Monday, March 5, 2012

Ad Jesum Per Mariam

One of the biggest question that is asked about Catholicism is it's special devotion and honor given to the Theotókos. Sometimes these Protestants believe that we are worshipping her, but the truth is we do not worship Mary because she is powerless alone. Without God, Mary can't do anything. We simply implore her intercession. We ask her to bring our prayer to Jesus. Only Jesus can grant our prayers. Mary brought salvation to the world, Jesus. She is cannot save us, but she can draw us close to our salvation. Mary offers Jesus to us. She pushes us to be closer to her Son, Jesus. 

Ad Jesum Per Mariam

This phrase means "To Jesus through Mary." She leads us to Jesus, our Lord and Savior. This belief is taken from the first miracle of Jesus at Cana. 

 "1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
   4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.
 6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
 8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
   They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
 11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him." -John 2:1-11

The Meaning of the Passage

Why did the servants go to His mother? They asked her intercession to ask Jesus to help them. Clearly they asked her. However it shows that the miracle did not come from Mary, but from Jesus. Did the servants worship Mary because they asked her to intercede? Simply they implored her intercession. Then Mary leads the servants to Jesus by telling them, "Do whatever He tells you." Mary tells us to do the will of Jesus. By her intercession Christ showed His glory to us.

Mary: Leading us to the Light and Salvation

One of many representations of Mary, called the Mother of Perpetual Help, shows us an interesting message. Mary is the center of the image, as we can clearly see. If we dissect the image, we see messages hidden in the image. Mary is known as the Mother of Perpetual Help. Mary is known as the Mother of perpetual Help, this means that Jesus is our help that he never cease helping us. 

Even though Mary is the center of the painting, her hands points to Jesus. She is clearly leading us to Jesus, our perpetual Helper. She comforts Jesus because He sees His passion and death. As she points to Jesus, He is shown with the symbols of His Passion that leads to our Salvation. Jesus is our salvation and help.

On the painting we see the words 'MP-ΘΥ (Μήτηρ Θεού, Mother of God); OAM (Archangel Michael); OAΓ (Archangel Gabriel); and Iς-Xς ( Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, Jesus Christ ). They label the names of the people represented in the image. 

Prayer to Mary, Mother of Perpetual Help

O Mother of Perpetual Help 
To thee we come imploring help. 
Behold us here, from far and near, 
To ask of thee our help to be; 
Behold us here, from far and near, 
To ask of thee our help to be. 

Perpetual help we beg of thee; 
Our souls from sin and sorrow free; 
Direct our wandering feet aright, 
And be thyself out own true light; 
Direct our wandering feet aright, 
And be thyself out own true light. 

And when this life is o'er for me, 
This last request I ask of thee: 
Obtain for me in heaven this grace, 
To see my God there face to face; 
Obtain for me in heaven this grace, 
To see my God there face to face. 


  1. A protestant might respond that John 2 is a narrative portion of Scripture and that a rule of exegesis is never to confuse description with prescription.