Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Increase Of Marian Devotion

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
All Christians recognize the Virgin Mary as the mother of Jesus Christ. While Catholic and Orthodox churches have granted Mary a special place of devotion as an intercessor, Protestants believe Jesus is the one true Mediator between God and the faithful. Through the centuries, the role of Mary in the Catholic Church has continued to evolve and today there are more religious organizations dedicated to promoting Marian devotion than ever before. Also popular are shrines such as Fatima, Portugal, and Lourdes, France, where visions of Mary found to be authentic by the Catholic Church were reported in 1917 and 1858, respectively. One of the most popular pilgrimage destinations is Medjugorje, located in the Eastern European country of Bosnia-Herzegovina, although the Roman Catholic Church has not ruled whether the apparitions reported there are authentic. The site has reportedly attracted between 20 and 25 million visitors since six youths first reported receiving messages from the Virgin Mary in 1981. A lot of the renewed enthusiasm for Mary can be attributed to Medjugorje's rise in popularity. Also helping is the position of the pope, who believes Mary intervened in an assassination attempt against him. Often, Mary devotion may appeal to Catholics who believe the church is too remote, according to Rev. Thomas Thompson, director of the University of Dayton's Marian Library. "Sometimes, unconsciously, Marianism is a type of protest against too intellectual an approach to worship," he said. (From Crosswalks)

The Roman Catholic Church has not changed since the Middle Ages for the good; it has merely popularized its theology and adapted it to modern trends. The rise of feminism particularly has made Marian devotion popular, as one Catholic authority has admitted: "Many women now prefer a feminine intercessor, and Marianism provides that channel." If people would only read the Bible they would discover that there is only one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5).

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