As a practicing Catholic, I frequently hear non-Catholic Christians say that Catholics “worship” Mary. They worry that statues of Mary and the rosary take our focus off of Jesus Himself. And though this is a misinterpretation, I can appreciate their concern. Mary is not “worshipped” by Catholics, but revered with special honor, given her role in the life of Christ and her own holiness.
As Mary is truly the inspiration for Knots of Grace, let’s explore a little further how and why Catholics view Mary as our Mother, and the moments in Scripture that inspire our reverence for her.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, in Scripture & Tradition
Whether you’re Catholic or not, I think most people of faith can agree that Mary is someone we should all aspire to be in our daily lives. It’s clear she was a very holy woman even at a young age when the angel Gabriel greeted her, saying, “Blessed are you among women” (Luke 1:28).
She also had such a deep trust in God, especially when she responded to the news she would be the mother of Jesus with, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word (Luke 1:38). Her love of and trust in God, plus her huge “yes” to what God asked of her is, by itself, reason enough for us to honor and respect her!
Many Christians only associate Mary with the birth of Jesus. But as Catholics we also look to other parts of Scripture to see her importance in salvation history and in the life of Christ.
For example, at the Wedding at Cana, Mary is the one to encourage Jesus to complete His first public miracle, saying to the headwaiter (and to us), “do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5).
Jesus also spent most of His life with Mary before beginning His ministry around age 30. The fact that Jesus spent so much time with His mother before going out into the world is a reminder of how much Mary meant to Jesus. It also reminds us of just how human He was, as we, too, spend much of our time with our parents before setting out on our own.
And in one of the most powerful scenes of Scripture at the foot of the cross, Jesus says to Mary, “Woman, behold, your son!” and to John, “Behold, your mother!” (John 19:26-30). This is the moment that marks Mary becoming the Mother of the Church.
Mary as Our Mother
The easiest way to explain Mary as our Mother, in practical terms, is to think of a family. With God as our Father, Mary is the one we go to in order to help us get closer to both God the Father and her Son.
In doing so, we don’t “worship” her as we do God, because she is not God. But because of her faithfulness, humility, and her role as the mother of Jesus Christ, she receives special reverence and honor.
She was human, and is, as we view the saints, now in Heaven with God, and therefore can intercede for us. The best example of this is again, the Wedding at Cana. Mary became aware of the needs of the wedding party and brought those needs to Jesus. And she does the same for us when we ask for her intercession.
The Rosary And Jesus
In her humility, Mary always ultimately points us to Jesus. This is especially the case with the rosary. Though the rosary honors Mary and asks for her intercession, each decade (10 beads or knots) is spent reflecting on some moment of the life of Christ, often through Mary’s eyes.
If you’re learning to pray the rosary or need a reminder of the mysteries every now and then, check out the Embossed Rosary Card in the shop -- the perfect guide no matter where you’re praying.
For her love for humanity, her faith in God, and her special role as mother of our Savior, we pray, “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”
Seeing the role of Mary in Jesus’ life through Scripture helps demystify her as our Mother. Her own holiness inspires us to trust completely in God and ultimately brings us closer to her Son!
A beautiful rosary directs our attention to the mysteries of faith and to Mary as our Mother. Find our selection of full rosaries here!