neo-Pharisees • hating the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Saints, and their intercession

Mimicking the talmudic hatred of the Mother of God (see Jesus in the Talmud), the most Biblically ignorant and vicious of Protestants insist that Catholics “worship” the Blessed Virgin Mary. We do not worship her, we honor her exactly as the Bible honors Mary in Luke 1:26-55, the source of her titles, our “Hail Mary,” and Magnificat:


“And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth,  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin' s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.  Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.  And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.  And of his kingdom there shall be no end.  And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?  And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren:  Because no word shall be impossible with God.  And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.  And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda.  And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:  And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.  And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.  And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.


“And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord.  And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.  Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name.  And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him. He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.   He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.   He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.   He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy:   As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.”




Madonna of the Magnificat

Sandro Botticelli, 1481 A.D.



Psalms prefigure Mary as the “house” of the Lord (like the Ark), the “daughter of the King” (to be honored). Don’t be confused by the differences in Catholic and Protestant Psalm numbering.


  • Psalms 44:14:  “All the glory of the daughter of the King is within…”

  • Psalm 83:3-5:  “My soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God.  For the sparrow hath found herself a house, and the turtle a nest for herself where she may lay her young ones: Thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my king and my God.  Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, O Lord: they shall praise thee for ever and ever.”  Just as in Luke 1:48, “...henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.”


There are other such examples.


  • Numbers 9:15:  “Now on the day that the tabernacle [a tent used as a sanctuary for the Ark of the Covenant] was reared up, a cloud covered it...” prefigures Mary in Luke 1:35, “And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

  • 2 Kings 6:9-15 (2 Samuel for Protestants) repeatedly mentions the Ark and describes David’s joy dancing at the return of the Ark. This prefigures Mary as the Ark in Luke 1:44-56 when Elizabeth’s baby jumped in the womb in the presence of Mary, the New Ark, bearing Jesus in her womb, “… the infant in my womb leaped for joy.  And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.”



Mary's Sinlessness: A Biblical Documentary




See also: Can Mary's Sinlessness Be Defended?


Archetypes and scriptural support for the Immaculate Conception of Mary


entry for “Immaculate Conception,” Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913 edition


the Constitution Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December, 1854, Pius IX


Mary and Romans 3:23



The Bible and Apostolic Tradition both teach us that Mary and the Saints are our family:


  • Romans 12:5:  “So we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”
    No exception for the dead!

  • 1 Corinthians 12:26:  “And if one member suffer any thing, all the members suffer with it; or if one member glory, all the members rejoice with it.”
    We are one family in Jesus Christ, the living and the dead.


Are all pictures and statues graven images of idols? Of course not!


Do you have pictures of your family?  We do.

Do you worship "graven images" of your mother?  Neither do we.


In Exodus 20:4-5 God condemned the carving of statues for the sake of worshiping them as idols. Recall that God Himself ordered the construction of other statues to serve His purposes, the brazen serpent commanded of Moses and the golden statues of angels, “cherubim,” to adorn the Ark of the Covenant:


“Wherefore the Lord sent among the people fiery serpents, which bit them and killed many of them.  Upon which they came to Moses, and said: We have sinned, because we have spoken against the Lord and thee: pray that he may take away these serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.  And the Lord said to him: Make a brazen serpent, and set it up for a sign: whosoever being struck shall look on it, shall live.  Moses therefore made a brazen serpent, and set it up for a sign: which when they that were bitten looked upon, they were healed.” Numbers 21:6-9


“And thou shalt put in the ark the testimony which I will give thee.  Thou shalt make also a propitiatory of the purest gold: the length thereof shall be two cubits and a half, and the breadth a cubit and a half.  Thou shalt make also two cherubims of beaten gold, on the two sides of the oracle.  Let one cherub be on the one side, and the other on the other.  Let them cover both sides of the propitiatory, spreading their wings, and covering the oracle, and let them look one towards the other, their faces being turned towards the propitiatory wherewith the ark is to be covered.” Exodus 25:16-20


Similarly, Solomon made olive wood statues of angels, “cherubim,” for the Temple:


“And he made in the oracle two cherubims of olive tree, of ten cubits in height.”

3 Kings (1 Kings) 6:23


“…And between the little crowns and the ledges were lions, and oxen, and cherubims…”

3 Kings (1 Kings) 7:23-29





(Greek doulia; Latin servitus), a theological term signifying the honour paid to the saints, while latria means worship given to God alone, and hyperdulia the veneration offered to the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Augustine (City of God X.2) distinguishes two kinds of servitus: “one which is due to men . . . which in Greek is called dulia; the other, latria, which is the service pertaining to the worship of God.” St. Thomas (II-II:103:3) bases the distinction on the difference between God’s supreme dominion and that which one man may exercise over another. Catholic theologians insist that the difference is one of kind and not merely of degree; dulia and latria being as far apart as are the creature and the Creator. Leibniz, though a Protestant, recognizes the “discrimen infinitum atque immensum between the honour which is due to God and that which is shown to the saints, the one being called by theologians, after Augustine's example, latria, the other dulia”; and he further declares that this difference should “not only be inculcated in the minds of hearers and learners, but should also be manifested as far as possible by outward signs” (Syst. theol., p. 184). A further distinction is made between dulia in the absolute sense, the honour paid to persons, and dulia in the relative sense, the honour paid to inanimate objects, such as images and relics. With regard to the saints, dulia includes veneration and invocation; the former being the honour paid directly to them, the latter having primarily in view the petitioner's advantage. More detailed explanation of dulia and the reasons for which it is shown to persons or things will be found in the articles IMAGES, RELICS, SAINTS. See also ADORATION and WORSHIP.


from the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913 edition




The Bible gives an example of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s intercession in John 2:3-5: “...And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine.  And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come.  His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.” This verse plainly shows that Mary knew of the miracle that He was to perform, and that it was at her request (intercession) He performed the miracle.


The Bible exhorts us to honor Mary, prefigures and compares her to the honored Ark of the Covenant, and gives an example of her intercession:



The Bible esteems asking the angels and saints for their intercession:


  • Apocalypse 5:8 (Revelation for Protestants):  “…and the four and twenty ancients fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.”
  • Tobias 12:12-15:  The archangel Raphael intercedes presenting Tobias and Sarah’s prayer to God.
  • Zacharias 1:12-16:  Guardian angels intercede with God on behalf of the living of Jerusalem and the cities of Juda.
  • 2 Maccabees 15:7-16:  Jeremias appears alive with Onias to intercede for the people and the city.


Protestants try to cite 1 Timothy 2:5 as a command against intercessory prayers:


“For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus:…”


but note that 1 Timothy 2:5 is not even the complete sentence. Read the rest of the sentence, 1 Timothy 2:6:


“…Who gave himself a redemption for all, a testimony in due times.”


The full sentence, 1 Timothy 2:5-6, is completely non-controversial. Jesus Christ was, is, and always will be the only sufficient mediator of our redemption. Only the Sacrifice of the Son of God on Calvary could ever be the sufficient cause of our redemption. We Catholics acknowledge and celebrate that at every Mass. To ask for the intercession of the Angels and Saints with our requests does no injury to His Sacrifice.


As further evidence that 1 Timothy 2:5-6 does not proscribe intercessory prayers, note that the author of 1 Timothy 2:5-6, St. Paul himself, repeatedly asked for intercessory prayers:


  • Romans 15:30-32: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the charity of the Holy Ghost, that you help me in your prayers for me to God, That I may be delivered from the unbelievers that are in Judea, and that the oblation of my service may be acceptable in Jerusalem to the saints.  That I may come to you with joy, by the will of God, and may be refreshed with you.”
  • 2 Corinthians 1:11: “You helping withal in prayer for us: that for this gift obtained for us, by the means of many persons, thanks may be given by many in our behalf.”
  • Ephesians 6:18-20: “By all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the spirit; and in the same watching with all instance and supplication for all the saints:  And for me, that speech may be given me, that I may open my mouth with confidence, to make known the mystery of the gospel.  For which I am an ambassador in a chain, so that therein I may be bold to speak according as I ought.”
    [Note: St. Paul describes himself as an “ambassador in a chain”: St. Paul > his intercessors > Our Lord]
  • Philippians 1:19-20: “For I know that this shall fall out to me unto salvation, through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,  According to my expectation and hope; that in nothing I shall be confounded, but with all confidence, as always, so now also shall Christ be magnified in my body, wither it be by life, or by death.”
    [Note: The prayers of St. Paul’s intercessors do not injure Christ, but “magnify” Him.]
  • Colossians 4:1-4: “Masters, do to your servants that which is just and equal: knowing that you also have a master in heaven.  Be instant in prayer; watching in it with thanksgiving:  Praying withal for us also, that God may open unto us a door of speech to speak the mystery of Christ (for which also I am bound;)  That I may make it manifest as I ought to speak.”
    [Note: Another instance of the prayers of intercessors being links in the “chain” to God.]
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:25: “Brethren, pray for us.”
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2: “For the rest, brethren, pray for us, that the word of God may run, and may be glorified, even as among you;  And that we may be delivered from importunate and evil men; for all men have not faith.”
    [Note again that the prayers of intercessors do not injure or offend Christ, but instead glorify His Word.]
  • Philemon 1:21-22: “Trusting in thy obedience, I have written to thee: knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.  But withal prepare me also a lodging. For I hope that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.”




Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


Blessed Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii, pray for us.