THE QUEENSHIP OF MARY

The Coronation of Mary as Queen-Mother

The Coronation of Mary as Queen-Mother of CHRIST THE KING

THE QUEENSHIP OF MARY

By Fr. Abe Arganiosa

 

 

This is an article posted in the Parish Bulletin for the month of August 2015.

The Queenship of Mary seems strange because we grew up in a republic rooted in democracy instead of monarchy.  The memorial feast is rooted in Judaeo-Christian theology of the Kingdom of God. The Messiah was prophesied as a Child-King (Is 9:6-7/ Mic 5:2). The Angel announced His birth as successor to the throne of David (Lk 1:32-33) whose reign is everlasting and the Apostolic witnesses proclaimed Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Tim 6:15/ Rev 19:16). The Kingship of the Lord reminds us that God is our Supreme Being, the ultimate authority over all. However, it is not characterized merely by might and ownership; it is manifested in sacrificial love and humility because the Lord chose to serve rather than be served (Mt 20:28); He emptied Himself by dying on the Cross for us (Phil 2:5-11).  

Jesus is King because He is God (Jn 1:1/ 20:28). This truth is the core message of His Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor [Mt 17) the feast we commemorated last August 6.  As followers of Christ we are called to be members of this Kingdom and to accept Jesus as the King of our hearts. Mary is the very first person to believe this tenet of Faith and she was His most humble servant as declared in her Fiat: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word” [Lk 1:38]. For that she is also the first recipient of His Covenant promises: Eternal life and Everlasting glory.

By historical-cultural signification the Blessed Virgin is the Queen of the Church by virtue of the Kingship of Christ founded on the Davidic Dynasty. How did Mary become the Queen when in fact the Lord Jesus was neither married to her nor to any woman? There are three kinds of Queens: [1] The Queen-Regent, like Queen Elizabeth of England sitting on the Throne as the highest Sovereign, [2]The Queen-Consort, like Queen Sophia or Queen Letizia of Spain who were married to the reigning King, and [3] The Queen-Mother, the one who gave birth to the chief Royal like Queen-Helena the Mother of Emperor Constantine. Mary is Queen because she is the Mother of Jesus (Mt 1:18/ Lk 1:35). Indeed, history attests that the Queen of Israel [Gebirah] was not the wife of the King but his Mother. This office started with King Solomon when he bowed before his mother and commanded that she sits at his right hand: “Then Bethsabee came to king Solomon, to speak to him for Adonias: and the king arose to meet her, and bowed to her, and sat down upon his throne: and a throne was set for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right hand.” [1 Kgs 2:19 DRB]. Thus, the ancient Psalmist perpetually sings: ‘The Queen stands at your right hand arrayed in gold’ (cf. Ps 45:9; Responsorial Psalm for Assumption). Jesus did the same for Mary. By His Incarnation the Lord Jesus is bound to honor her by the Divine Command ‘Honor your father and your Mother’ (Ex 20:12/ Lk 18:20). He did in a way only God can: He made her full of grace [Lk 1:28], blessed among all women [Lk 1:42], called the Mother of the Lord [Lk 1:43],  to be called blessed by all generations [Lk 1:48], her Faith was acknowledged as cause of Blessedness [Lk 1:45], declared as Mother of All Believers [Jn 19:26-27] and finally she was raised into heaven through Assumption, the foretaste of  heavenly glory: “And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev 12:1). The Woman who gave birth to the King of all nations (Rev 12:5) was raised up on high, crowned as Queen.

May the Feast of Mary’s Queenship deepen our understanding of the Person of Jesus as God-King and guide us to follow her examples of faith, humility and service. In doing so, we shall also share the glory of Christ [cf. 2 Tim 2:12].  

Mariology Lecture

By Bro. John Diona M.A.Th. (CFD Davao)

Bro. John Diona lecture in GKK (The four dogma of Mary).
Lk 1:28 “Hail, full of grace the Lord is with you!”
Lk 1:38 “And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word.”
Lk 1:43 “And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Lk 1:48 “for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.”

The Blessed Virgin Mary

Golden Banner News Paper

Column Title: Let’s Think Together

Article Title: The Blessed Virgin Mary

Columnist: Cleb B. Calimutan

Date: April 25, 2012

 

 

The Catholic Church teaches that Mary the Mother of Jesus is perpetually virgin that is she is virgin, before, during, and after the birth of Jesus. This idea got a very strong opposition among Protestants. However the Catholic Church is humble enough to concede with the truth discounting personal and religious biases.

That Mary the mother of Jesus is a virgin before the birth is explicitly warranted in the Bible; when angel Gabriel announced the birth of the Messiah, Mary responded, “I’m a virgin. How, then, can this be? (Lk.1:34 Good News Bible). There is no doubt between Catholics and Protestants they agreed on this view, nevertheless the next idea is so profound: Mary is Virgin during the birth of Jesus.

The Prophet said, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel” (Is.7:14 KJV) this prophecy is affirmed in the Gospel of St. Mathew (1:23) that is fulfilled to Mary and Jesus. Now the term sign in Hebrew sounds like “oth” which means a miraculous sign. An idea, that was supported by the Church Fathers that if a miracle is needed to preserve the virginity then it is manifested in the Scripture. Among other Catholic Theologians, they supported moral side of virginity; the sex act and seed act virginity of Mary that she was not touch by any man nor any genetical seed had in her. Whatever view they had still they have one thing in mind that Mary is a virgin during the birth of Jesus.

Another issue is the virginity of Mary after the birth of Jesus: One should notice the word of prophecy that, “Mary shall conceive and bear a son” hence to have children other that Jesus destroys the prophecy. Now, there are questions concerning the brother of Jesus mentioned in the Gospel of Mark (6:3). Let’s make it a point, the term brother is adelphus in Greek could also mean cousin and this is clarified in some other parts of the New Testament for the brothers of Jesus were sons not of Joseph but of another people, like, James the Son of Zebedee and James the Son of Alpheus (Lk.6:16) whose wife is name Mary with their children Joseph and Salome (Mk.15:40) but she is the cousin of Mary the Mother of Jesus (Jn.19:25). There are seven Simons in the Gospels one of whom was called the brother of Jesus but again it cannot be another son of Mary for if the cousin of Jesus were called His brothers then Simon who was one of them could never be a brother of Jesus in blood since he was included in the list of the brothers of Jesus who were the Lord’s cousins. The same argument is applied for Jude that he belonged to the list called the brother of Jesus who are close relatives with the Lord but not His brother in blood.

Among the Jewish culture the Mother should not be left with other people if one has a brother, now since Jesus turn over Mary to John His disciple it is a very strong proof that Mary had no other children save Jesus the Christ.

On the case of Joseph when he happened to know that Mary was pregnant he wanted to go away it was never in his mind to take Mary as his wife. Now, when he realized through the vision, with an angel that Mary was bearing the Son of God the more that he would not intend of taking Mary as his wife by following the flow of his mind.

And so this is a truth of certitude that Mary is perpetually virgin, let us hold on to this for the truth only can set us free.

 

Ipinagbabawal ba ang lahat ng larawan?

Kadalasang hindi kaanib ng iglesia Catolica ay laging sinasabing marami daw tayong diosdiosan, lalong-lalo na sa loob ng ating mga kapilya. Pero mga kapatid, nagkakamali sila. Kasi ang mahirap diyan, hindi nila aral pero sila ang nagpapaliwanag, pwede ba iyon? Halimbawa panadero ka, pwede ba ang panadero magturo kung paano magpanukala ng batas sa kongreso? Kaya nga sila nagsilabasan kasi hindi nila naintindihan, tapos pagdating nila sa ibang sekta sila na ang magpapaliwanag? Tama ba iyon?

SIRAC 11:7
Bago mo simulan ang pagsaway ay kailangan mo munang maintindihan ng mabuti ang mga bagay na iyan.

Kaya napakahalaga po para hindi mailigaw ang tao ay kailangang siyasatin mo munang mabuti ang mga bagay na iyong pinupuna gaya nalang halimbawa ng mga imahe na nasa simbahang catolico. Sabi ng mga hindi Catolico. Sabi ng mga hindi Catolico mga diosdiosan daw iyan, alam ba ng mga taong ‘to kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng diosdiosan?

ISAIAH 44:20 CEV
How can anyone be stupid enough to trust something that can be burned to ashes? No one can save themselves like that. don’t they realize that the idols they hold in their hands are not really gods?

Yun palang diosdiosan o idols ay hindi totoong dios bagamat ito’y kinikilalang dios ng mga nananampalataya sa kanila

ISAIAS 44:17
At ang labis niyaon ay ginagawa niyang dios, sa makatuwid baga’y kaniyang larawang inanyuan: kaniyang pinagpapatirapaan at sinasamba, at dinadalanginan, at nagsasabi, Iligtas mo ako; sapagka’t ikaw ay aking dios.

Pansinin niyo ang talata mga kapatid, ang sabi diyan –“at ang labis niyaon ay ginawa niyang dios”– yung mismong ginagawa ng kamay niya ay buong puso niyang kinikilala na kaniyang dios sapagkat ang sabi –“Iligtas mo ako”– sinong kausap? Eh di yung mismong ginawa niya. Anong sabi? –“sapagkat ikaw ay aking dios”– Yung mismong ginawa nung kamay niya ang kinikilala niyang dios.

ISAIAH 44:20 CEV
How can anyone be stupid enough to trust something that can be burned to ashes? No one can save themselves like that. Don’t they realize that the idols they hold in their hands are not really gods?

Hindi baga nila nalalaman na ang mga diosdiosang hawak ng kanilang mga kamay ay hindi talaga totoong dios. Kaya nga ang ipinagbabawal “idolatry” kasi ang sinasamba ay isang idol o diosdiosan.

GALATIANS 5:19-20 KJV
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

Napakaliwanag ng talata o, ang ipinagbabawal idolatry kasi ang sinasamba niya mga idols. Ang tanong, ano ba ang mga idols?

Kaya pala idols kasi ang nirerepresenta ng imahe ay hindi totoong dios pero kinikilalang dios halimbawa na lamang ng mga diosdiosan na nasa biblia.

1 HARI 11:5
Sapagka’t si Salomon ay sumunod kay Astaroth, diosa ng mga Sidonio, at kay Milcom, na karumaldumal ng mga Ammonita.

Sino si Astaroth? diosa ng mga Sidonio. Hindi naman totoong dios si Astaroth pero kinikilalang diosa ng mga Sidonio kaya tinatawag na diosdiosan. Ano pa? Andiyan si Baal, si Moloc, si Camos, si Diana at marami pang sangkatutak na mga diosdiosan. Isang halimbawa na diyan si Zeus, mula sa Biblia, hanggang sa panahon natin ngayon kilalang-kilala itong diosdiosan na si Zeus bagamat may iba’t-ibang bersiyon, isa pa rin ang tinutukoy na Zeus, ang dios ng Bundok Olimpo (2nd Macabeo 6:1-2)

Ang tawag diyan ng mga historian ay Greek Mythology, kaya nga nagalit si San Pablo nang mapagkamalan siyang si Mercurio (Hermes) at Jupiter (Zeus) naman tong si Bernabe.

GAWA 14:11-15
At nang makita ng karamihan ang ginawa ni Pablo, ay nagsigawan sila, na sinasabi sa wikang Licaonia, Ang mga dios ay nagsibaba sa atin sa anyo ng mga tao. At tinawag nilang Jupiter, si Bernabe; at Mercurio, si Pablo, sapagka’t siya ang pangulong tagapagsalita. At ang saserdote ni Jupiter na ang kaniyang templo ay nasa harap ng bayan, ay nagdala ng mga baka’t mga putong na bulaklak sa mga pintuang-daan, at ibig maghaing kasama ng mga karamihan. Datapuwa’t nang marinig ito ng mga apostol, na si Bernabe at si Pablo, ay hinapak nila ang kanilang mga damit, at nagsipanakbo sa gitna ng karamihan, na nagsisigaw, At nagsisipagsabi, Mga ginoo, bakit ninyo ginagawa ang mga bagay na ito? Kami’y mga tao ring may mga karamdamang gaya ninyo, at nangagdadala ng mabubuting balita sa inyo, upang mula sa mga bagay na itong walang kabuluhan ay magsibalik kayo sa Dios na buhay, na gumawa ng langit at ng lupa at ng dagat, at ng lahat ng nasa mga yaon

Maliwanag ayon sa talata na talagang dios ang kanilang pagkakilala kay Zeus at Hermes bagamat alam nating hindi dios ang mga iyan kaya ang tawag natin diosdiosan.

Ngayon, dito naman tayo sa aral ng simbahang Catolico, sabi ng mga hindi kapanalig may mga diosdiosan daw dito. Totoo kaya iyon? Ayon pa sa aral Catolico:

DEFENSE CATHOLIC TRUTH
by Bro. Socrates Fernandez
page 39
There is no Catholic doctrine which teaches that images are being thought of as God.

Iyan ang turo sa simbahang Catolico kaya mali yung mga sinasabi ng mga Protestante na may mga diosdiosan ang Catolico sapagkat hindi naman itinuro ng simbahang Catolico na ang mga imahe natin ay mga dios.

Halimabawa, si San Vicente de Ferrer, may turo ba ang Catolico na si San Vicente ay dios? Wala naman ah! May turo ba ang Catolico na si Sta. Teresita ay diosa? Meron ba? Wala pa rin. Ni-isang santo sa simbahang Catolico ay wala tayong sinabihang -Iligtas mo ako San Antonio de Padua o San Juaquin o kahit sinong santo… sapagkat ikaw ay aking dios- Meron ba? Wala. Kaya kapag sinabi nilang diosdiosan ang mga kinikilala nating santo, isang malaking pagpaparatang ng kasinungalingan iyon.

EXODO 20:16
Huwag kang magbintang ng kasinungalingan sa iyong kapwa.

Kung hindi raw diosdiosan ang mga imahe na nasa simbahang Catolico, ano naman iyon? Ito naman ang tinatawag na mga ICONS. Kung ang idols ay mga imahe na nagrerepresenta ng pekeng dios o IDOLS. Ano naman ang icon?

Ang icons pala ay mga imahe ng mga banal gaya nalang halimbawa ni Sta. Maria, ni Cristo at ng mga santo.

Kaya nga kung susuriin mo ang kasaysayan sa panahon ni Pope Gregory II nung mga 7th century may mga nagsilitaw na mga iconoclast o mga icon breaker. At hindi lang iyan, pati nga watchtower magazine ng mga Saksi ni Jehova para lang makapanloko ay gumawa ng kuwento.

WATCHTOWER
November 1, 2009 page 9
God does not approve of the use of images and icons.

May talata ba? Wala. Pero kung babasahin mo ang buong pahina may dalawang talata silang inilagay kaso nga lang hindi tugma, sapagkat ito ang talatang nakalagay sa kanilang magazine.

EXODUS 20:4
CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH VERSION
Do not make idols that look like anything in the sky or on earth or in the ocean under the earth.

Ang nakalagay idol hindi icon. Walang bersiyon ng Biblia na nagsasabing ipinagbabawal ang icon, kasi gaya nga ng sinabi sa dictionary, ang icon ay imahe ng mga taong namuhay ng banal kaya sana naman magising na ang ating mga kaibigang Protestante na sana bago muna nila sawayin ang isang aral ay siguraduhin muna nila na may nakasulat kung ito ba ay ipinagbabawal o hindi. Maraming salamat po.

Evangelical Pastor’s Lies And Deceptions Part V “Immaculate Conception”

Evangelical Pastor’s Lies And Deceptions Part V “Immaculate Conception”

By: Bro. Isahel N. Alfonso

I am not yet done in exposing Pastor Ballesteros’ false accusations against the Catholic Church as written in his book Important Questions and Answers. This time we’ll tackle his opposition to the dogma of Immaculate Conception. Upon reading his book Pastor Ballesteros did not provide any explanation for his opposition to this God given truth. He chose to simply cite two biblical passages that he thinks contradict the dogma of Immaculate Conception. What Pastor Ballesteros trying to do is to leave the interpretation of these passages to his readers. But that is a big NO NO in knowing the meaning or interpretation of a given passage, the scriptures condemns private interpretation.

Know this well no prophecy of Scripture can be handed over to private interpretation, since no prophecy comes from human decision for it was men moved by the Holy Spirit who spoke. 2 Peter 1:20-21

Since the Sacred Scripture was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit therefore it must also be interpreted under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And this is the task of the Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit the Church alone is the infallible interpreter of the Sacred Scripture (Mt.16:18-19, 1 Timothy 3:15). But Pastor Ballesteros violated this fundamental principle of Scriptural interpretation he wanted his readers to simply interpret on their own the passages he cited that appears to contradict the dogma of Immaculate Conception. The first Scriptural passage that Pastor Ballesteros cited is Like 1:46-48 which says;

And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults God my savior! Lk.1:46-47

Although Pastor Ballesteros did not provide any argument using the passage but basing on experience most Protestants would argue that since Mary admitted that she needs a savior therefore Mary is not Immaculate as what Catholics believed but she too is a sinner like us. With this kind of reasoning protestants are missing the point of this passage. Notice that Mary claimed Christ as her savior even before Christ died on the cross. Mary was redeemed in a most perfect and special way she was preserved free from all stain of sin. Another passage that Pastor Ballesteros cited is Rom.3:23

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Rom.3:23

There are two interesting points that I can see in this passage. Consulting the Greek text the word that was used for “all” is “pantes” which describes a large number of people however it allows exemptions from “all” and that would be Jesus Christ and Mary. If St. Paul meant that each and every person without exemptions he could have use a more strict and restrictive Greek word which is “hapas”. But that is not the case St. Paul is trying to say that sin is universal, but universality of sin does not mean everyone has sinned, we have Jesus and Mary who have not commit any sin. Just as we say that the Catholic Church is universal but not everyone is Catholic. Now we turn our focus to the phrase fall short of the glory of God the Scriptures testified that there are only two people who falls not short of God’s glory and that is Jesus and Mary. In John  1:14 it says The Word was made flesh he lived among us and we saw his glory, the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father full of grace and truth. Co-relatively Mary too was called full of grace, Luke 1:28 The angel came to her and said, Rejoice!, full of grace the Lord is with you”. Very clearly the passages that Pastor Ballesteros used did not contradict the Marian dogma of Immaculate Conception rather  it brings to light the biblical soundness of this dogma.

The Church do not teach that Mary’s sinlessness is by her own doing when the dogma of Immaculate Conception was defined by the Pope it was clear that Mary’s preservation from sin is a privilege granted by God in view of the anticipatory merits of Christ on the cross.

Wherefore, in humility and fasting, we unceasingly offered our private prayers as well as the public prayers of the Church to God the Father through his Son, that he would deign to direct and strengthen our mind by the power of the Holy Spirit. In like manner did we implore the help of the entire heavenly host as we ardently invoked the Paraclete. Accordingly, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for the honor of the Holy and undivided Trinity, for the glory and adornment of the Virgin Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith, and for the furtherance of the Catholic religion, by the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own: “We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.” Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus


Everything God created is good (1 Timothy 4:4), when God created the first Adam the material (soil) that he used is pure and without blemish. In like manner the new Adam (Christ) was formed from pure and without blemish womb of Mary the new Eve. In Gen.3:15, God in the beginning of time already foreordained that Mary will always be in enmity with the devil, because Mary like God’s first creation was pure and without blemish. In the letter of Paul to the Hebrews it was stated that Christ shared the very flesh and very blood of Mary (Heb.2:14) and this flesh and blood that he took and soon offered to the cross is without blemish (Heb.9:14). Granting that Mary is with sin how can Christ offer an unblemished sacrifice of flesh and blood on the cross if the very flesh and very blood of Christ came from a defiled person? Thus God must have preserved Mary from all stain of original sin for her to give Christ a pure and unblemished flesh and blood to be sacrificed on the cross and redeem mankind.

Evangelical Pastor’s Lies and Deceptions Part III

Evangelical Pastor’s Lies and Deceptions Part III

 By. Bro. Isahel N. Alfonso

 

For Image Reference Only

Not contended with his caricature against the Catholic Church, Pastor Ballesteros strikes again and this time against the Virgin Mary. On page 13 of his book Important Questions and Answers he dealt with the question “What does the Bible say about the Virgin Mary?” He answered the question by quoting Luke 1:28, 34 and 42, we do not have any problem with these passages because they are telling the truth. What bothers us the more is his succeeding answer. Pastor Ballesteros asserts that Mary is just a vessel so that Christ can enter the history of mankind.

She was chosen by God as a vessel to give birth to a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ[1]

Notice that Pastor Ballesteros uses the term “vessel” pertaining to the Virgin Mary. But what exactly is a vessel and what does a vessel do? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defined vessel as a container for holding something.[2] Therefore for Pastor Ballesteros Mary is just a container for holding Jesus Christ for 9 months and worst of all he made it appear that as if God is the one who made Mary a mere vessel for Christ but in fact it was him who made Mary a mere vessel. Nowhere in Scripture ever stated implicitly nor explicitly that Mary is a vessel for Christ. But what does the Bible say about Mary? In Heb.2:14 it tells us that children shares the flesh and blood of their mother.

Since all the children share the same blood and flesh, he too shared equally in it, so that by his death he could take away all the power of the devil. Heb.2:14 Jerusalem Bible

Basing on the facts of this passage Mary is not a vessel because Mary is the one who gave Christ is very own flesh and blood! A vessel does not share its nature with the thing that it holds, like a jar it does not share its nature with the water that it holds. But Mary gave Christ his flesh and blood, the very flesh and blood that he sacrificed on the cross to save us. Not just an ordinary sacrifice but a perfect and unblemished sacrifice (Heb.9:14). Another anti-Mary bushing of Pastor Ballesteros is by reducing Mary as a mere decoration in the history of Christianity.

She is a very special woman who added color to the history of Christianity[3]

This is not a compliment but rather an insult to the dignity of Mary. God exalted Mary above every women, He chose her to be the Mother of his only begotten Son yet Pastor Ballesteros simply dismissed this by saying that Mary is a special woman who added color to the history of Christianity. If we put this statement in a literary context Mary is just a highfalutin word in a poem to make it appear better. But the Scripture says otherwise. In Luke 1:42 it tells us that Mary is above every women.

She gave a loud cry and said, of all women you are the most blessed.Luke 1:42

Pastor Ballesteros could have given more dignity to Mary if he just read his Bible, but basing on his knowledge and understanding of Scripture he is not fond of reading the word of God. In his next statement Pastor Ballesteros ate his words when he said,

A unique woman whose honor must not be demeaned or be extolled higher than what God intended.[4]

Pastor Ballesteros said “unique woman whose honor must not be demeaned” but in his previous statement he simply called Mary a vessel for Christ and merely a color added to the history of Christianity. Aside from the passages that Pastor Ballesteros quoted his other three statements are not supported by Scripture but merely a product of his anti-Marian mentality akin to all anti-Catholics.


[1] Jun Ballesteros, Important Questions and Answeres, p.13, 1997
[3] Jun Ballesteros, Important Questions and Answeres, p.13, 1997
[4] Jun Ballesteros, Important Questions and Answeres, p.13, 1997

Evangelical Pastor’s Lies And Deceptions Exposed – Part 1

Evangelical Pastor’s Lies And Deceptions Exposed

By: Bro. Isahel N. Alfonso

 

Rev. Emilio “Jun” A. Ballesteros Jr. is the author of the
book Important Questions and Answers. He is a pastor and a
member of the Southern Baptist Churches. He is a graduate of the Philippine
Baptist Theological Seminary. This protestant heavy weight is praised by his
colleague for being a good writer.

Clear and understandable, illustrations are entertaining.
We need this kind of writer and literature in our times. May we continue to
have more writers in evangelical circle like you.
Rev. Nanding
Paunil, National dicrector, Prayer-life Seminars, Philippines

Many
have been victimized by his book that appears to be scholarly yet upon close
inspection you can clearly see how he perpetuated lies and deceptions against
Catholics. The quality of his work also manifests his gross ignorance of Sacred
Scripture, so much more for a Bible Christian. I do not want to prolong my
preliminary comment about his credibility, so let us dive into the some of the
part of his book that contain lies, deceptions and ignorance of Sacred
Scripture. On page 16 of his book a question is raise “Does She really show
herself [Mary] through apparitions? Can she [Mary] perform miracles?

Mr. Ballesteros answered the question by quoting Mt.28:18 and
inserting his interpretation of this passage that means that Christ alone has
the authority and no one else.

Note what Jesus said
in Matt. 28:18, “All Power (authority) has been given to Me in heaven and on
Earth.” It is clear that all power belongs to Him; therefore no amount of power
is left for anyone including Mary. She does not have any power to perform any
miracle! The devil may have some powers but uses these to destroy and to
deceive![1]

Mr. Ballesteros ignorance of Sacred Scriptures betrays him; the
passage he quoted above does not endorse his interpretation that divine
authority exclusively belongs to Christ alone. He said “no amount of power
is left for anyone”
, “anyone” is an indefinite pronoun that has a general

application.[2]  The general
applicability of the word “anyone” includes also the Father and the Holy
Spirit. This would be the logical implication of his statement. Mr. Ballesteros
is not only Anti-Mary but also anti-God. What would be the proper
interpretation of Mt.28:18 if pastor Ballesteros interpretation is dead wrong?
This passage tells us that Jesus Christ’s authority is universal “all power”
and thus he sent his apostles to a universal mission to make disciples and spread
the gospel to all nations. Even a Protestant commentary does not support his
interpretation that this passage speaks of exclusive authority of Christ.

The risen King
gave 11 disciples the great commission, couched in terms of applicable to the
present form of the kingdom. His authority, which extends to every realm,
supported His commission, which involved enlisting men under His lordship
(‘make disciples’), identifying them with Himself and His followers in the rite
of baptism, and teaching them the truths of His Word, 18-20.
[3]

The commentary says “His authority, which extends to every
realm”
connotes that Christ’s authority is universal and not exclusive as

what Pastor Ballesteros asserts. The succeeding passage suggests that Christ
commissioned his apostles to make disciples to all nations by baptizing them in
the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. This great
commission entails that the apostles have the authority to perform what Christ
has commanded them. What happens now to his interpretation that Christ alone
has the authority? Can Christ not designate nor mediate his authority to his
apostles including Mary? It is now clear that pastor Balusters’ argument boils
down to the premise that if Christ has all the authority and this authority is
exclusive for him then Mary cannot perform a miracle. We see here again how his
gross ignorance of Sacred Scripture betrays him. In Acts 2:4 upon the decent of
the Holy Spirit the apostles were able to speak in different languages, isn’t
this a miracle? If Christ kept all the power to himself can the apostles
perform this kind of miracle? Certainly not! Therefore pastor Ballesteros’
interpretation of Mt.28:18 is erroneous and are intended to deceive his readers
especially Catholics. Another instance where the apostles exercise the power to
perform miracles is in Acts 5:15-16 wherein the people would gather around and
wait for Peter to pass by so that their illness will be cured. So much more for
being a Bible Christian pastor Ballesteros I could not believe that you ignored
these passages. Pastor Ballesteros also uttered another misleading statement
and has nothing to support it but his cunning and deceitful ways.

Man only fabricated
the alleged wonders and miracles of Mary
![4]

This is a blatant error committed again by this evangelical
pastor he did not even bother to check the Sacred Scripture if his claim is
true or not. My I ask pastor Ballesteros where in the Bible does it say or
teach explicitly and implicitly that Mary did not perform wonders and miracles?
We all agree that a miracle is a supernatural act by God performed through his
creation. God could have use people as instruments to perform miracles like
that of the apostles. Mary is not only a mere instrument has a special
participation in Gods plan of salvation. In the Bible there are three miracles
and wonders that Mary performed though the power of the Most High. First, is
conceiving Jesus Christ in her womb without any sexual contact which means that
she is a virgin when she conceived Jesus Christ.

Listen you are to conceive and bear a son and you must name him
Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God
will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of
Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end. Mary said to the angel, but how
can this come about, since I am a virgin? The Holy Spirit will come upon you
the angel answered and the power of the Most High will cover you with its
shadow.
Luke 1:31-35

The virginal conception is truly a miracle performed by the Holy
Sprit through Mary! Another instance of Mary’s wonder and miracle is in John
19:26-27 wherein Christ made Mary the mother of all his disciples. Who made
Mary the mother of all Christians? Is it the Catholic Church? No it was not, it
was Christ himself! And since Christ is God and He made Mary the mother of all
believers, and His action of doing so is a supernatural act. Since miracle is a
supernatural act of God and Mary motherhood of all believers was a supernatural
act performed by Christ therefore Mary’s motherhood of all believers is a
miracle! And lastly Mary manifested herself in a form of apparition in Rev.12:1
“Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, adorned with the sun,
standing on the moon, and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown.
There

is a significant reason why in the entire Bible during a very climactic scene
Mary is address as woman not on first name basis because it tells us that the
woman in Gen.3:15, Is.7:14, Jn. 2:1-11, Jn.19:26-27 and Rev.12:1 is one and the
same, Mary. Pastor Ballesteros ignorance of Sacred Scripture leads him to make
preposterous conclusions. To bolster his opposition to Mary he cited a story of
the allege miracle in Agoo La Union.

The media disclosed
that the supposed miracle in Agoo was synthetic. Anyone can manufacture a
mirage. More disgusting is the news, as aired on radios and shown on leading TV
stations, that people involved in this mirage have amassed a great amount of
wealth, purchased real properties and luxurious cars. Read the warning from 1
Tim.6:5! Everything was proven to be a great hoax and millions of Filipinos
were deceived, including those who are highly educated.[5]

This is another trick of Pastor Ballesteros pulled out from his
bag of trick. In Pastor Ballestoros’ version of the story he said that it was
the media who disclosed that the allege miracle was a sham. At end of his
statement he said that this allege miracle was proven to be a great hoax. But
there is something wrong with his version, there is something he hides and does
not want his readers to know. Pastor Ballesteros failed to mention that the
Catholic Church did not approve or accept this as a genuine apparition and
miracle of Our Lady as a matter of fact the Church even condemns this[6].  But for the sake of his
opposition to the Mother of God, like how the serpent opposes Mary (Gen.3:15,
Rev.12:2-5) he intends to hide this fact in order to mislead his readers into
believing that the Catholic Church approved and recognized this apparition. And
who was able to discover that this apparition is a sham a “great hoax”
according to Pastor Ballesteros? He did not care to mention because it was the
Catholic Church through the Theological Commission headed by Bishop Salvador
Lazo who declared this alleged apparition a hoax. Pastor Ballesteros cannot use
this as an argument against Mary because this is utterly irrelevant. The great
hoax that was performed in Agoo was not performed by Mary or the Catholic
Church. They have nothing to do with this in fact the Church is the one who
meticulously investigated the matter and found out that it is a hoax and
announce it to the people so that the people will not be deceived. How about
you Pastor Ballesteros? What did you do during the wake of this hoax? You,
yourself cannot even discern if this is a true miracle or not because you are
not guided by the Holy Spirit, you are not the pillar and bulwark of truth, but
the Church is (1 Tim.3:15). Not contended with his half truths he again related
another story.

Rev. Nards Briosis, a former Roman Catholic priest, attested

that the crying Lady in Bicol was a hoax. He personally went to investigate the
said miracle when we was still a priest, only to discover the small holes
between the image’s eyes and a container full of watery salt inside the top of
its head. Aha! The salt gradually melts, then finds its way slowly down through
those holes! A very subtle deception. This must be a big joke![7]

This kind of deception technique employed by Pastor Ballesteros
is very common to anti-Catholics. They will relate a story and make it appear
that as if it is the Catholic Church who fabricated such miracles. With this
kind of technique it is very hard to verify if what he is saying is true or did
he just made it up? Is there really a priest named Rev. Nards Briosis? If there
is then he should have provided us with documentary evidence that this “priest”
actually exist so that we can verify his statement. But no pastor Ballesteros
left us hanging whether such priest or hoax really existed. Granting without
admitting that this account actually happened but the question is did the
Church recognized this as a genuine miracle? The subtle deception seems to have
not occurred in the story he related to us but to the way how pastor
Ballesteros retold the story. Furthermore to oppose Mary pastor Ballesteros
quoted the Sacred Scripture.

This can also be a
work of the devil. II Thess.2:8-12 says that devil can perform all kinds of
miracles and all types of deceptive signs and wonders. He is so keen and
clever, the master of crafty signs and wonders, the lord of lies![8]

Pastor Ballesteros got fooled by his own deceptive techniques,
now he is contradicting himself moments ago he said “that all power belongs
to Him; therefore no amount of power is left for anyone including Mary.”
But

now using the Scripture he is saying that the devil can perform miracles. This
inconsistency in Pastor Ballesteros would imply that (1) The Scripture
contradicts itself and (2) Pastor Ballesteros understanding and interpretation
of Scripture is wrong. So which one is it Pastor? Moreover the pastor said “This
can also be a work of the devil”
The word “can” leaves a room that it can

also be a work of God. Now this would put pastor ballesteros in an impossible
position to prove that the miracles performed by Mary and the saints are a work
of the devil. Pastor Ballesteros is about to commit the most grievous blunder
in his book, when he claimed that Mary never performed any miracle in the
Bible.

In the Bible, there is
no record that Mary ever performed a miracle, not even one, from the time of
Jesus’ birth to His death at age 33. Therefore, how can she perform one now
that Jesus has resurrected from the dead and is alive and holds all power and
authority in heaven and earth as well?[9]

I have already addressed this argument of Pastor Ballesteros, so
there is no need to rewrite again I will just copy what I said previously. We
all agree that a miracle is a supernatural act by God performed through his
creation. God could have use people as instruments to perform miracles like
that of the apostles. Mary is not only a mere instrument has a special
participation in Gods plan of salvation. In the Bible there are three miracles
and wonders that Mary performed though the power of the Most High. First, is
conceiving Jesus Christ in her womb without any sexual contact which means that
she is a virgin when she conceived Jesus Christ (Luke 1:31-35).The virginal
conception is truly a miracle performed by the Holy Sprit through Mary! Another
instance of Mary’s wonder and miracle is in John 19:26-27 wherein Christ made
Mary the mother of all his disciples. Who made Mary the mother of all
Christians? Is it the Catholic Church? No it was not, it was Christ himself!
And since Christ is God and He made Mary the mother of all believers, and His
action of doing so is a supernatural act. Since miracle is a supernatural act
of God and Mary motherhood of all believers was a supernatural act performed by
Christ therefore Mary’s motherhood of all believers is a miracle! And lastly
Mary manifested herself in a form of apparition in Rev.12:1 “Now a great
sign appeared in heaven: a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon,
and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown.
There is a significant

reason why in the entire Bible during a very climactic scene Mary is address as
woman not on first name basis because it tells us that the woman in Gen.3:15,
Is.7:14, Jn. 2:1-11, Jn.19:26-27 and Rev.12:1 is one and the same, Mary.
Furthermore Pastor Ballesterosaid,

The easiest way for
the devil to mislead humanity is to perform miraculous signs through dead
material objects which were cursed by God. If millions and millions of people
were deceived with just a drop or smear of blood, what more when these images
move and speak in the latter days? Rev. 13:14,15[10]

Pastor Ballesteros is out of his mind the devil cannot mislead
all the people by just making objects move by itself. The ancient pagan
religions did not survive to this day even if their statues, gods and goddesses
were influence by the devil. A person without the Church as his guidance can be
deceived by the devil, but the Church can never be deceived by the devil no
matter what because Jesus Christ said “Thou are Peter and upon this rock I
will build my Church, and the gates of hell can never overcome it.”
(Mt.16:17-18).

How can the devil deceived the body of Christ (Col.1:18) to whom his presence
will perpetually be with his Church (Mt.28:18-20), the pillar and bulwark of
truth (1 Tim.3:15)? Another exaggeration and deception of Pastor Ballesteros is
when he claimed that millions and millions of people were deceived with just a
drop or smear of blood. Where is your proof pastor? Did you individually
interview millions and millions of people to know whether they believed and
were deceived? Anti-catholic pastors have a lot of deceptive styles and lies
just to lure Catholics out of the Catholic Church and lead them to perditions.
Books like this one must be debunk and expose its errors.


[1] Jun
A. Ballesteros, Important Questions & Answers, p. 16, 1997

[2] An
indefinite pronoun is one that is general and indeterminate in its reference to
objects and living beings. The most commonly used indefinites are all, another,
any, anybody, anyone. . . John B. Opdycke, Ph.d, Harper’s English Grammar,
p.55,  1983

[3] Merrill
F. Unger, The New Unger’s Bible Handbook, p,381, 1984

[4] Jun
A. Ballesteros, Important Questions & Answers, p. 16, 1997

[5] Jun
A. Ballesteros, Important Questions & Answers, p. 16, 1997

[6] http://www.catholicrevelations.org/PR/judiel%20nieva.htm

[7] Jun
A. Ballesteros, Important Questions & Answers, p. 16, 1997

[8] Jun
A. Ballesteros, Important Questions & Answers, p. 17, 1997

[9] Jun
A. Ballesteros, Important Questions & Answers, p. 17, 1997

[10] Jun
A. Ballesteros, Important Questions & Answers, p. 17, 1997

A Friendly Reply Concerning the Woman Cloth with the Sun

A Friendly Reply Concerning the Woman Cloth with the Sun

By Bro. Joel Roma, CFD

 

——————–

To Noel Tarongoy:

First o all, thank you for commenting.

Here is the answer to your first question:

There’s no contradiction to two interpretations on a single imagery, I suppose, and won’t give a headache to understand it.
The former is a place and the latter is a person. My contention was that without the Virgin Mary there would be no occupants of triumphant souls in the New Heavenly Jerusalem and no salvation of the human race as well. The fall of our first parents when the devil used the woman, Eve, as his instrument to cause the disorder of God’s creation, God in His omnipotence used the woman, Virgin Mary, to restore the disorder of God’s creation.
Thus began the dawn of restoration.

 

I’m not forcing you to believe this, it’s your own choice!

Here is my answer to your second question:

 

It is the Holy Scripture that excludes Virgin Mary from the cueses imparted by God to Eve, not me!
In Gen. 3: 15 God was speaking to the serpent and the woman He was implying is the Virgin Mary, not Eve. While in Gen. 3: 16, of course it is explicit, God was speaking to Eve.

I hope you are satisfied with my answers. Thanks

MARY MEDIATRIX OF ALL GRACES

Mary’s mediation depends on the supreme mediatorship of Christ, while Christ is the redemptive mediator Mary along His side is the mediator of God’s grace and its dispensatrix to the people of God.[1]To avoid confusions we have to differentiate the mediatorship of Christ from Mary.

Christ is our redemptive mediator wherein he is the “go between” between the people and God. Through Christ mediation we received the gift of salvation by redeeming us from the grasp of Hell. While Mary’s mediatorship she is the “go between” between God to mankind because through her God has entered the history of mankind by conceiving God’s only begotten Son.

As the starting point for explaining this majestic truth we must look back to the exposition of Pope Leo XIII regarding the doctrine that Mary is truly the Mediatrix of all graces.[2]According to the Pope the treasure of heaven can only be dispense through the hands of Mary, without Mary no grace will be mediated to the people of God. Through Eve’s influence on Adam, sin was mediated to the world, and through the influence of Mary’s obedience grace was mediated to the world.

Christ is the grace of God in which through the Virgin birth Christ was mediated to man for his salvation. The Church is the body of Christ[3], and like the human body the head provides the necessary impulses to make the other organ functions and all this impulses before going into different organs must pass through the neck, likewise Christ is the head in which all the grace originated from him and Mary is the neck wherein all the graces must pass through her in order to be distributed into different parts of the Church.  In the letter to the Hebrews[4]it basically tells as that children share with the parents his flesh and blood likewise it can be said that the very flesh and blood of Christ is the very flesh and blood of Mary in a more perfect way than those of ordinary people.[5]

When Christ was hanging on the cross the flesh and blood of Christ is also a partition of the very flesh and blood of Mary, after the piercing of the side of Christ blood and water immediately flowed out.[6]The blood and water symbolizes the fountain of grace that we obtain through the Sacraments, the water symbolized the Sacrament of Initiation or Baptism the beginning of our spiritual life through the grace of baptism and the blood symbolized the Eucharist the life and summit of the church.[7]In the context of Mary’s role in the salvation of mankind it can be said that the blood and water that flowed from the side of Christ also flowed through Mary since the very flesh and very blood of Christ and Mary is the same. Without Mary’s obedience to the will of the Father grace can never be dispense to mankind since God choose the flesh and blood of Mary as the medium to where grace will be dispensed through the sacrificial act of Christ to all those who need it. Mary is not the source of this grace, Christ alone is the source of grace Mary simply is the dispensatrix of the grace. The belief in Mary as the Mediatrix of graces is not a new revelation it is already in the mind of the Church more than 700 years ago. Antipater of Bostra one of the council Fathers of the council of Ephesus called Mary the Mediatrix for mankind.[8]St. Bernard of Clairvaux has clearly in short and brief explanation the role of Mary as the Mediatrix of all grace that no grace will be dispense without passing through the hands of Mary.[9]St. Albert the Great called Mary as the gate of heaven since all grace will have to pass through her.[10]The doctrine that Mary is the Mediatrix of all grace can be summed up with the words of St. Pope Pius X in his encyclical Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum the pope said “by this companionship in sorrow and suffering already mentioned between the Mother and the Son, it has been allowed to the august Virgin to be the most powerful mediatrix and advocate of the whole world with her Divine Son.” Sadly not everyone accepted this truth there are some who opposed it especially the Protestants, according to them Mary cannot be the Mediatrix since Christ alone is the mediator between man and God.[11]If they are correct with their understanding of 1 Timothy 2:5 then it follows that the Church should reject this teaching.

However they have misread the implication of the passage in its original Greek context. “one mediator” in Greek is “εις μεσιτης” (heis mesitēs)[12], the Greek word “heis” means “one, first or primary”[13] this Pauline epistle emphasizes Christ’s transcendence as a mediator, through the unique value of His redemptive death.[14]If Paul meant in 1 Timothy 2:5 that Christ is the sole and only mediator then he could have used the Greek word “monos” which means alone, sole and only. Clearly there is no contradiction in the Pauline epistle with the doctrine that Mary is the Mediatrix of all grace. Even in the New Testament there are instances that people become a sort of mediators when they intercede for one another.[15]Aside from that the priest by ministering the Sacraments is also a kind of a mediator lesser in degree than that of Christ and Mary. Mary’s mediatorship is already put into practice today by praying the Rosary and other pious practices.[16]


FOOTNOTES

[1] the guardian of our peace and the dispensatrix of heavenly graces. Pope Leo XIII, Supremi apostolatus (1883)

[2] With equal truth can it be affirmed that, by the will of God, nothing of the immense treasure of every grace which the Lord has accumulated, comes to us except through Mary…. How great are the wisdom and mercy revealed in this design of God…. Mary is our glory intermediary; she is the powerful Mother of the omnipotent God…. This design of such dear mercy realized by God in Mary and confirmed by the testament of Christ (Jn. 19:26‑27), was understood from the beginning and accepted with the utmost joy by the holy Apostles and the earliest believers. It was also the belief and teaching of the venerable Fathers of the Church. All the Christian peoples of every age accepted it unanimously. . . There is no other reason for this than a divine faith. Octobri mense (1891)

[3] Eph.1:22

[4] Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. Hebrews 2:14

[5] A peron’s genetic make up is compose of 50% from the father and 50% from the mother, while Christ genetic make up is 100% of the flesh and blood of Mary. Hence the body and the blood that Christ offered to the cross is also a partition of the blood and flesh of Mary.

[6] But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side: and immediately there came out blood and water. John 19:34

[7] For water and blood flowed forth, the one to cleanse, the other to redeem;” and as S. Cyril and Chrysostom say, that the water signifies baptism, which is the first beginning, of the Church and the other sacraments, and the blood represents the Eucharist, which is the end and completion of the sacraments, to which they all refer as to their beginning and their end. Whence S. Augustine says (in loc.), that all sacraments flowed forth from the side of Christ, in mystery, as I said. His words are, “It is not said that he ‘struck’ or ‘wounded,’ but that he ‘opened’ the side of Christ, that the door of life might thus, as it were, be opened, from whence the sacraments of the Church flowed forth, without which there is no entrance to true life.” And S. Chrysostom. “Because the sacred mysteries take their rise from thence, when thou approachest the awful Chalice, thou shouldest approach it as if thou wert about to drink from the very side of Christ;” and the reason is, as S. Chrysostom and Theophylact say, “The Church exists and consists by means of the sacraments.” For it is born by Baptism, strengthened by Confirmation, fed and perfected by the Eucharist, healed by Penance, fortified by Extreme Unction, governed by Holy Orders, and continued and extended by Matrimony. The Great Biblical Commentary of Cornelius Lapide

[8] Hail, you who acceptably intercede as a Mediatrix for mankind.” (In S. Joannem Bapt., PG, 1772C)

[9] God Has willed that we should have nothing which would not pass through the hands of Mary.” (Hom. III in vig. nativit., n. 10, PL 183, 100)

[10] “The Blessed Virgin is very properly called ‘gate of heaven,’ for every created or uncreated grace that ever came or will ever come into this world came through her. Mariale 147

[11] This teaching is contrary to the explicit teaching of Scripture. We read in 1 Timothy 2:5 “There is one God and one mediator between God andmen, the man Christ. The Truth Encounter, pp. 142, Anthony Pezzota

[12] Textus Receptus Greek New Testament

[13] Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries

[14] Theotokos, A Theological Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dublin, 1982, p. 238. O’Carroll, C.S.Sp

[15] 1 Timothy 2:1-2 I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men: For kings and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity.

[16] “When My Son ascended to the Father, I spent many years spreading His word. I know the frailties of human nature. I know the heartbreak, the suffering, for I spent many years on earth. Therefore, I always beg for mercy, My children, to the Father for My errant children on earth. That is why I have been placed here as a Mediatrix between God and man. My Son has deemed this necessary.” – Our Lady, August 14, 1972

Woman Clothed with Sun

Woman Clothed with Sun

By Bro. Joel Roma

CFD Lapulapu Chapter


The image of the woman clothed with sun seen by St. John in Rev. 12: 1 was the present image of the new heavenly Jerusalem and the glorifying image of the Blessed virgin Mary.
Here is the explanation:


When John said that the woman was in pain nearly giving birth (Rev. 12: 2)he was referring to the historical background of the woman(not an allusion to the Blessed Virgin Mary because she is not part of the curses, including the birth pains, given by God to Eve in Gen. 3: 16). The historical background of the woman was that she was alluded to the heavenly Zion of the old covenant (cf. Isaiah 62). The place where the souls of the elect of the old testamant people were placed and God wanted a new name for her and wanted to marry her in the near foture. Remember that the souls of the elect in this place have not yet reached heaven (new Jerusalem) and all of them were waiting for the coming of the Messiah.(Jesus told us that nobody has gone up to heaven John 3: 13 and no one has seen the Father except him who comes from the Father John 6: 46).

Example of this were the souls confined only underneath the altar as seen by St. John in Rev. 6: 9-10 which is different in stature as the souls of the elect seen in Rev. 7: 9-10. As Jesus Christ ascended to heaven according to St. Paul, Jesus has with him many captives (Ephesians 4: 8), the prophesy then of Isaiah 66: 8 that in an instant Zion will give birth of her children, thus comes to its fulfillment (Rev. 7: 9-10).


But, the body and blood of Jesus that made the perfect sacrifice to God (Heb. 9: 14)came from the Blessed Virgin Mary (Heb 2: 14) because without her the perfect sacrifice of Jesus would have had not fulfilled. So the woman in Rev. 12: 1 could be alluded to the Blessed Virgin Mary either.

AN APPEAL TO GERRY SOLIMAN

AN APPEAL TO GERRY SOLIMAN

by Atty. Marwil Llasos

Gerry Soliman of Solutions Finder Apologetics, also a moderator or the Bereans Apologetics Research Ministry, published an article in his blog pointing to a contradiction between Rev. Fr. Abraham P. Arganiosa, CRS and myself regarding the identity of the woman in Revelation 12 as Mary is literal or not.

Mr. Soliman capitalized on Fr. Abe’s statement that the woman in Revelation 12:1 is Mary literally and juxtaposed it to my statement that we don’t take Revelation 12:2 literally. He then concluded that there was a contradiction.

In an article, I pointed to Gerry Soliman that there was no contradiction at all because Fr. Arganiosa and I were discussing different issues. Fr. Arganiosa’s statement which Mr. Soliman cited addressed the question of who is the woman of Revelation 12 (verse 1, to be exact). My statement on the other hand is focused on the interpretation of “birth pains” in Revelation 12 verse 2. Everyone can read my articles below and check the links on Gerry Soliman’s blog.

Immediately after my article was posted, Mr. Gerry Soliman took issue with the part on the canon of scripture and promised to prepare a “counter-argument” on my article over the weekend. I was of course looking forward to Gerry Soliman’s article.

I was sorely disappointed by Gerry Soliman’s answer. As a Christian, I expected him to own up to his mistake and apologize for something wrong. Instead, Mr. Soliman conveniently skirted the main issue and proceeded to delve on other points.

I understand a person’s need to save one’s face and dignity. But admitting that one committed a mistake and apologizing for it would not make anyone a lesser person. Christianity does not think that way.

Despite the animosity between us, I believe that Gerry Soliman is capable of recognizing his mistake and apologizing for it. Rodimus did that. And we were deeply humbled by that truly magnanimous gesture.

I will respond to the points raised by Mr. Gerry Soliman, but I wish to focus first on this issue to that we will not be sidetracked from the real score.

The issue is: Did Fr. Abraham Arganiosa and I contradict each other based on our statements that Mr. Soliman quoted in his blog?

That issue was squarely raised in my previous articles. Although this issue stared at Mr. Soliman in the face, he cavalierly ignored it. Indeed, Mr. Soliman skirted it and went at great lengths to evade it.

This may be unsolicited, but let’s help Gerry Soliman appreciate the issue. I hope he will be open-minded and Christian enough to see his mistake. And we are Christian enough to accept an apology.

Mr. Soliman quoted precisely these words from Fr. Arganiosa:

I DIDN’T SAY THAT ‘THE WOMAN CLOTHE WITH THE SUN’ SOMETIMES REFERS TO MARY. IT REFERS TO MARY LITERALLY ALWAYS AND AT ALL TIMES BECAUSE SHE IS THE MOTHER OF THE KING OF ALL NATIONS.(emphasis added)

And then he quoted me:

To answer Mr. Soliman, verse 2 of Revelation 12 does not in any way affect the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Because, just like Mr. Soliman, we don’t interpret it literally. I hold Mr. Soliman’s word that he does not interpret Revelation 12:2 literally. And so do we.(emphasis added)

What was Mr. Soliman’s conclusion? A contradiction! What was his basis? Tunog system! Because Father Arganiosa’s statement said that the woman clothed with the sun refers to Mary literally and my statement mentioned that we don’t interpret it (Rev. 12:2) literally, there must be a contradiction, right? WRONG!

I already explained how Fr. Arganiosa and I were taken out of context. The specific statements Gerry Soliman quoted from us were discussing two (2) different issues. Fr. Abe’s statement was concerned about the identity of the woman in Revelation 12:1. My statement was concerned about the interpretation of “birth pains” in Revelation 12:2. I accused Mr. Soliman of “intellectual dishonesty” because he knew fully well that my statement was discussing “birth pains” because I was responding to the very question that he asked me.

More than that, I would like to believe that as a “Bible Christian,” Mr. Soliman knows his Bible very well.

He knows that the expression “woman clothed with the sun” (which Fr. Arganiosa was identifying in the statement quoted from him by Gerry Soliman) is found in verse 1 of chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation:

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head” (Rev. 12:1, NIV).

On the other hand, the verse I was specifically commenting on is verse 2, chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation:

“She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth” (Rev. 12:2, NIV).

And what did I say regarding that? Mr. Soliman quoted it, thus:

To answer Mr. Soliman, verse 2 of Revelation 12 does not in any way affect the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Because, just like Mr. Soliman, we don’t interpret it literally. I hold Mr. Soliman’s word that he does not interpret Revelation 12:2 literally. And so do we.”

Notice my dear readers that in the quoted statement of Mr. Soliman, I categorically stated NOT JUST ONCE BUT TWICE that what I don’t take literally is verse 2 of Revelation chapter 12. And what was that about? The “birth pains” of the woman. I was not concerned in that statement, as Fr. Arganiosa was in his, about the identity of the “woman clothed with the sun.”

Gerry Soliman did not deny that I was responding to his query on the “birth pains” in Rev. 12:2. In fact, in his answer, he categorically admitted:

“I asked him if the birth pains in verse two would in any way affect the dogma of the Immaculate Conception since God punished Eve with increased birth pains due to sin. For those who don’t know the issue yet, Revelations 12 is quoted by Roman Catholic apologists to support, among others, the Marian doctrines of her Assumption and Coronation. The problem with the chapter is on verse two where the woman is found to be in labor pains while giving birth to a child.” (http://solutions-finder.blogspot.com/2011/01/woman-of-revelations-12-responding-to.html)

Gerry, Gerry, you knew all along that I was referring to birth pains in Revelation 12:2. Yet, why did you say that I contradicted Fr. Arganiosa’s statement (the one that you quoted) which was responding to a different question on the identity of the “woman clothed with the sun”? (cf. Rev. 12:1). Despite that knowledge that I was referring to birth pains in Rev. 12:2, why did you, Gerry, made an article on how, as you yourself said I “contradicted with a fellow apologist, Fr. Abe Arganiosa whether the woman is literal or symbolical.” I would like to hear from you about this.

I appreciate Mr. Soliman’s other arguments and will gladly respond to them only after my good friend Gerry will face this issue squarely.

GERRY SOLIMAN JUST DOESN’T GET IT CORRECTLY!!!

GERRY SOLIMAN JUST DOESN’T GET IT CORRECTLY!!!

By Atty. Marwill Llasos


MR. GERRY SOLIMAN of Solutions Finder Apologetics responded to my appeal. As I expected, he would not face the issue head on. Here is how he defended himself. (http://solutions-finder.blogspot.com/2011/01/response-to-appeal-of-atty-llasos.html).

Gerry Soliman


This is how Mr. Soliman wiggles away from the issue:

“He insists that they didn’t contradict because Fr. Abe was referring to the woman in Revelations 12:1 while Atty. Llasos was referring to birth pains in Revelations 12:2, but my article which I pointed out their contradiction was about the literal or symbolical identification of the woman clothed with the sun.”

I am astonished that Mr. Soliman does not exactly understand the issue I raised. Let us dissect Mr. Soliman’s understanding of the issue, or the lack of it.

Mr. Soliman states the issue that Fr. Abraham P. Arganiosa, CRS and I did not contradict each other because Fr. Abe was referring to the woman in Revelations 12 while I was referring to birth pains in Revelations 12:2. This is inaccurate.

I wonder if Mr. Soliman has read and understood what I had written in my article. I request my readers to read it again so as not to be deceived by the Mr. Soliman’s way of inaccurately putting the issue. Here’s my article: (http://bromarwilnllasos.blogspot.com/2011/01/blog-post_24.html).

Let me state it the issue again: The issue is: Did Fr. Abraham Arganiosa and I contradict each other based on our statements that Mr. Soliman quoted in his blog?

My challenge was specific and categorical. I was referring to the exact statements that Gerry Soliman quoted from Fr. Abe and I which he said contradicted each other. The specific statements Gerry Soliman quoted from us were discussing two (2) different issues. Fr. Abe’s statement was concerned about the identity of the woman in Revelation 12:1. My statement was concerned about the interpretation of “birth pains” in Revelation 12:2.”

Here is the exact statement of Fr. Abe:


“I DIDN’T SAY THAT ‘THE WOMAN CLOTHE WITH THE SUN’ SOMETIMES REFERS TO MARY. IT REFERS TO MARY LITERALLY ALWAYS AND AT ALL TIMES BECAUSE SHE IS THE MOTHER OF THE KING OF ALL NATIONS.” (emphasis added)

And here is mine:

“To answer Mr. Soliman, verse 2 of Revelation 12 does not in any way affect the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Because, just like Mr. Soliman, we don’t interpret it literally. I hold Mr. Soliman’s word that he does not interpret Revelation 12:2 literally. And so do we.” (emphasis added)

Friends, lest it be forgotten, it was Gerry Soliman who quoted those statements from us. And my specific challenge is for him to point out that those statements he exactly quoted from us contradict each other. The problem with Mr. Soliman is that he is so reckless with his quotations in his pathetic effort to pounce upon us “contradiction.” Gerry, you brought this upon yourself. Better be careful next time.

Next, Mr. Soliman pointed out that our contradiction was about the literal or symbolical identification of the woman clothed with the sun. Yes, that may have been your point, but look at the statements that you quoted from us! I already explained that those statements that you said contradicted each other were discussing two different things. Father Abe’s quoted statement was about the identity of the woman while mine was about the interpretation of “birth pains” in Revelations 12:2.

As Mr. Soliman said, his point is that Fr. Abe’s and my contradiction was about the literal or symbolical identification of the woman clothed with the sun. But please check the exact quotes he said contradicted each other. Mr. Soliman’s article is rather brief, and I reproduce it below so that the reader can see it for themselves:

“Mary as the Woman Clothed with the Sun of Revelations 12: Symbolical or Literal?

Let the infallible Church of Rome tell you. According to Atty. Marwil Llasos, a Roman Catholic apologist specializing on Mariology:

To answer Mr. Soliman, verse 2 of Revelation 12 does not in any way affect the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Because, just like Mr. Soliman, we don’t interpret it literally.

*

I hold Mr. Soliman’s word that he does not interpret Revelation 12:2 literally. And so do we.

*

According to Fr. Abraham Arganiosa, another Roman Catholic apologist and comrade of Atty. Llasos:

*

I DIDN’T SAY THAT ‘THE WOMAN CLOTHE WITH THE SUN’ SOMETIMES REFERS TO MARY. IT REFERS TO MARY LITERALLY ALWAYS AND AT ALL TIMES BECAUSE SHE IS THE MOTHER OF THE KING OF ALL NATIONS.

*

Well if your head is aching already, so is mine. Here is the real score on the Roman Catholic Church on the woman of Revelations 12: They didn’t have any official and infallible interpretation of it during the first 300 years of Christianity. In fact, none of the church fathers during that time ever interpreted the woman as Mary. Some of the church fathers referred the woman as Israel, the people of God but never on Mary. Mary as woman clothed with the sun is not an apostolic teaching.” [http://solutions-finder.blogspot.com/2010/11/woman-clothed-with-sun-of-revelations.html].

Mr. Soliman’s concern in that article is the literal or symbolic interpretation of the woman. But look at the quotations you chose! They aren’t discussing the same issue. And Gerry Soliman knows that as in fact he now admits he does.

But he continues to skirt the issue and would like to leave it just like that. Pushed against the wall, he now offers this afterthought:

“Here is my response: You cannot disassociate the woman clothed with the sun in the identification of the birth pains.”

Gerry Soliman is now jumping now to another issue. Convenient escape, is it not?

He says that we can’t identify the woman using 12:1 alone or 12:2 alone. Did I ever say that? He is refuting a point that was never raised. And he proffered the important rule when it comes to understanding Scripture: “context, context, and more context.” Again, who opposes it?

In all things, context is very important. That’s why Gerry Soliman must have taken the context where Fr. Abe’s quoted statement was taken out. He was responding the query on the identity of the woman of Revelation 12. Likewise, if Gerry Soliman was ever concerned with context, he should have treated the statement he quoted from me based on the exact context on which appeared. And here we have Mr. Soliman pontificating on “context, context, and more context.”

Oh, and Gerry Soliman charged that I made a “lame excuse” that I was “just” referring to birth pains. Boy, here we go again! When will Gerry ever learn? Repeat: I was pointing out to the “exact quotation” that Mr. Soliman yanked from my article. And that quoted statement was precisely talking to nothing but birth pain! Lame excuse?

And here comes Gerry Soliman’s turn to turn the tables.

“Any objective reader would have to consider the context of the issue. When Fr. Abe and I briefly had a discussion about birth pains in Atty. Llasos’ blog, the identity of the woman was obviously discussed as well. As a matter of fact, the article written by Atty. Llasos in his response to me discussed first who is the woman before discussing birth pains. So if he is just discussing birth pains, I wonder if he avoided discussing who or what had these birth pains?”

Oh yes, you had that discussion about the birth pains and as you said the identity of the woman was also discussed. Where in my articles did I deny that? Again, raising an issue out of a non-issue. My article, which was prompted by your article, pointed to a specific issue. If you still don’t get it, I will re-state it for the nth time. I was concerned with the “exact quotations” that you cited in your article of November 2, 2010 which I reproduced above.

Gerry doesn’t want to face the music. Here is his lame excuse:

“Let’s recall what I said which Atty. Llasos based his statement “we don’t interpret it literally“:

Your question is not just a matter of who or what is the woman in Revelations 12, but also whether this could be understood literally or not. I think you favor more the literal understanding which points you to the blessed Mary (correct me if I am wrong). On the otherhand, I don’t interpret it literally thus, I can’t give you a name.

Since I believe this chapter is symbolical, I identify the woman as the people of God.

I was talking there about the woman and stating that the chapter is symbolical. It is understood that we considered the surrounding verses of the birth pains in Revelations 12. Fr. Abe also made an identification of who is woman before proceeding to birth pains. So when Atty. Llasos quoted from me, I don’t interpret it literally, he connected it to discussing birth pains:

To answer Mr. Soliman, verse 2 of Revelation 12 does not in any way affect the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Because, just like Mr. Soliman, we don’t interpret it literally. In his comment in my blog article, Mr. Soliman said, “I don’t interpret it literally …” to which I replied that “there are points of agreement already between his position and ours.”

Thus, the association of the woman clothed with the sun can’t be avoided.”

Gerry Soliman can say a lot of things. He can connect the “woman” to “birth pains” all he wants. He can’t rant about the unavoidable association of the woman with the birth pains all he wants. But, so what? It was not the point of my article. Everything here that Mr. Soliman says to divert the issue is inconsequential. The point that I have been making all along is that the exact statement that he quoted from me and Fr. Abe were discussing two different issues. As Mr. Soliman himself concedes, Fr. Abe also made an identification of who is woman before proceeding to birth pains. So when Atty. Llasos quoted from me, I don’t interpret it literally, he connected it to discussing birth pains.” Precisely, Mr. Soliman. Now your getting there.

“Fr. Abe also made an identification of who is woman before proceeding to birth pains.” Yes, he was making an identification of the woman before he proceeded to birth pains. And where did Mr. Soliman get the statement of Fr. Abe that you quoted? From his identification of the woman.

“So when Atty. Llasos quoted from me, I don’t interpret it literally, he connected it to discussing birth pains.” And where did he get the statement he quoted from me? From my discussion of birth pains.

Let’s not gild the lily anymore. The point has been sufficiently belabored already. And Mr. Soliman has all but conceded the point when he gave me this unsolicited advice: “Atty. Llasos, you need to look at the bigger picture. That sums up what I have to say.”

Gerry, I appreciate your advice. Don’t worry much about me. I can assure you that I do look at the bigger picture. But I look at the details, too. While looking at the vast expanse of the firmament, we should not lose sight of the nitty-gritty details.

It is regrettable indeed that Mr. Soliman would not face the issue I squarely raised. As an escape, he pointed to another contradiction of me and Fr. Abe:

“Therefore, both of Atty. Llasos and Fr. Abe contradicted each other. To repeat:

Fr. Abe: IT REFERS TO MARY LITERALLY ALWAYS AND AT ALL TIMES

Yes, there is the word birth pain or birth pang in both texts but the pain of the Woman Clothed with the Sun is due to the Birth of the Messiah

Atty. Llasos: we don’t interpret it literally

The pain the woman is suffering here is not indicating she was suffering pain in birth, but the suffering at seeing her Son’s agonizing pain and suffering on Calvary.”

By now, we know Gerry Soliman very, very well. And if he has not yet learned his lesson, we will teach him another one. In the subsequent articles, both Fr. Abe and I would (again) expose Mr. Soliman’s faulty reading comprehension and intellectual dishonesty.

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities” (Lk. 16:10, NLT).

[Note: Gerry Soliman raised other points. I reserve my right to respond to them in future articles so as not to convolute the present one. I humbly beg the indulgence of my readers. Thank you.]

Atty. Llasos, you need to look at the bigger picture. That sums up what I have to say.

Before we end, I would like to respond to Atty. Llasos’ comment on my assertion of contradition against Mr. Carlos Palad on the canon of Scripture. It’s not going to be long. Please refer to the definition of terms below which were taken from Merriam Webster online:

Definite – free of all ambiguity, uncertainty, or obscurity

Final – not to be altered or undone

Open – containing none of its endpoints

Remain – to continue unchanged

Settle – to establish or secure permanently

I am expecting that he (and probably Fr. Abe) will write bad things about me personally (as they always do) and even ridicule what I have written here in his (or their) subsequent articles. Nevertheless, I take full responsibility of what I have written so far.

Mary’s Perpetual Virginity

Mary’s Perpetual Virginity

Written by: Bro. Rey V. Entila
CFD – diocese of Bacolod (written: June 2005)


Perpetual Virginity. Perpetual, from the Latin “perpetuus”, meaning continuous, and Virginity, from the Latin “virgo” which means maiden, virgin. The Blessed Virgin Mary was a perpetual virgin before, during, and after the birth of Jesus. Her virginity is both physical and moral.

The virginity of Mary includes “mental virginity”, which is a constant virginal disposition, “sensual virginity”, which is freedom from sexual desires, and lastly, “physical virginity”, which is physical integrity. The doctrine of the Church refers primarily to her bodily integrity.

1. Virginity before the birth
Mary conceived by the Holy Ghost without the cooperation of man.

2. Virginity During the Birth of Jesus
Mary bore her Son without any violation of her virginal integrity.

3. Virginity After the Birth of Jesus
Also after the birth of Jesus Mary remained ever a virgin.

I. The Teaching of the Church

Mary’s Virginity

“From the first formulations of her faith, the Church has confessed that Jesus was conceived solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, affirming also the corporeal aspect of this event: Jesus was conceived “by the Holy Spirit without human seed”. The Fathers see in the virginal conception the sign that it truly was the Son of God who came in a humanity like our own” (CCC 496).

Mary – “ever-virgin”

“The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ’s birth “did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.” And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the “Ever-virgin” (CCC 499).

“Against this doctrine the objection is sometimes raised that the Bible mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus. The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph, ‘brothers of Jesus’, are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls ‘the other Mary’. They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression” (CCC 500).

“Mary ‘remained a virgin in conceiving her Son, a virgin in giving birth to him, a virgin in carrying him, a virgin in nursing him at her breast, always a virgin’ (St. Augustine, Serm. 186, 1: PL 38, 999): with her whole being she is ‘the handmaid of the Lord’” (Lk 1:38 (CCC510).

Council of Constantinople II

“If anyone will not confess that the Word of God … came down from the heavens and was made flesh of holy and glorious Mary, mother of God and ever-virgin, and was born from her, let him be anathema” (Anathemas Against the “Three Chapters” 2 [A.D. 553]).

II. Old Testament Prophecies

Seven hundred years before the birth of the Messiah, the prophet Isaiah prophesied to the distressed people of Israel, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isa.7:14) Although the Jews interpreted this verse for the birth of their ideal king in the person of King Hezekiah, and the young unmarried woman (Heb. almah), the New Testament Church applied this prophecy perfectly to Jesus Christ who is perfect king and Messiah who was miraculously born of a pure virgin without the seed of a man. The virgin shall give birth to “a son” and not “sons”.

Since the time of the early Church Fathers, the words of the Prophet Ezekiel were applied to Mary giving birth to only one child. – “And he said to me, ‘This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it; for the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered by it; therefore it shall remain shut”(Ezek. 44:2).

Jesus is predicted as both only child and firstborn. “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of compassion and supplication, so that, when they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a first-born” (Zec 12:10).

III. New Testament Fulfillment

a. Synoptics

The synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) explicitly tell us that the conception and birth of Jesus happened through the supernatural intervention of God in human affairs. Mary was a virgin engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together as husband and wife, the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she will conceive a child, not in the human and natural way, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s why, “Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” (Lk 1:34).

In the incident of the finding of Jesus in the temple, there was no mention that there were other younger brothers and sisters of Jesus by Mary and Joseph. Jesus could have been reprimanded for not going home in order to care for his brothers and sisters, being a responsible eldest son. But nowhere does the Bible mention this (Lk.2:41-51).

“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him” (Mk.6:3) This is the verse most often used by the Fundamentalists to “prove” that Mary is not a perpetual virgin. First, Jesus is called “the son”, not a son or one of the sons of Mary, meaning he is the only son of Mary. Second, the word “brother” in the Jewish context refers not only to being siblings under same father and mother, but also to cousins, relatives, tribesmen and fellow Israelites; therefore, one cannot make a definite conclusion that the “brothers” here means Jesus’ brothers born of Mary. Third, if the Jews would mean without a doubt that they are his real blood brothers, then the expression should be “sons of Mary” which is not used for them. Fourth, James and Joses/Joseph have another Mary as their own mother, “among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee” (Mt.27:56); “Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid” (Mark 15:47); she is oftentimes called in the Gospels as “the other Mary”: “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the sepulchre… Now after the sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulchre” (Matt. 27:61; 28:1).

“Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus.” Matt. 10:3. The three James related to Jesus are the following: James the Greater, whose brother is John, is the son of Zebedee and his mother is Mary Salome. James the Less, whose brothers are Joses and Jude, has Cleophas/Alpheus as his father and “other Mary”, the relative of Virgin Mary. The last James is mentioned in Acts 15 and Gal.2 and the writer of the Epistle of James. He is the relative of Jesus. All these three James were never mentioned as sons of Jesus’ mother Mary.

The Genealogy of the Brethren

Parents Siblings Biblical Texts
Zebedee and Salome or Mary Salome James the Greater and John the Beloved (Boanerges = Sons of thunder) Mt 10:2; Mk 1:19; Mk 3:17;
Mt.27:56; Mk.15:40;

Cleophas (Gk.)/Alpheus or Halpai (Heb.) and Mary (or the other Mary) the sister (cousin/relative) of Virgin Mary James, Joses and Jude Mt.10:3; Mt. 27:56,61; Mt 28:1; Jn.19:25; Lk 6;16; Acts 1:13 Holy Spirit (overshadowed Virgin Mary) and Virgin Mary the mother of Jesus Jesus Christ Isa 7:14; Zech 12:10;

“And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for people were saying, “He is beside himself” (Mark 3:21). Jesus’ extended family wanted to seize Jesus out of public dismay. If Jesus were the firstborn son in their family, they could not have acted in that disrespectful manner.

b. John

“So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” (Jn.19:25-27)

“For no man works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his brothers did not believe in him. Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify of it that its works are evil.” (Jn.7:3-4)

IV. Protestant Reformers on the Perpetual Virginity of Mary

Martin Luther: “It is an article of faith that Mary is Mother of the Lord and still a virgin. Christ, we believe, came forth from a womb left perfectly intact.” (Works of Luther, v. II, pp. 319-320; v. 6, p. 510.)

John Calvin: “Helvidius has shown himself too ignorant, in saying that Mary had several sons, because mention is made in some passages of the brothers of Christ” (Calvin, Opera).

“There have been certain folk who have wished to suggest from this passage [Matt 1:25] that the Virgin Mary had other children than the Son of God, and that Joseph had then dwelt with her later; but what folly this is! For the gospel writer did not wish to record what happened afterwards; he simply wished to make clear Joseph’s obedience and to show also that Joseph had been well and truly assured that it was God who had sent His angel to Mary. He had therefore never dwelt with her nor had he shared her company…. And besides this Our Lord Jesus Christ is called the first-born. This is not because there was a second or a third, but because the gospel writer is paying regard to the precedence. Scripture speaks thus of naming the first-born whether or not there was any question of the second.” (Sermon on Matthew 1:22-25, published 1562.)

Huldrich Zwingli: “I firmly believe that Mary, according to the words of the gospel as a pure Virgin brought forth for us the Son of God and in childbirth and after childbirth forever remained a pure, intact Virgin” (Zwingli Opera, v. 1, p. 424.).

Mary’s perpetual virginity was defended by Zwingli by referring to Exodus 4:22.

V. Modern-day Fundamentalist Objections Against the Doctrine of Perpetual Virginity

“…Mary had other children after Jesus. For one thing, “brothers’ and “sisters” are mentioned in the context of the family with the “carpenter’s son” and “mother,” which clearly indicates they are immediate blood bothers. For another, the Greek term for “brother” (adelphos) here is the normal word for “blood brother.” In fact, there is no single example where adelphos is used for “cousin” in the New Testament. There is a word for “cousin” (anepsios), as in Colosians 4:10, where Mark is described as “the cousin (anepsios) of Barnabas.” (Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences, P.303.)

The objection above can be answered that to prove that adelphos in the New Testament is also used for persons not related by blood is quite easy. Romans 8:29 says, “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren (adelphos).” Here, St. Paul refers to Christ as the prominent one among the brothers, not in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense.

The paragraphs below will further clarify the Biblical words that have been the cause of much confusion in the Fundamentalists’ groups today.

a. “Brothers” of Jesus

The word “brother” in Hebrew is ‘AH. Unlike the Greeks who utilize a variety of words for cousins and relatives, the Jews who are ever mindful of their common ancestry, call their close and distant relatives (Gk. “sungenis”) as ‘AH (brother). To read therefore from the New Testament that Jesus had brothers and sisters and conclude that they were his siblings in the same mother and father, is a hasty generalization. The earliest disciples who were Jews merely translated the Hebrew ‘AH to a general Greek term for brother.

Even in the Old Testament, Abraham called Lot ‘AH although Lot was Abraham’s nephew (Gk. “anepsios”) / Gen. 13:8; 14:14,16. (see also other references for the word brother which did not really mean strictly sons coming from the same mother. Gen. 29:15; Deut. 23:7; 1 Chron. 15:5-18; Jer. 34:9; Neh. 5:7 -“brethren” means kinsmen). Hebrew and Aramaic have no word for “cousin.” (2 Sam. 1:26; 1 Kings 9:13, 20:32 – 2 Kings 10:13-14 – King Ahaziah’s 42 “brethren” were really his kinsmen).
The real question is, if Jesus had brothers and sisters from Mary and Joseph, why did the Gospels not mention as close to the persecuted and dying Jesus on the way to Calvary? Or, if they were there, why did they not assert their legal right to claim Mary for their care when Jesus gave His mother Mary to his beloved disciple? The fact is, Jesus who cared for the Virgin Mary after the death of St. Joseph, hang suspended and dying on the Cross. With no sibling to care for His widowed mother, He entrusted her to John. This is the Catholic exegesis that perfectly fits the Gospel accounts, as opposed to modern-day Fundamentalists’ weak assumptions.

b. Lk.2:7 “Firstborn” (She gave birth to her firstborn son)

The next word that stirs the minds of many “Bible Christians” today is the word “firstborn”. Immediately it is erroneously concluded that there must be second born or third born or a dozen after the firstborn. But this is not correct biblical interpretation. The word “firstborn” is applied to the first male child who opens the womb of the mother, regardless whether there are other siblings afterwards or not. “Firstborn” is a technical term since one who has that title is given the privilege to receive the material and spiritual blessings of the family. The female child, although may be first in the order of siblings is never considered the firstborn.

“Consecrate to me all the first-born; whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine” (Ex.13:2).

“Behold, I have taken the Levites from among the people of Israel instead of every first-born that opens the womb among the people of Israel. The Levites shall be mine” (Nb.3:12).

”The firstling of an ass you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. All the first-born of your sons you shall redeem. And none shall appear before me empty” (Ex 34:20).

c. Matthew 1:25 (Joseph did not know her “until”)

Another word that has confused the minds of the Fundamentalists for a century now, is the word “until” in Matthew 1:25. This is a theological novelty which even the original Protestant fathers never ventured to deny the Blessed Mary’s perpetual virginity. This is again another case of theological bias in order to discredit the Catholic Church’s belief.

The American Heritage Dictionary (1982) gives the meaning of the word “until” – prep. 1. up to the time of 2. before a specified time; conj. 1. Up to the time that 2. before 3. To the point or extent that.

To conclude that the phrase “Joseph did not know her until” means Joseph had sexual relations with Mary after she gave birth to Jesus, is to do violence to the meaning of that word. In that case, the word “until” can also mean that immediately or few days after her giving birth, Joseph had relations with her, to which one may object that it is too much violence to that word. Well, that absurdity happens when one reads the Bible and interprets it by his own little learning and not according to the proper biblical context.

The following verses show the many occurrences of “until” wherein nothing happened to the contrary after it, as oppositionists assert.

”And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt.28:20, NAB); “Till I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching” (1Tim.4:13).

“For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet” (1Cor.15:25); “And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness till the day of his manifestation to Israel” (Lk 1:80). “And as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day”(Luke 2:37).

“The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet.’ (Luke 20:42-43); “and sent forth a raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth” (Gen. 8:7).

“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done that of which I have spoken to you” (Gen. 28:15); “And he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no man knows the place of his burial to this day” (Deut. 34:6).

“And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death” (2 Sam. 6:23); “So they went up to Mount Zion with gladness and joy, and offered burnt offerings, because not one of them had fallen before they returned in safety” (1 Macc. 5:54).

Given the more than a dozen examples above, one can shatter one’s deeply-held bias and replace it with a scholarly viewpoint which considers the totality of the biblical data. That data shows and proves again and again for 2000 years already the Holy Spirit’s constant and infallible guidance of the Church’s faith in the perpetual virginity of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
VI. The Testimony of the Early Church Fathers

Protoevangelion of James (120 AD). “And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by [St. Anne], saying, ‘Anne! Anne! The Lord has heard your prayer, and you shall conceive and shall bring forth, and your seed shall be spoken of in all the world.’ And Anne said, ‘As the Lord my God lives, if I beget either male or female, I will bring it as a gift to the Lord my God, and it shall minister to him in the holy things all the days of its life.’ . . . And [from the time she was three] Mary was in the temple of the Lord as if she were a dove that dwelt there” (Protoevangelium of James 4, 7).

“And when she was twelve years old there was held a council of priests, saying, ‘Behold, Mary has reached the age of twelve years in the temple of the Lord. What then shall we do with her, lest perchance she defile the sanctuary of the Lord?’ And they said to the high priest, ‘You stand by the altar of the Lord; go in and pray concerning her, and whatever the Lord shall manifest to you, that also will we do.’ . . . [A]nd he prayed concerning her, and behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him saying, ‘Zechariah! Zechariah! Go out and assemble the widowers of the people and let them bring each his rod, and to whomsoever the Lord shall show a sign, his wife shall she be. . . . And Joseph [was chosen]. . . . And the priest said to Joseph, ‘You have been chosen by lot to take into your keeping the Virgin of the Lord.’ But Joseph refused, saying, ‘I have children, and I am an old man, and she is a young girl’”.

“And Annas the scribe came to him [Joseph] . . . and saw that Mary was with child. And he ran away to the priest and said to him, ‘Joseph, whom you did vouch for, has committed a grievous crime.’ And the priest said, ‘How so?’ And he said, ‘He has defiled the virgin whom he received out of the temple of the Lord and has married her by stealth’”.

“And the priest said, ‘Mary, why have you done this? And why have you brought your soul low and forgotten the Lord your God?’ . . . And she wept bitterly saying, ‘As the Lord my God lives, I am pure before him, and know not man’”.

Origen. “The Book [the Protoevangelium] of James [records] that the brethren of Jesus were sons of Joseph by a former wife, whom he married before Mary. Now those who say so wish to preserve the honor of Mary in virginity to the end, so that body of hers which was appointed to minister to the Word . . . might not know intercourse with a man after the Holy Spirit came into her and the power from on high overshadowed her. And I think it in harmony with reason that Jesus was the firstfruit among men of the purity which consists in [perpetual] chastity, and Mary was among women. For it were not pious to ascribe to any other than to her the firstfruit of virginity” (Commentary on Matthew 2:17 [A.D. 248]).

Hilary of Poitiers. “If they [the brethren of the Lord] had been Mary’s sons and not those taken from Joseph’s former marriage, she would never have been given over in the moment of the passion [crucifixion] to the apostle John as his mother, the Lord saying to each, ‘Woman, behold your son,’ and to John, ‘Behold your mother’ [John 19:26–27), as he bequeathed filial love to a disciple as a consolation to the one desolate” (Commentary on Matthew 1:4 [A.D. 354]).

Athanasius. “Let those, therefore, who deny that the Son is by nature from the Father and proper to his essence deny also that he took true human flesh from the ever-virgin Mary” (Discourses Against the Arians 2:70 [A.D. 360]).

Jerome. “[Helvidius] produces Tertullian as a witness [to his view] and quotes Victorinus, bishop of Petavium. Of Tertullian, I say no more than that he did not belong to the Church. But as regards Victorinus, I assert what has already been proven from the gospel—that he [Victorinus] spoke of the brethren of the Lord not as being sons of Mary but brethren in the sense I have explained, that is to say, brethren in point of kinship, not by nature. [By discussing such things we] are . . . following the tiny streams of opinion. Might I not array against you the whole series of ancient writers? Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, and many other apostolic and eloquent men, who against [the heretics] Ebion, Theodotus of Byzantium, and Valentinus, held these same views and wrote volumes replete with wisdom. If you had ever read what they wrote, you would be a wiser man” (Against Helvidius: The Perpetual Virginity of Mary 19 [A.D. 383]).

“We believe that God was born of a virgin, because we read it. We do not believe that Mary was married after she brought forth her Son, because we do not read it. . . . You [Helvidius] say that Mary did not remain a virgin. As for myself, I claim that Joseph himself was a virgin, through Mary, so that a virgin Son might be born of a virginal wedlock” (ibid., ).

Ambrose of Milan. “Imitate her [Mary], holy mothers, who in her only dearly beloved Son set forth so great an example of material virtue; for neither have you sweeter children [than Jesus], nor did the Virgin seek the consolation of being able to bear another son” (Letters 63:111 [A.D. 388]).

Pope Siricius I. “You had good reason to be horrified at the thought that another birth might issue from the same virginal womb from which Christ was born according to the flesh. For the Lord Jesus would never have chosen to be born of a virgin if he had ever judged that she would be so incontinent as to contaminate with the seed of human intercourse the birthplace of the Lord’s body, that court of the eternal king” (Letter to Bishop Anysius [A.D. 392]).

Augustine. “In being born of a Virgin who chose to remain a Virgin even before she knew who was to be born of her, Christ wanted to approve virginity rather than to impose it. And he wanted virginity to be of free choice even in that woman in whom he took upon himself the form of a slave” (Holy Virginity 4:4 [A.D. 401]).

“It was not the visible sun, but its invisible Creator who consecrated this day for us, when the Virgin Mother, fertile of womb and integral in her virginity, brought him forth, made visible for us, by whom, when he was invisible, she too was created. A Virgin conceiving, a Virgin bearing, a Virgin pregnant, a Virgin bringing forth, a Virgin perpetual. Why do you wonder at this, O man?” (Sermons 186:1 [A.D. 411]).

“Heretics called Antidicomarites are those who contradict the perpetual virginity of Mary and affirm that after Christ was born she was joined as one with her husband” (Heresies 56 [A.D. 428]).

Cyril of Alexandria. “[T]he Word himself, coming into the Blessed Virgin herself, assumed for himself his own temple from the substance of the Virgin and came forth from her a man in all that could be externally discerned, while interiorly he was true God. Therefore he kept his Mother a virgin even after her childbearing” (Against Those Who Do Not Wish to Confess That the Holy Virgin is the Mother of God 4 [A.D. 430]).

Pope Leo I. “His [Christ’s] origin is different, but his [human] nature is the same. Human usage and custom were lacking, but by divine power a Virgin conceived, a Virgin bore, and Virgin she remained” (Sermons 22:2 [A.D. 450]).

Mary the Mother of God

Mary the Mother of God

Written by: Bro. Rey V. Entila
CFD – Diocese of Bacolod (Written: June 2005)

The Blessed Virgin Mary, by giving birth to Jesus Christ who is God the second Person of the Holy Trinity, is truly called the Mother of God.

I. The Teaching of the Church

“Called in the Gospels “the mother of Jesus”, Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as “the mother of my Lord”. In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father’s eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly ‘Mother of God’ (Theotokos).” (CCC 495)

Council of Ephesus (431 AD)

“We confess, then, our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, perfect God and perfect man, of a rational soul and a body, begotten before all ages from the Father in his Godhead, the same in the last days, for us and for our salvation, born of Mary the Virgin according to his humanity, one and the same consubstantial with the Father in Godhead and consubstantial with us in humanity, for a union of two natures took place. Therefore we confess one Christ, one Son, one Lord. According to this understanding of the unconfused union, we confess the holy Virgin to be the Mother of God because God the Word took flesh and became man and from his very conception united to himself the temple he took from her” (Formula of Union [A.D. 431]).

“Mary is truly “Mother of God” since she is the mother of the eternal Son of God made man, who is God himself”(CCC 509).

“The Virgin Mary “cooperated through free faith and obedience in human salvation” (Lumen Gentium 56). She uttered her yes “in the name of all human nature” (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 30, 1). By her obedience she became the new Eve, mother of the living” (CCC 511).

II. Old Testament Prophecies

Right after the Fall of our First Parents, Adam and Eve, God delivered the first good news (protoevangelion) saying, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen.3:15). There shall be enmity between Satan (the serpent) and the woman.

Since Eve has succumbed to the temptations of the devil, she is not the woman that will have enmity (war, deep opposition) with the serpent. That would be another woman (Mary) whose seed (Greek “spermatos”) will be against Satan’s seed. This is the one and only time in the whole of the Bible that the woman will have a seed, which is naturally applied to men. This even predicts the virginal conception of Jesus by the Virgin Mary. Finally, the woman’s seed shall crush the serpent’s (Satan’s) head. It will be the Promised Messiah and His mother, the woman, is Mary.

Another prophecy made some 700 years before the birth of Jesus, says, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isa.7:14) The young woman (Greek, parthenos; Hebrew, almah) who will give birth to the Immanuel (literally, “God with us”), is Mary. Therefore, Mary is the Mother of God. Although this verse may have been used by the Jews to refer to King Hezekiah of Judah, the New Testament writers who were inspired by the same Holy Spirit that inspired Old Testament writers, apply this to Jesus. This is the sensus plenior (full sense). The sign there became a miraculous sign because the woman was not just any young woman who was married to conceive a child, but a virgin mother. The son was not just an ordinary son, but the Son of God, whose virgin mother is Mary the Mother of God.

The third of the Old Testament prophecies that concerns about the mother and son relation is in Isaiah 9:5-6. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” That child is born of the Virgin Mary. Since that child is called the Mighty God and Mary is His mother, Mary is therefore the Mother of God.

III. New Testament Fulfillment

a. Synoptics

“And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Lk 1:43). St. Elizabeth who was in verse 41, filled with the Holy Spirit, calls Mary the “mother of my Lord”. The Lord (Gk. “Kyrios”) in the Septuagint or Greek version of the Old Testament refers to the “Lord your God” (Deut.6:4). Both Elizabeth and Luke the writer of the Gospel, were guided by the infallible Holy Spirit to proclaim Jesus as Lord or God. Therefore, Mary is the mother of God.

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit… ‘Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel’ (which means, God with us).” (Mt.1:18,23). The Old Testament prophecy is now accomplished through the virgin Mary who will bear a son called Emmanuel = “God is with us”. The suffix “el” in Emmanuel in Hebrew means “God”. Its plural form, Elohim, found in Gen.1:1 signifies that God is not just one person (cf. Gen.1:26 – “let us”) but later revealed in the new Testament as a Trinity of Persons. It is the Second Person of the three Divine Persons that Mary was chosen to be the mother. Hence, she is called a divine mother, not that she is divine but that her son is Divine.

“And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. (Luke 1:35). The child born will be called holy, “the Son of God” . The definite article “the” signifies exclusiveness and uniqueness, whereas the “Son of God” proclaims that he has same nature (Gk. Homoousious) with God, but not the same person. Jesus is Son of God by eternal generation having been begotten, not made, not made by the Father from all eternity. Since Mary is declared to be the bearer of this eternal Son of God, then she is the Mother of God.

There are still several passages in the New Testament which prove the point under discussion, worthy of mentioning but need not be given further explanations. “…and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh… Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him” (Mt.2:11,13,20).

“While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood outside, asking to speak to him.” (Mt.12:46) Again, “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brethren James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?” (Mt.13:55) Lastly, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.” (Luke 1:31).

b. John the Evangelist

John who is both an apostle and evangelist describes the mother of Jesus as the “woman”.

“On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there” (Jn.2:1).

“When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come” (Jn. 2: 3-4).

“When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” (Jn. 19: 26).

c. St. Paul the Apostle

“But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law” (Gal.4:4) Here St. Paul uses the word “woman” found in the protoevangelion or the first good news in Gen.3:15 “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” This word takes a mysterious meaning since the woman in this passage will have a son who will crush the serpent’s (satan’s) head. Since that Son is Jesus, Mary is the woman. St. John who was privileged to take care of the Blessed Mother after the death of Jesus on the Cross used this hallowed word “woman” in the beginning (ch.2) and end (ch.19) of his Gospel. “Woman” is found in the beginning (Gen.3:15) and end (Rev.12) of the whole Bible.

IV. Protestant Reformers on Mary as Mother of God

In this research on the Marian doctrines, the researcher also hopes to show from the writings of the Protestant Reformers in the 16th century the truth and facts that even these vehemently anti-Catholic writers did not consider Catholic Marian doctrines as unbiblical. This is contrary to the positions held by modern Protestants today, who in their theological chaos, even rejected what their forebears held dearly. This might be surprising to the eyes and ears of Evangelicals and Fundamentalists today, but it may just indicate that due to the lack of historical scholarship in favor of the “Bible alone” theory, they may have forgotten their doctrinal heritage of the 16th century.

First and foremost among the Protestant Reformers is their unwavering faith that Mary is the Mother of God. Below are the citations of their words and works.

a. Martin Luther

“In this work whereby she was made the Mother of God, so many and such good things were given her that no one can grasp them…. Not only was Mary the mother of Him who is born [in Bethlehem], but of Him who, before the world, was eternally born of the Father, from a Mother in time and at the same time man and God.” (Weimer, p. 572.)

b. John Calvin

“It cannot be denied that God in choosing and destining Mary to be the Mother of His Son, granted her the highest honor… Elizabeth calls Mary Mother of the Lord, because the unity of the person in the two natures of Christ was such that she could have said that the mortal man engendered in the womb of Mary was at the same time the eternal God” (Calvini Opera, p. 348, 35.)

c. Ulrich Zwingli

“It was given to her what belongs to no creature, that in the flesh she should bring forth the Son of God” (Zwingli, v. 6, 1, p. 639.).

IV. Modern day Fundamentalist Objections Against the title “Mother of God”

“As God, He (Jesus) had no beginning, and He was Mary’s Creator. As God, He cannot possibly have a mother. Mary cannot be the mother of God the Father, nor the mother of God the Holy Spirit. In the same way, she is not the mother of God the Son.” (Pezzotta, p. 137.)

However, the ex-Salesian priest-turned Baptist, Mr. Anthony Pezzotta, has committed grave heresy when he denied the Blessed Mother’s title Mother of God. First, he denied the clear Biblical teaching that the Word (Jesus) who is God became flesh and dwelt among us (Jn.1:1,14) with Mary as his mother (Jn.2:1-4). Since Jesus is God, and Mary was His chosen mother, therefore, Mary is the Mother of God. To deny that Jesus is God is to fall into the condemned Arian heresy of the fourth century. In the same way, to deny that Mary is the Mother of God is to commit the condemned heresy of Nestorius in the fifth century and leads to the heresy of Arius once again. Even Protestant Reformers proclaimed the Catholic belief concerning Mary as Mother of God. Therefore, while biblical, historical, logical and philosophical evidence points to the Catholic faith of the Divine Motherhood of Mary, nothing supports the heresy of Pezzotta.

V. The Testimony of the Early Church Fathers

The Church Fathers are the well-known Christian teachers of the early centuries of Christianity who upheld and defended the teachings of Christ which were passed down from generation to generation. Four characteristics are necessary for a person to be qualified as a Church Father: 1) Antiquity, 2) Orthodoxy, 3) Holiness, and 4) Approval of the Church. The last of the Church Fathers of the West is St. Isidore of Seville (560-636). In the East, it is St. John Damascene (675-749). These Church Fathers were the witnesses of the true Apostolic Tradition that closely guarded the pure deposit of the Christian faith. To deny their authority and orthodoxy is tantamount to the denial of the constant guidance of Christ and the Holy Spirit to His established Church which was tasked to continue the saving mission of Christ. The following are the quotations from the early Church Fathers on Mary as the Mother of God.

a. Irenaeus. “The Virgin Mary, being obedient to his word, received from an angel the glad tidings that she would bear God” (Against Heresies, 5:19:1 [A.D. 189]).

b. Athanasius. “The Word begotten of the Father from on high, inexpressibly, inexplicably, incomprehensibly, and eternally, is he that is born in time here below of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God” (The Incarnation of the Word of God 8 [A.D. 365]).

c. Jerome. “As to how a virgin became the Mother of God, he [Rufinus] has full knowledge; as to how he himself was born, he knows nothing” (Against Rufinus 2:10 [A.D. 401]).

“Do not marvel at the novelty of the thing, if a Virgin gives birth to God” (Commentaries on Isaiah 3:7:15 [A.D. 409]).

d. Cyril of Alexandria. “I have been amazed that some are utterly in doubt as to whether or not the holy Virgin is able to be called the Mother of God. For if our Lord Jesus Christ is God, how should the holy Virgin who bore him not be the Mother of God?” (Letter to the Monks of Egypt 1 [A.D. 427]).

“If anyone will not confess that the Emmanuel is very God, and that therefore the holy Virgin is the Mother of God, inasmuch as in the flesh she bore the Word of God made flesh [John 1:14]: let him be anathema” (ibid.).

e. Vincent of Lerins. “Nestorius, whose disease is of an opposite kind, while pretending that he holds two distinct substances in Christ, brings in of a sudden two persons, and with unheard-of wickedness would have two sons of God, two Christs,—one, God, the other, man; one, begotten of his Father, the other, born of his mother. For which reason he maintains that Saint Mary ought to be called, not the Mother of God, but the Mother of Christ” (The Notebooks 12[35] [A.D. 434]).

The following excerpts are from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the authoritative and magisterial document that proclaims the unchanging truth about the Blessed Mother, her relationship to Jesus as well as to the Church which is His body (Col.1:18).

“Since the Virgin Mary’s role in the mystery of Christ and the Spirit has been treated, it is fitting now to consider her place in the mystery of the Church. “The Virgin Mary . . . is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and of the redeemer. . . . She is ‘clearly the mother of the members of Christ’ . . . since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head.” “Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church” (CCC 963).

“Mary’s role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. “This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ’s virginal conception up to his death”; it is made manifest above all at the hour of his Passion:
Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice in her mother’s heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her: to be given, by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: “Woman, behold your son” (CCC 964).

“After her Son’s Ascension, Mary “aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers.” In her association with the apostles and several women, “we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation”(CCC 965).