshua is of bar mitzvah age, twelve by their reckoning, thirteen by ours. They go to the feast in Jerusalem and go to the temple. The family went as a large family and friend group, and as Yeshua would now be considered a man, they were expecting Him to know what was going on and be with the group when they go home. He remained behind at the temple, and they had to go back to get him. Mary was upset with Him and chastised Him telling Him that His father and she were worried. He gives his mother her first rebuke (and Joseph also). First He asks them why they were looking for him. Did they not realize that he had to begin the task of being about his real Father's work? Part of the rebuke toward Mary was for calling Joseph His father. She knew he was not His real father. He lets them know He has to be about the work He was sent by His real Father to do. They had no clue as to what he was referring. Still, He followed them home, but Mary again pondered all these things in her heart. In spite of the fact that she knew she had carried a baby that was of the Holy Spirit, she still did not seem to fully understand the implications, as she wonders about all these things.
Now we jump ahead to Yeshua's ministry. At the first miracle we see that Yeshua and His mother are at a wedding (John 2). The host runs out of wine and Mary comes to Yeshua to have Him do something about it. Some speculate that it was a family wedding, and as it would be a disgrace to the family name to run out of wine at a party like this, she was desperate to find a way to prevent that from happening. Whether that was true or not, she was obviously looking to help the host. Apparently understanding by this time that Yeshua was the Son of God, she was hoping that He would be able to rectify the problem. His response is something that has shocked some, and been highly debated by others. For it seems that He is again rebuking His mother. First He calls her “woman.” In our day and age, that would be a “put you in your place” kind of reference. Whether or not it was in that day, it still seems disrespectful in that He is calling her something other than the respectful title she deserves of “mother.” It is followed by the phrase “what have I to do with thee.” Or if preferred, a direct translation is “what (is that) to me and you.” I do not know Greek idiomatic expressions, so do not know if that is why the translators slightly changed it in the translation. Either way, Yeshua is telling His mother, “No.” He tells her that His time has not yet come. In other words, it is not up to her to decide when He will begin doing that sort of thing, and how dare she try to tell Him what to do. Now that He has given her the rebuke to let her know that if He does do something, it has nothing to do with her asking, He decides, or is told by the Father, that it is indeed time to start His miracles. Knowing that all Scriptures is given by inspiration of God, the very reason for showing this rebuke and His refusal may be to show us that Mary is not in a position to tell the Son of God to do anything. It is not her place, nor her right. This is made quite clear through the two rebukes she has now received at Yeshua's hands. Once when he was twelve, and now again. The fact that He decides to do the miracle is not dependent upon her having asked it of Him. When she tells the servants to do whatever He says, she is showing faith and hoping that He will choose of His own accord to do something. He still could have refused. It is probably her display of faith in giving the servants instructions (and apparently His being told by the Father that His time had indeed come), that causes Him to do it rather than her asking it of Him. The important point here is that it is shown that Mary does not tell Yeshua what to do. It is not her place or right. She is supposed to be in submission. (See my article on a woman's submission to a man). She has stepped way, way over the line of God's rules of authority. Telling a man what to do would be bad enough. Telling God (incarnate) to do something? No. This was more than asking a son to go out and buy some wine. This was a spiritual thing, and women do not have spiritual authority over men.
In Matthew 13:53-38 (also repeated in Mark 6:1-4) there is a very important passage that is ignored by the Catholic church who believe Mary remained a virgin. The passage deals with Yeshua going back to his home town where he teaches in the synagogue. The context of this is extremely important so that it is not misunderstood. When Yeshua teaches in the synagogue, the reaction of the community is astonishment. They wonder how he could have so much wisdom and knowledge of the Scriptures. It must be remembered that these people (indeed nobody at that point) knew that He was the awaited Messiah. To the townspeople, this was merely “the carpenter's son.” As far as they were concerned, he was Joseph's and Mary's son. Then they mention the rest of the family. To the community he was identified as the brother of James, Joses, Simon, and Judas and a couple of sisters who are left unnamed. To repeat, by the people of the town, Yeshua is identified as being the son of Joseph and Mary and the sibling of their other children. Mary's children. Mary had other children. At least six others minimum, in fact. Possibly more. He had four brothers and at least two sisters. Yeshua then responds to the community's unbelief by saying that a prophet does not get honor from his own town and kin. This verifies that Yeshua has kin, at the very least six siblings.
Another verification of having siblings comes when Yeshua was speaking to some people (Matthew 12:46-50), and His mother and brothers wanted to talk to him, so they were waiting outside the place and sent in word that they wanted to see Him. Someone says to Yeshua that His mothers and brothers are outside and want to talk to Him. His response is to ask who are his mother and brothers. He waves his hand toward the disciples and says that they are His mother and brothers. This passage is often twisted to fit people's chosen beliefs. Instead we are going to look at it straightforward as intended. Again, nobody really understood who Yeshua was. When it says that Mary and His brothers were at the door, and someone told Him that His mother and brothers were at the door, that is exactly what is meant. They all knew Mary and her sons were Yeshua's family. They had no other understanding. Yeshua's answer cannot be retrofitted to the announcement that His family is there to mean that they are not his family, which is what some like to try to do. They try to make it mean that the people at the door were not his siblings, as He indicates that all believers are His family. That is a ridiculous exegesis. The other person was telling Yeshua his family was there. He meant Mary and her other sons. Yeshua on the other hand was indicating that those who believe in Him were His family and that His literal family no longer held the same level of importance in His life, now that He had embarked upon His ministry. He obviously did not mean that His disciples were His literal mother. He was indicating the change in His life away from His family. So again we see that Mary is said to have children, or that Yeshua has brothers.
In Matthew when Yeshua died, it mentions that Mary Magdalene, and Mary mother of Joses and James, and Zebedees children's mother were there to see the crucifixion. Matthew 28:1 tells us that Mary Magdalene and another Mary went to the tomb the morning of the resurrection. Mark 15:49 tells us that Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less, Joses and Salome were at the crucifixion. Mark 15:47, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of Joses watched to see where Yeshua was laid. In Luke 24:10 we are told that Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James went to the tomb the morning of the resurrection to properly embalm Yeshua's body. In John 19:25-27 we are told that there were three Mary's at the cross. Mary, Yehsua mother, Mary's sister (whose name was also Mary) who was the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. The only Mary mentioned at the sepulchre in John is Mary Magdalene. The importance of these Scriptures are twofold. First, we must assume that the Mary, Yeshua's mother is going to be both at the crucifixion and at the tomb for the embalming. He is her son, and her responsibility. So, the Mary who is the mother of James, Joses, and Salome is Mary the mother of Yeshua. We already were told that He has two brothers name James and Joses, and we know He had several sisters. Now we also know the name of one of them. To verify that the Lord had a brother named James, we need only look at Galatians 1:19 “But other of the apostles say I none, save James the Lord's brother.” So we are again told that Mary the mother of Yeshua has other sons. James eventually becomes an apostle. The second thing of importance is Mary's lack of importance. In fact, Mary Magdalene gets more mention that Mary the mother of Yeshua does. Again, her importance is played down. She was the instrument through which the Messiah came, but other than that, she is not of importance. Not that that was not an important thing, but it did not qualify her to some place of importance that is simply not justified in any way by Scripture.
The last time we see Mary is when they were all awaiting the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:14 “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” One more time it is mentioned that Yeshua has brothers.
This then is what we are told about Mary in the Bible. To add to that is a sin against God. To make her be more than she is, is a sin against God. Nowhere in Scripture does it ever say she was conceived without sin. This is a doctrine of man's making. Nowhere does it say she remained a virgin. In fact the Bible, God's inerrant Word, tells us exactly the opposite. She had quite a large family. To make her remain a virgin is again a doctrine of man's making.
Now we must go back to what was mentioned when we discussed The Magnificat or Song of Mary when she magnifies the Lord. As mentioned at that time, Mary would never deliberately transgress God's laws. She was a righteous woman, which we know because she was chosen to be the mother of the Savior of the world. She would not only not transgress God's laws, but she would never, ever, under any circumstances ask us to transgress God's laws in an act of veneration, devotion, or worship of her. She simply would not do it. To understand what it is that she would never, ever, ask us to do, we need to see what God's laws say.
Exodus 20:3-5 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, (statues of Mary are a no, no) or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me” God equates making an image or likeness of someone or something else (such as a statue of Mary) and then bowing down or kneeling to it (as all good Catholics do to statues of Mary who reverence her) as hating Him. Did you understand that? Kneeling or bowing before a statue of Mary (or any other saint for that matter) to adore, pray, or light candles is exactly what is being described in this passage. God sees this as hatred of Him. Worse, it says that he will visit the punishment of this iniquity upon the third and fourth generation of those that do it. Mary would never, never break this commandment. Nor would she ask any of us to damn ourselves in this way. Let us look at more Scriptures about this.
Exodus 34:14 “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”
Leviticus 26:1 “Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.”
To reiterate, Mary knew these verses, and the ones that will follow. The ones above tell us 1) God will not have anyone or anything other than Himself worshiped. He is a jealous God and will not tolerate us worshiping anything or one other than Him. 2) He does not want us making any images, of any person or thing to which we will kneel to or bow down or pray to. That makes them idols. Once more, to have a statue that you kneel to, pray to, or venerate in any way makes it an idol according to Scripture. Mary would never, ever ask anyone to break God's law in this way. She was a righteous woman.
A few more verses about idols from the New Testament are relevant.
Acts 15:20 “But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.”
Acts 21:25 “As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.”
1 Corinthians 10:14 “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.”
1 John 5:21 “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”
To review, the Bible tells us that images or likeness of anything that is on earth or in heaven that is carved (or painted) and bowed down, kneeled down, or prayed to is an idol. Now back to verses about worshiping anything other than God.
Deuteronomy 8:19 “And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.”
Deuteronomy 11:16 “Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them.”
Deuteronomy 17:2-3,5 “If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded ….Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die. ”
Deuteronomy 30:17-18 “But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land ”
1 Kings 11:33 “Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father.” It should be noted here that Ashtoreth was the “Queen of Heaven.” That name has a long history which I covered in the articles about Mystery Babylon at the following sites. It has a direct connection to Mary having that name.
2 Chronicles 7:19-20 “But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them. Then will I pluck them up by the roots ...”
Psalms 81:9 “There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.”
Psalms 97:7 “Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.” The reference to gods here is the false gods that are actually demonic spirits or fallen angels posing as gods. They are told that they should worship God too, which they once did if they were fallen angels.
Isaiah 2:8 “Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers
Isaiah 48:11 “For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.”
Jeremiah 1:16 “And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.”
Jeremiah 13:10 “This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.”
Jeremiah 25:6 “And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.”
Jeremiah 44:19 “And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men?” Again the reference to the queen of heaven. If the reader has not read the posts on Babylon, it is really important to go back and do so.
Micah 5:13 “Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands.”
These are some of the verses with which Mary would have been familiar and obeyed, as she was a very, very righteous woman, or she would not have been chosen to be the mother of our Lord. The following are verses that we have been given by God in the New Testament that continue this law.
Matthew 4:10 “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”
John 4:23 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.”
Acts 19:27 “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.” The temples of the ancient world that were built for Diana, Astarte, Ashtaroth, you name the goddess, were all renamed to be temples for the veneration of Mary or other female “saints.” Same temples, same pagan carvings on the walls, same candlesticks, etc. Just a different name applied to the entrance. Should Christians be doing this in light of all the Scriptures that have just been quoted?
Romans 1:25 “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature (created being) more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Colossians 2:18 “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,” The voluntary worshiping and humbling of oneself to a heavenly person makes you lose your reward of salvation.
Clearly God has a problem with us worshiping anything or anyone other than Him.
So now, if you are still with me at this point, I can hear the constant muttering, “but we don't WORSHIP her, we only venerate her, give her devotions, and pray to her so it is all right.” I know this because, as I said at the beginning, I do have a lot of Catholic family, and I do talk to them. This is not the first time I have heard this response. My reply is - really? You do not think you worship her? Shall we look at some definitions to see if that is true or not?
Let us start with the definition of veneration as that seems to be the least close in proximity to worship. The following definitions come from multiple sources and may be repetitious at times.
to hold in deep respect; revere
to honor in recognition of qualities of holiness, excellence, wisdom, etc.
profound reverence, respect or awe
to regard with reverential respect or with admiring deference
So far we seem to be okay. It is perfectly all right to hold Mary in respect as a woman of excellence and holiness. She deserves that. Now what are some of the other definitions.
regard with feelings of respect and reverence, consider hallowed or exalted or be in awe of.
Fear: a feeling of profound respect for someone or something.
Idolatry: religious zeal
religious zeal, idolatry, or devotion.
To honor (as an icon or a relic) with a ritual act of devotion.
Now we are not so quite so good. Hallowed means sacred. Mary was a righteous woman, but sacred? Exalt? Should she be exalted above other people? Are we not told to treat people all alike and not regard some as more important than others? James 2:9 “But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.” Fear? Why should we fear Mary? She has no power over us. Oh dear, idolatry? To venerate can mean to make someone an idol, in fact idolatry is coupled in both definitions with religious zeal and devotion. Both which seem to accompany the veneration of Mary. And the last one? Not good at all. To honor with a ritual act of devotion? Now we have truly defined how people treat Mary. They do perform ritual acts of devotion to her. So venerating Mary can qualify as an act of devotion. Now to say that someone only venerates Mary does not sound quite Biblically approved. But you say, “Devotion is not the same as worship, so it is all right.” Okay, let's look at the definition of devotion.
The following are the multiple definitions of devotion that can be found.
Ardent, often selfless affection and dedication, as to a person or principle.
An act of religious observance or prayer
Strong attachment to or affection for a cause, person, etc. marked by dedicated loyalty
profound dedication. Consecration
earnest attachment to a cause, person
the act of devoting; consecration.
The state of being devoted; addiction; eager inclination; strong attachment, love, or affection, zeal; especially feelings expressed by acts of worship
acts of devotedness or devoutness, manifestation of strong attachment
acts of worship, prayer
an act of prayer or private worship
There is no problem with strong affection for a person marked by loyalty, however usually it is for people who are still alive and can benefit from this devotion. Mary cannot. She is in heaven. We do run into problems though with words like “consecrate” which means “give entirely over to a specific person, activity, or cause; vow: dedicate to a deity by a vow or render holy by means of religious rites.” We should not be giving ourselves entirely over to anyone other than God when speaking of our spiritual life. We should not be making vows to anyone but God in our spiritual life. We cannot render Mary holy by any religious rite that we do, anymore than we can make each other holy by a religious rite. The only thing that makes us holy is 1) being cleansed by the blood of Christ, and 2) living a life that is obedient and consecrated to the Lord (not Mary). Finally we see that devotion is marked by acts of worship which include prayer. So devotion manifests itself through acts of worship, one which is prayer (and others which are rites).
But you argue, “prayer is not an act of worship.” So let us look at the definition of prayer.
Prayer is defined as the following:
the act of communicating with a deity.
Reverent petition to a deity
a fixed text used in praying
a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional connection to some greater power in the universe through deliberate intentional practice. (Wow that was a mouthful)
prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private.
A practice of communicating with one's God
a reverent petition made to God, a god, or another object of worship
the act of communion with God, a god, or another object of worship, such as in devotion, confession, praise, or thankgiving.
A specially worded form used to address God, a god, or another object of worship
a personal communication or petition addressed to a deity, especially in the form of supplication, adoration, praise, contrition, or thanksgiving
any other form of spiritual communion with a deity
the act of addressing supplication to a divinity, especially to the true God,
the offering of adoration, confession, supplication, and thanksgiving to a Supreme Being
According to the definitions of prayer, it is a form of communication to God , a god or deity, or another object of worship, in an act of worship that allows the practitioner to offer praise, thanksgiving, petitions, adoration, confession, and contrition. It is clear that prayer is a form of worship. To pray to someone is to offer them worship in the form of praise, adoration, thanksgiving, contrition, etc.
Let us get back to idolatry for a moment. The definition of idolatry is the following:
The worship of images that are not God.
The worship of any cult image, idea, or object, as opposed to the worship of a monotheistic God. It is considered a major sin in the Abrahamic religions.
Blindly or excessively devoted or adoring.
The worship of idols or excessive devotion to, or reverence for some person or thing.
The worship of images supposed to represent spirits, gods, or etc.
an idol is anything that replaces the one, true God. The most prevalent form of idolatry in Bible times was the worship of images that were thought to embody the various pagan deities.
Blind or excessive devotion to something.
Great devotion or reverence to something other than God.
Love unquestioningly and uncritically or to excessively
venerate as an idol
So we see that idolatry, which is strictly forbidden by God is veneration or worship of images that are not God, excessive devotion to something other than God, love unquestioningly and uncritically (this is important later on), or anything that replaces God.
Let us finish this up with a look at the definition of the word “worship.”
an act of religious devotion
a feeling of profound love and admiration
the devotion accorded to a deity or to a sacred object; the religious ceremonies that express this devotion;
the ardent love of a person
to honor and adore, especially as a deity
to participate in religious ceremonies
adore, regard with deep or rapturous love
the paying of religious reverence, as in prayer, praise
the reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object
the ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed
ardent devotion, adoration
to honor and love as a deity
to regard with ardent or adoring esteem or devotion
to participate in religious rites of worship
to perform an act of worship (such as prayer, rites, etc.)
to show profound religious devotion and respect to
adore or venerate (here is that word that seemed so innocuous at first)
to be devoted to and full of admiration for
to have or express feelings of profound adoration
religious adoration or devotion
the formal expression of religious adoration, rites, prayers, etc.
admiring love or devotional
extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem
venerate – regard with feelings of respect and reverence; consider hallowed or exalted
veneration – idolatry, religious zeal
to honor with a ritual act of devotion
show devotion as to a deity
attending religious services
I think if someone does venerate Mary and they are honest with themselves after all these definitions and explanations, they have to admit that they do worship Mary. And God has clearly said that He will not tolerate anyone worshiping anyone or anything other than Himself (and His Son who is part of the Trinity and therefore God also). Mary would never ask people to worship her. She knows that is a sin that is punishable to the third and fourth generation. We have seen that prayer, veneration, acts of devotion, contrition, etc. are all forms of worship. As much as you might want to deny it, the Scriptures are clear, and the definitions confirm it. Mariolotry is a sin. How much do you love God? How much do you want to live in truth? How much do you want to get to heaven? How much is Mary worth to you?
Now we come to other doctrines. 1) That she is a mediatrix or co-mediator. By what right? We are told in 1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Mary did not die for our sins. Mary cannot grant us forgiveness of sins. Mary cannot even intervene on our behalf. Remember Yeshua's rebukes? She does not tell Yeshua what to do. She is not the mother of God the Father. She was the very human mother of the incarnate Son of God and was a sinner just as the rest of us are. She needed salvation just as we all do. Romans 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” There is none righteous. That means Mary too. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” None of these verses say, “except Mary.” 2) that she is a redeemer. John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” If all the verses about salvation were to be quoted, not in a single one would anyone other than the Lord Jesus Christ be mentioned as being the redeemer. Mary is not a redeemer. She is not even a co-redeemer. She cannot get you into heaven through a back door when Christ would say you cannot come. She is not our escort to heaven. These are man-made traditions and beliefs, not things that were taught by God through the apostles. Paul addresses this fact 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” Galatians 1:6 “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.” To make Mary a co-redeemer or co-mediator or anything else other that simply the human mother of Christ is to accept another gospel. 3) Mary has some authority over Yeshua. We need only look at the three rebukes that she receives in Scripture to see that every time she tried to exercise spiritual authority over Him, He put her in her place and let her know that she was being presumptuous and prideful instead of humbling herself to His spiritual authority. (See my article on women's submissiveness on this blog). She was a righteous woman, but everybody has their moments. And being His mother, she thought that entitled her to certain privileges. He taught her that it did not, and He taught us that it did not entitle her to those privileges. He knew the future and knew what people were going to do regarding her. He had to have the example set forth in Scripture that she did not have this authority so that we could refer to it and not be deceived. To review, the three times she received a rebuke was 1) at the temple when He was twelve and He basically told her that Joseph was not His father, but that God was and He needed to be about His true Father's business. 2) when Mary asked Him to take care of the wine problem and He told her that He was not going to do her bidding, as she was not the boss of Him, as they colloquially say around here. Even though He did do it after, it was not because she asked Him to, but that the Father must have made it clear that it was, as Yeshua had said that His time was not yet come. So the Father had to have told Him that it had. Possibly the timing and the request was such that again, an example of rebuking Mary was put in the Bible for our benefit. 3) the time when she and Yeshua's brothers came and interrupted His work, wanting to talk to Him for some reason. His answer was a rebuke that they really should not be bothering Him when He was about His father's business. They should catch Him at a better time. In none of these instances does she argue back to the rebuke that He is being disrespectful. She takes it. Three rebukes. Is there a special meaning in the fact that she receives three rebukes in Scripture? I don't honestly know. It is enough though to prove that she is not the boss of Christ. 4) Can we pray to Mary for intervention? Yeshua taught us how to pray, and it did not begin with “Our Mother which art in heaven.” I believe we need not go any further with that argument.
Now to the history. When and why exactly did Mary come to be important, for she was not thought to be important for some time after Yeshua was resurrected. From what I have been able to ascertain, devotion to Mary goes back to the 2nd century and predates the emergence of a specific Marian liturgical system in the 5th century, following the First Council of Ephesus in 431. The Council itself was held at a church in Ephesus which had been dedicated to Mary about a hundred years before. In Egypt the veneration of Mary had started in the 3rd century and the term Theotokos was used by Origen, the Alexandrian Father of the Church. ( ed. note, Origen was a heretic see note * below). The earliest known prayer is from the 3rd century. By the 5th century churches were being dedicated to Mary. As already covered, many Catholics honestly believe that they do not worship Mary, so their devotion to her is acceptable. It is merely veneration and devotion, not worship, not idolatry. They merely pray to her and adore her, and that they do not exalt her to equality with God. It has already been shown that Mariolotry is worship and is a sin, so we do not need to revisit that. To show that there is approved worship by the Church, we can look to the Seven Sorrows of Mary as an example. The Seven Sorrows of Mary seems to be a popular devotion of the Roman Catholic Church. There is a prayer which consists of meditations on her Seven Sorrows. There is a corresponding devotion to her Seven Joys.
* Origen taught the following doctrines, which classifies him as a heretic. He was making the Son inferior to the Father. This teaching was a precursor of Arianism, a 4th-century heresy that denied that the Father and the Son were of the same substance. He spiritualized away the resurrection of the body. He denied hell, speculated about pre-existent souls and world cycles, and turned the history of the Bible into myth by using allegorical interpretation, creating a type of Gnostic Christianity. Gnosticism was a heretical movement that held that matter was evil and the spirit good.
Now we come to the appearances of the spirit who calls itself Mary. Before we actually look at these appearances, we need to see what Scripture tells us to do when confronted with an spiritual apparition, no matter who it says it is.
1 John 4:1-3 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
The first question that must be asked of all of the appearances of the so-called Virgin Mary is this. Has anyone ever put her to the test and asked these questions? The emphatic answer is “NO!” There is never any question that she is anyone other than whom she says she is. That is the first huge mistake. Had the questions ever been put to her, people might be quite surprised at the answer. It does not matter that she says she is the mother of Christ, or that He is her Son. Satan can quote Scripture better than anyone, and can say anything he wants in the way of twisting the truth, and you have to be really smart and well-versed in your Scriptures to catch him. The people being appeared to are usually children, who have no discernment about all this. Of course Satan is going to go where deception is easy. Had the priests and adults known their Scriptures, they could have prepared the children to respond to her in the appropriate manner at second and consequent sightings, but they did not. Everyone just assumed it was Mary and that the appearance was real. By now, we should suspect that these appearances are not, for we are told that Satan appears as an angel of light, with all lying signs and wonders. 2 Corinthians 11:14 “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10 “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” We are told that there will be deception by Satan who transforms himself into an angel of light and he works with lying signs and wonders. Is this not exactly what these appearances have been doing? What about the sun dancing in the sky, which supposedly has happened at Fatima and Knock, Ireland, just to name two places. I do not know if it has happened elsewhere. That “miracle” seems a little similar to the miracle of the false prophet in Revelation 13:13 “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.” Satan is capable of great wonders, and so are his demons. We should not immediately assume that a spirit is good simply because it does a miracle. Even if that miracle seems to be a good one. Satan will, for the purposes of deception, do “good” miracles if it leads people away from Christ. He does not care if someone is healed if, in the end, he gets their soul. He will use any method that works. So having said all that, let us now look to some of these appearances.
Our Lady of Guadolupe
The account published in the 1640s tells how on December 9, 1531, a peasant named Juan Diego saw a vision of a young girl of fifteen or sixteen surrounded by light on the slopes of the Hill of Tepeyac. The young woman asked for a church to be built at that site in her honor, and from what she was saying, Diego assumed she was the Virgin Mary. After telling his tale, the archbishop sent him back with the instructions to ask the young woman for a miracle to prove her claim. She told Diego to gather some flowers, which would have been under normal circumstances impossible, due to the fact that it was winter. He found lots of flowers and took them back to the archbishop in a cloak. When the cloak was opened an imprint of the young woman was on the fabric. Following this, a temple to the mother-goddess was destroyed and a temple built for this new virgin, assumed to be Mary the mother of Christ. The archbishop preached a sermon promoting devotion to the young woman. His stand was answered back by Francisco de Bustamante, head of the colony's Franciscans who gave a sermon expressing his concern that the archbishop was promoting superstition. He said, “The devotion that has been growing in a chapel dedicated to Our Lady, called of Guadalupe, in this city is greatly harmful for the natives, because it makes them believe that the image ….is in any way miraculous.” There are now eight buildings throughout Mexico, America, and the Philippines that have been built purely for the devotion of this Lady of Guadolupe.
Let us examine this account. First, a young woman of fifteen or sixteen appeared. While I am not necessarily of the opinion that if we die in old age, we are forced to look like that throughout eternity, I do not believe that Mary has been reduced back to a fifteen or sixteen year old. In fact, in her other appearances, I believe she appears to be twice that age. Why would she keep changing ages? While that is merely observation on my part, I think it begs to be questioned. The next problem is Diego's reaction. It says he “assumes” that she is Mary from things that she says. Apparently she did not identify herself as such, but let him make the assumption. In other words, led him along to make an erroneous assumption that she wanted him to come to. His reaction should have been to ask the questions that we are told to ask of spirits. Instead he comes to the erroneous conclusion that she is Mary. Then she asks something that clearly is unscriptural. She asks that a church be built to honor her. While Diego might not have been grounded enough in the Word of God to know how terribly wrong and sinful this was, the archbishop has no such excuse. He should have sent Diego back to test her, and refused the request, which is so obviously a sin. Instead the archbishop asks for a miracle, the absolutely wrong thing to do, and the wrong way to test a spirit. They are perfectly capable of performing miracles and are more than happy to oblige to lead people astray. She happily complies, as she knows she has them under her charms and can get them to do what she wants. The only one with sense is de Bustamante who recognizes that this is superstition, which comes from the devil and is harmful. Testing this appearance against Scripture and common sense, I think that it can be seen that this was most certainly not Mary.
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
In this account Catherine Laboure says that on the night of July 18, 1830 she was awoken when a child's voice called her to the chapel in Paris where she heard the voice of what she assumes to be Mary say to her, “God wishes to charge you with a mission. You will be contradicted, but do not fear; you will have the grace to do what is necessary.” On November 27 of that year the apparition returned. Her appearance was described as follows: “she displayed herself inside an oval frame, standing upon a glove, wearing many reings of different colors, most of which shone rays of light over the globe. Around the margin of the frame appeared the words (I will simply put the English translation) O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” The frame rotated showing a circle of twelve stars, the letter M surmounted by a cross, and the “Sacred Heart of Jesus” crowned with thorns with the “Immaculate Heart of Mary” pierced with a sword. This apparition tells Catherine that this image should be put on medallions for people to wear and that they will gain graces as a result.
Again, there was no testing of this spirit, and again from the accounts it seems that the person simply assumes that it is Mary. This Mary charges Catherine with the task of having the image she sees, imprinted on medallions which people are now supposed to wear for the purpose of gaining graces from her. She is also told that she will be contradicted in this request. At no time is this spirit tested. Again, the request is in violation of God's clear laws, and Catherine is even told to expect to be opposed on this. Of course Satan knows that anyone who knows the Word of God would oppose this clear violation of God's commands. Again, he preys on the ignorance of the person, and counts on their being overwhelmed by being chosen to receive this vision. The sin really lies more with the clergy who permit this and do not point out Scripturally why it is wrong, and go and test the spirit.
Lady of Lourdes
On February 11, 1858 a small girl appears to Bernadette Soubirous and her sisters, Toinette, and Jeanne Abadie in the Grotto of Massabielle. At first the girls are not believed. They return to the Grotto with holy water as a test that the spirit is not evil. When thrown at the spirit, it does nothing. Bernadette goes into a state of ecstasy or trance. She is told by the apparition to return to the Grotto over the next two weeks. The spirit promises her happiness not in this world, but in the next. The authorities take an interest and forbid Bernadette to ever go to the Grotto again. She goes anyhow and the spirit asks for prayer and penitence for the conversion of sinners. Bernadette is asked to dig in the ground and drink the water from the spring that she finds. The spring becomes a stream and goes from muddy to clean. The water is given to medical patients and miracles begin to be reported. Some miracles are proven to be hoaxes. The authorities and Church become concerned and the Grotto is fenced off with penalties for trespassing. Lourdes becomes a national issue resulting in the involvement of Emperor Napoleon III, who orders the grotto reopened. The Church stays out of the controversy. Bernadette visits the Grotto under the cover of dark and is told that the apparition is the “Immaculate Conception.” Bernadette is again in a trance and is not hurt when her hands are held over a burning candle. On November 17, 1858 the Church launches an investigation. On January 18, 1860 the local bishop declares that the Virgin Mary did appear. All recent Popes have visited this shrine.
This time a small girl appears to a young teenager. Whether this apparition continues to appear as a small girl or not, I do not know, but the paintings show the spirit as a lady, not a small girl. So again, why the appearances as a young girl? Next, the spirit does not identify itself for quite a while and when it does, it calls itself the immaculate conception. As we know from Scripture that all are born in sin except our Lord, this is a blatant lie. Mary was not immaculately conceived without sin. This is not Scriptural and this is not Mary. Next, the test is not the questions that God has told us to ask, but the throwing of “holy water.” Nowhere in the Bible is holy water ever mentioned as such, much less conceived of as a test for evil spirits. The only “holy” water that existed at all was the water of purification in the Old Testament, but that was purified by the red heifer's ashes, which no longer exist. Therefore there can be no “holy water” until a red heifer again is sacrificed and burned to get the ashes. The next thing that is of concern is Bernadette's trances. Trances are an occultic practice, not a Christian one. It is during trances that evil or demonic spirits can enter into an individual. The spirit asks for prayers and penitence, something to which nobody is entitled except our Lord. It is an act of worship and nobody but God is entitled to worship. Not only that, she promises conversion of sinners for this worship. God is the only one who can convert a sinner. Again, there is the report of miracles, but some are hoaxes. Neither Christ nor His apostles were ever guilty of hoax miracles. This is not a sign of God. This is not Mary, this is an evil spirit impersonating Mary, just as all the others have been so far. Everything that they ask is in direct violation of God's commands. Mary would never do such a thing. Satan however does.
Lady of Pont-main
During a war that was being waged near Pont-main on January 17, 1871 the Barbadette family's son Eugene looked into the evening sky and saw a lady appear above the roof of a neighbor. As the townspeople gathered amidst the commotion, the children could see the apparition, but the adults could not. The children see a banner that has a message that seems to not make sense in its entirety. Then a cross appears in her hands and the figure of the crucified Christ appears. Late that night the invasion is stopped and the armistice is signed. On the same evening of the lady's appearance, the Prussian troops stop their advance and the general is reported to have said “We cannot go farther. Yonder, in the direction of Brittany, there is an invisible Madonna barring the way.”
As always, there is no test of the spirit, but an acceptance without question, and without identification by the apparition that she is Mary. The closest that these apparitions come is to talk about their Son or in this case to show a crucified Christ. Well, Christ is no longer on a cross, nor does He appear that way. One only need read the Bible (the gospels for His resurrected appearance, and Revelation for His present heavenly and present appearance) to know that Christ does not appear like that. Again, it is to children that this spirit appears. The innocents who do not know what to do or think, but only to believe. The adults, who should know what to do to test this spirit do not, including the sisters (nuns) on the scene. The fact that the general identified this apparition as the “Madonna” (again one should see the articles on Babylon that posted above to see where this term “Madonna” originated), is not any kind of verification. By this time, with the various appearances, people have started to associate a certain look with Mary. Usually blue and white robes, roses, etc. It is always an assumption. The spirit so far has been very careful not to come out and say that she is the mother of Jesus Christ, the incarnated Son of the Living God. She always makes obscure references that imply who she is, but she never really states it. Why is that do you think? Maybe because she is not allowed by God to go that far in her deception.
Lady of Pellevoisin
In 1876 Estelle Faguette, from Pellevoisin lay dying at the age of 33. After having been told by the doctor she only had a short time to live, she had a visitation by an apparition. This spirit appeared fifteen times to her over the course of time. The first few times her appearance was accompanied by a demon. The spirit tells Estelle that she is the mistress of her son and that he loves her so very much that he will touch even the most hardened hearts to turn to her. She says that she has come to save sinners and that her son will let Estelle live to make her glory known. She shows Estelle her sins and “tells her off severely” (Estelle's words). At a subsequent appearance she tells Estelle that she (Estelle) has set her sins right by self-denial. She tells Estelle that she “holds sway” with her son. She showed Estelle a white scapular with a picture of the sacred heart on it and told her that it should be used in reparation to her son. She also tells Estelle that wherever she goes she should proclaim Mary's glory and not pay any attention to what people say about Estelle doing this. At another vision she tells Estelle that her son can refuse her (Mary) nothing, because he loves her so much. At one visit she tells Estelle that she did not appear because Estelle needed to perform an act of submission and obedience. At one point the spirit tells her that she loves the devotion that the scapular is bringing her. She says that she will pour grace out on those who wear it in devotion to her. These appearances have never been spoken by the Church either for or against it.
The first few visits are accompanied by a demon. Wow, what a give away! And nobody questioned this? There are no questions asked of this spirit to test it. Again, if the accounts that are published are accurate, this spirit never really claims to be Mary, but implies it through talking about “her son.” She lets people assume it and then goes from there. This spirit is asking for worship (major sin) by telling Estelle to make her glory known, to make scapulars for people to wear in devotion for her, and tells Estelle she is withholding visits because Estelle needs to perform more acts of obedience and submission to her. Really? Where are we ever told in the Bible to be submissive and obedient to Mary? We are to be obedient to God. Then the spirit claims that her son (whom she implies is Jesus Christ) does whatever she tells him and wants, because he can refuse her nothing, because he loves her so. Really? He had no problem with that when He was here on earth. He rebuked her three times that we know of, and that is only the rebukes that were recorded for our benefit. Why would he have any trouble rebuking her now, especially when she is totally usurping His authority and claiming worship for herself, in clear violation of God's commands. Obviously this is all lies.
Holy Mother of Geitrzwald, Poland
In Gietrzwald, Poland on June 27, 1877, coming home from church with her mother, a girl, Justyna, sees a woman in the boughs of a tree. A child (baby Jesus) comes down from heaven to the woman and they both ascend to heaven. The next day, Justyna and her friend Barbara see in the trees a woman on a throne with a baby on her lap, who is holding a ball with a cross on the top of it. They are surrounded by angels. The angels crown the woman. On the third appearance, Justyna asks what the “holy mother” wants and is told to pray the rosary every day. At the next visit the apparition says that she is the Most Holy Virgin Mary Immaculately Conceived. She is asked if the people who come will be healed, and she says that they will after, but they have to pray the rosary.
As usual, there are no tests applied to verify this spirit. The first problem we see here is apparition that is supposed to be baby Jesus. I hate to disappoint believers in this, but Jesus is no longer a baby. Read your Bible. Jesus is described quite differently both in the gospels after his resurrection, and in Revelation he is described even more differently, and more frighteningly for those who do not love Him. He is no child, and He does not, nor will He ever appear as one. This is a lie concocted by Satan to take worship away from Yeshua and give it to the spirit who calls herself Mary. The angels crown her? Exactly what is that supposed to indicate, that she is queen of heaven? That term is (if you have read the articles on Babylon) an occultic term for the pagan woman in the mother/son spirit combination who is worshiped in pagan religions. She always has a baby on her lap too. Her name is sometimes Astarte, sometimes Isis, etc. She goes by many names, and she always looks like the visions of Mary. Mary was not immaculately conceived. Scripture is very clear on this. She is lying.
Our Lady of Knock
On August 21, 1879, two women from Knock, Ireland were passing the church and saw against the back wall a woman, two men whom they believed to be St. Joseph, St. John, an altar with a lamb and cross, and several angels flying around. Everyone understood her to be the virgin Mary, (and in this account she is called the Queen of Angels). Other villagers saw them too. Some healings are associated with the location.
Again, people understood her to be Mary. She did not say she was, and apparently the others were also understood to be these people based on various artists versions of what people thought they should look like. There was no testing of these spirits as there never are. And Mary is not the queen of angels. Angels have no queen. Where this unscriptural belief comes from I have no idea. It certainly is not found in the Bible.
Our Lady of Fatima
On May 1, 1917, Lucia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto were near their home in Fatima, Portugal. Lucia saw a woman who she described as being brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light (as pictured in paintings). She also appeared again. The woman told the children to do penance and acts of reparation and make sacrifices to save sinners. The children performed acts of mortification of the flesh. They were also asked to pray the rosary every day saying that it was the key to personal and world peace. The woman also gave the children three secrets. Thousands of people went to the area due to reports of miracles. The children were jailed for essentially disturbing the peace. They were interrogated, trying to get them to reveal the three secrets. The apparition promised a miracle for the last of her appearances. It became known as the “Miracle of the Sun.” A crowd of approximately 70.000 gathered to see. It had been raining, but ceased and the sun was clouded over. Lucia said people should look at the sun. Witnesses said the sun appeared to change colors and rotate like a wheel. The first secret was about a vision of Hell. The second secret was on how to save souls from Hell, convert the world to Roman Catholicism, and bring about world peace. God would do this by establishing world devotion to Mary. She also asks for Russia to be consecrated to her, and if done Russia would be converted and an era of peace would follow. Pope Pius XII did consecrate Russia to her as testified in a letter he wrote on July 7, 1952. “In 1952 the Pope reminded the Russian people and the Stalinist regime that the Virgin Mary was always victorious. 'The gates of hell will never prevail, where she offers her protection. She is the good mother, the mother of all, and it has never been heard, that those who seek her protection, will not receive it. With this certainty, the Pope dedicates all people of Russia to the immaculate heart of the Virgin. She will help! Error and atheism will be overcome with her assistance and divine grace.'” “Lucia said that the Lady emphasized Acts of Reparation and prayers to console Jesus for the sins of the world. Lucia said Mary's words were 'When you make some sacrifice, say 'O Jesus, it is for your love, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary'.'” [quotes from Wickipedia]
As usual, no testing of the spirit. Again the spirit does not have to identify itself as by now everybody thinks Mary looks like this, so assumes it is Mary. This vision once again appears as the pictures and drawings of Mary and all the pagan mother goddesses that have been drawn, carved, or painted over the millennia. The children are told to do things that are abominable, to convert sinners. That is not how people are saved. It is through faith in Jesus Christ, and our bringing the gospel to them, not self mortification of our bodies. Praying the rosary will not bring world peace. Peace will never come until Christ returns. This miracle of the sun (again) is something that does not prove anything except that the spirit has powers. She says that God will bring world peace if everyone devotes themselves to Mary? Has anybody been reading their Bible at all? Nowhere would you ever read in the Bible anything as sacrilegious as this statement. This is vile. This is saying that God wants the world, the entire world to worship Mary. God has clearly stated that He will tolerate nobody but Himself (and His Son who is part of the Trinity) being worshiped. This is a blatant satanic lie by this spirit. If people knew their Scripture, they would immediately know that something is terribly wrong with this spirit. It is most certainly not from God. Another proof is the promise of world peace and conversion of Russia if it is consecrated to Mary. Has that happened? No. Another lie. Why do people not consider that a lie like this is a test that shows it is not from God. God does not lie. And reparation is to be made for sins against Mary? Not against God, but against Mary? When we sin, it is against God, not against Mary. We do not make reparations for sins against her, first because our sins are against God, and second, it is worship of Mary to do so, which is a sin in itself.
Lady at Beauraing
On November 19, 1932 a spirit appeared to five children in Beauraing. When she appeared the children were thrown to their knees by the spirit. The spirit appeared more than 30 times over time. The children were not believed and doctors had tested the children who were in trances. The spirit tells them that she wants a church built for people to make pilgrimages. She calls herself the Queen of Heaven and Mother of God and tells them she will convert sinners and that they should offer themselves up to her.
Need I repeat that there is no testing of the spirit at this point, as these spirits are never tested as we are instructed to do by God. The children are put in a state of trance, which is an occult practice, and as such is considered an abomination by God. She wants a church built for her (no surprise) and elevates herself with the usual titles. She again promises to convert sinners, something of which she is completely incapable as only the Holy Spirit can do that. And people are supposed to offer themselves up to her, not God.
Lady of Banneax
In 1933 a spirit chose one of eleven children in the town of Banneax to be her mouthpiece. Mariet Beco was looking out in the garden and sees a young woman who is all light and very beautiful. Her immediate response (as usual) is to assume it is Mary. The spirit wants Mariet to come to her, but her mother suspects it is a witch and locks Mariet in. Mariet goes to the window and asks the spirit what it wants. The spirit tells her that she wants a chapel built. (Why am I not surprised)
Reader, are you beginning to get the pattern yet? No testing. No identification, but assumption as to the identity, which the spirit plays along with. What is wanted? This time a chapel. It is usually a church and devotion of some kind. In other words, worship. Taking worship away from God. This is her goal. Do you see the truth yet?
There have been many, many more visions of Mary in numerous venues. Some places that have seen this spirit are Medjugorje, Egypt, Chicago, Vietnam, Rwanda, and Lebanon.
If one is truly honest, and truly loves God and His Word, it is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that these apparitions are not Mary the human mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is an evil spirit impersonating Mary, defaming her name and honor as a righteous woman who would never, ever ask the blasphemous things that this spirit is asking. It is asking people to worship it above God. It has set itself up as being greater than God and one who tells God what to do. This is exactly what Satan tried to do. This is exactly who is behind these visitations. Satan has always wanted to be higher than God and have people worship him. Most people would never deliberately worship him as satanists do, but if he can trick them into worshiping him by some other way he will. He does not care who it is, as long as it is not God, and this spirit is taking worship away from God. She is telling the world that she will save sinners. She has no ability to do that. She is not God, she did not die for our sins, she is not Mary and she lies. How much proof is needed? I have no more to say, as there is nothing more to say if all of this has not convinced you. May God have mercy on your souls if you have read all this and still want to worship her.