Catholics treat Mary as if she is the Holy Spirit

And that is a huge error.

I am used to seeing Catholics use arguments for praying to Mary and other “saints” to ask them to pray to God for us.  I think those are un-biblical and anti-biblical for many reasons.  But a friend put a meme on my Facebook page with this that had an even more obvious error:

( This prayer was said during the Holy Father’s August 15, 2004 visit to Lourdes, France. The Pope asked her among other things to “be our guide along the paths of the world.”)

Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman, Blessed by the Most High! Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era, We join in your song of praise, to celebrate the Lord’s mercy, to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom and the full liberation of humanity.

Hail Mary, lowly handmaid of the Lord, Glorious Mother of Christ! Faithful Virgin, holy dwelling-place of the Word, Teach us to persevere in listening to the Word, and to be docile to the voice of the Spirit, attentive to his promptings in the depths of our conscience and to his manifestations in the events of history.

Hail Mary, Woman of sorrows, Mother of the living! Virgin spouse beneath the Cross, the new Eve, Be our guide along the paths of the world. Teach us to experience and to spread the love of Christ, to stand with you before the innumerable crosses on which your Son is still crucified.

Hail Mary, woman of faith, First of the disciples! Virgin Mother of the Church, help us always to account for the hope that is in us, with trust in human goodness and the Father’s love. Teach us to build up the world beginning from within: in the depths of silence and prayer, in the joy of fraternal love, in the unique fruitfulness of the Cross.

Holy Mary, Mother of believers, Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us. Amen.

Carefully note these phrases: “Teach us . . .Be our guide . . .help us . . .Teach us . . . ” These are all roles of the Holy Spirit, not Mary. This prayer is blasphemous and an indictment of the Mariolatry of the Roman Catholic Church.  Their other arguments for praying to the dead can be thoroughly refuted as well (see Satan knows where your lost keys are), but this prayer by a Pope alone shows how wrong they are on this topic.

If you ascribe any roles of the Trinity to anyone other the Father, Son or Holy Spirit, it is un-Christian.

P.S. As Neil Kirkland noted in the comments, Muslims make a similar error with Mary, thinking she is part of the Trinity instead of the Holy Spirit.

21 thoughts on “Catholics treat Mary as if she is the Holy Spirit”

  1. Once again you speak of things you know nothing about and present them as truth. To say we as Catholics confuse Mary with the Holy Spirit is an outright lie. The Holy Spirit is God the uncreated, Mary is His creation. She is obviously favored by God due to the role He gave her in salvation history. Even she says in the magnificat when visiting Elizabeth “from henceforth all generations will call me blessed” or from Gabriel, “Hail full of grace.” We ascribe to Mary the status that Holy Scripture gives her, the mother of our Lord, and as fellow sons of hers, “woman behold your son,” we go to her as all children go to their mother. I can also point out again in Revelations the Saints in Heaven bringing the prayers of the living faithful before the Throne. How did they get those prayers if they were going to God alone? You can also look at the early history of the Church and see the prayers for the dead and requesting intercessory prayers of the Saints and Martyrs. Believe me Catholics spend more time contemplating, listening to, and praying to the Holy Spirit than you think. Every Mass has several prayers and petitions to the Holy Spirit. At every Mass we acknowledge that we are sinners and have no hope except in God. At every Mass we ask the Lord to enter our hearts and to heal our brokenness. So at every Mass in our prayers we pray the sinner’s prayer, not in the same words but it’s there. Each and every one of us like you is working on getting closer in relationship with God, we just like to ask those already singing at His feet to help us along the way.


    1. Jordan,

      I noticed that you completely ignored the post, which listed specific attributes of the Holy Spirit that a Catholic Pope ascribed to Mary. And the Facebook link had 100,000+ “likes.”

      Thanks for the concession speech.

      P.S. Blanket references to the early church don’t prove your point. You may have noticed that Paul sent a few letters to the early church correcting things they did wrong.


      1. Yes he did and do you see any letters in the early Church from those who were Paul’s companions correcting these practices, does Paul correct any of them? The answer is no. The Pope was at a site where our Lady appeared and was asking for her intercession to bring him closer to God, and thanking her for her appearance there. In no way shape or form did the Pope ascribe any worship due only to God to Mary. Saint Pope John Paul ii was a master theologian with more years of study and prayer than you or I and yet you claim that he is confused about the roles of Mary and the Holy Spirit, that he somehow mistakes the two. That is a lie and a ridiculous statement. Once again I strongly urge you to study these areas you are ignorant in so that you can stop making buffoonish statements that make you appear completely naive and hateful.


      2. Fascinating. You have now added two more concession speeches that deliberately ignore the points I made about attributing traits of the Holy Spirit to Mary.

        And you added new false statements about Paul not correcting the practices (argument from silence, anyone?) while ignoring that the Catholic Mariolotry was obviously not included in the Bible.

        Thanks again for playing. I know you’ll come back with more diversions, but I’m not in the mood to post those. I’ve proved my points, with your help, multiple times now. The Pope falsely and blasphemously attributed roles of the Holy Spirit to Mary. That should bother you.


      3. “Mary” did not appear at any site. These are demonic manifestations directing people to NOT go to Christ as intermediary, but always making “Mary” the intermediary between man and Christ and man and God. Only one time in Scripture did God allow someone dead to appear to the living, and it was for rebuke. Mary would NEVER appear to the living for any reason.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. The word “worship” has undergone a change in meaning in English. It comes from the Old English weorthscipe, which means the condition of being worthy of honor, respect, or dignity. To worship in the older, larger sense is to ascribe honor, worth, or excellence to someone, whether a sage, a magistrate, or God.

        For many centuries, the term worship simply meant showing respect or honor, and an example of this usage survives in contemporary English. British subjects refer to their magistrates as “Your Worship,” although Americans would say “Your Honor.” This doesn’t mean that British subjects worship their magistrates as gods (in fact, they may even despise a particular magistrate they are addressing). It means they are giving them the honor appropriate to their office, not the honor appropriate to God.

        Outside of this example, however, the English term “worship” has been narrowed in scope to indicate only that supreme form of honor, reverence, and respect that is due to God. This change in usage is quite recent. In fact, one can still find books that use “worship” in the older, broader sense. This can lead to a significant degree of confusion, when people who are familiar only with the use of words in their own day and their own circles encounter material written in other times and other places.

        In Scripture, the term “worship” was similarly broad in meaning, but in the early Christian centuries, theologians began to differentiate between different types of honor in order to make more clear which is due to God and which is not.

        As the terminology of Christian theology developed, the Greek term latria came to be used to refer to the honor that is due to God alone, and the term dulia came to refer to the honor that is due to human beings, especially those who lived and died in God’s friendship—in other words, the saints. Scripture indicates that honor is due to these individuals (Matt. 10:41b). A special term was coined to refer to the special honor given to the Virgin Mary, who bore Jesus—God in the flesh—in her womb. This term, hyperdulia (huper [more than]+ dulia = “beyond dulia”), indicates that the honor due to her as Christ’s own Mother is more than the dulia given to other saints. It is greater in degree, but still of the same kind. However, since Mary is a finite creature, the honor she is due is fundamentally different in kind from the latria owed to the infinite Creator.

        All of these terms—latria, dulia, hyperdulia—used to be lumped under the one English word “worship.” Sometimes when one reads old books discussing the subject of how particular persons are to be honored, they will qualify the word “worship” by referring to “the worship of latria” or “the worship of dulia.” To contemporaries and to those not familiar with the history of these terms, however, this is too confusing.

        Another attempt to make clear the difference between the honor due to God and that due to humans has been to use the words adore and adoration to describe the total, consuming reverence due to God and the terms venerate, veneration, and honor to refer to the respect due humans. Thus, Catholics sometimes say, “We adore God but we honor his saints.”

        Unfortunately, many non-Catholics have been so schooled in hostility toward the Church that they appear unable or unwilling to recognize these distinctions. They confidently (often arrogantly) assert that Catholics “worship” Mary and the saints, and, in so doing, commit idolatry. This is patently false, of course, but the education in anti-Catholic prejudice is so strong that one must patiently explain that Catholics do not worship anyone but God—at least given the contemporary use of the term. The Church is very strict about the fact that latria, adoration—what contemporary English speakers call “worship”—is to be given only to God.

        Though one should know it from one’s own background, it often may be best to simply point out that Catholics do not worship anyone but God and omit discussing the history of the term. Many non-Catholics might be more perplexed than enlightened by hearing the history of the word. Familiar only with their group’s use of the term “worship,” they may misperceive a history lesson as rationalization and end up even more adamant in their declarations that the term is applicable only to God. They may even go further. Wanting to attack the veneration of the saints, they may declare that only God should be honored.

        Both of these declarations are in direct contradiction to the language and precepts of the Bible. The term “worship” was used in the same way in the Bible that it used to be used in English. It could cover both the adoration given to God alone and the honor that is to be shown to certain human beings. In Hebrew, the term for worship is shakhah. It is appropriately used for humans in a large number of passages.

        For example, in Genesis 37:7–9 Joseph relates two dreams that God gave him concerning how his family would honor him in coming years. Translated literally the passage states: “‘[B]ehold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf arose and stood upright; and behold, your sheaves gathered round it, and worshiped [shakhah] my sheaf.’ . . . Then he dreamed another dream, and told it to his brothers, and said, ‘Behold, I have dreamed another dream; and behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were worshiping [shakhah] me.’”

        In Genesis 49:2-27, Jacob pronounced a prophetic blessing on his sons, and concerning Judah he stated: “Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall worship [shakhah] you (49:8).” And in Exodus 18:7, Moses honored his father-in-law, Jethro: “Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and worshiped [shakhah] him and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare, and went into the tent.”

        Yet none of these passages were discussing the worship of adoration, the kind of worship given to God.

        Honoring Saints

        Consider how honor is given. We regularly give it to public officials. In the United States it is customary to address a judge as “Your Honor.” In the marriage ceremony it used to be said that the wife would “love, honor, and obey” her husband. Letters to legislators are addressed to “The Honorable So-and-So.” And just about anyone, living or dead, who bears an exalted rank is said to be worthy of honor, and this is particularly true of historical figures, as when children are (or at least used to be) instructed to honor the Founding Fathers of America.

        These practices are entirely Biblical. We are explicitly commanded at numerous points in the Bible to honor certain people. One of the most important commands on this subject is the command to honor one’s parents: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you” (Ex. 20:12). God considered this command so important that he repeated it multiple times in the Bible (for example, Lev. 19:3, Deut. 5:16, Matt. 15:4, Luke 18:20, and Eph. 6:2–3). It was also important to give honor to one’s elders in general: “You shall rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord” (Lev. 19:32). It was also important to specially honor religious leaders: “Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron [the high priest], to give him dignity and honor” (Ex. 28:2).

        The New Testament stresses the importance of honoring others no less than the Old Testament. The apostle Paul commanded: “Pay all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due” (Rom. 13:7). He also stated this as a principle regarding one’s employers: “Slaves, be obedient to those who are your earthly masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as to Christ” (Eph. 6:5). “Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be defamed” (1 Tim. 6:1). Perhaps the broadest command to honor others is found in 1 Peter: “Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor” (1 Pet. 2:17).

        The New Testament also stresses the importance of honoring religious figures. Paul spoke of the need to give them special honor in 1 Timothy: “Let the presbyters [priests] who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching” (1 Tim. 5:17). Christ himself promised special blessings to those who honor religious figures: “He who receives a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives a righteous man [saint] because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward” (Matt. 10:41).

        So, if there can be nothing wrong with honoring the living, who still have an opportunity to ruin their lives through sin, there certainly can be no argument against giving honor to saints whose lives are done and who ended them in sanctity. If people should be honored in general, God’s special friends certainly should be honored.

        Statue Worship?

        People who do not know better sometimes say that Catholics worship statues. Not only is this untrue, it is even untrue that Catholics honor statues. After all, a statue is nothing but a carved block of marble or a chunk of plaster, and no one gives honor to marble yet unquarried or to plaster still in the mixing bowl.

        The fact that someone kneels before a statue to pray does not mean that he is praying to the statue, just as the fact that someone kneels with a Bible in his hands to pray does not mean that he is worshiping the Bible. Statues or paintings or other artistic devices are used to recall to the mind the person or thing depicted. Just as it is easier to remember one’s mother by looking at her photograph, so it is easier to recall the lives of the saints by looking at representations of them.

        The use of statues and icons for liturgical purposes (as opposed to idols) also had a place in the Old Testament. In Exodus 25:18–20, God commanded: “And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end; of one piece with the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be.”

        In Numbers 21:8–9, he told Moses: “‘Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.’ So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.” This shows the actual ceremonial use of a statue (looking to it) in order to receive a blessing from God (healing from snakebite). In John 3:14, Jesus tells us that he himself is what the bronze serpent represented, so it was a symbolic representation of Jesus. There was no problem with this statue—God had commanded it to be made—so long as people did not worship it. When they did, the righteous king Hezekiah had it destroyed (2 Kgs. 18:4). This clearly shows the difference between the proper religious use of statues and idolatry.

        When the time came to build the Temple in Jerusalem, God inspired David’s plans for it, which included “his plan for the golden chariot of the cherubim that spread their wings and covered the ark of the covenant of the Lord. All this he made clear by the writing from the hand of the Lord concerning it, all the work to be done according to the plan” (1 Chr. 28:18–19).

        In obedience to this divinely inspired plan, Solomon built two gigantic, golden statues of cherubim: “In the most holy place he made two cherubim of wood and overlaid them with gold. The wings of the cherubim together extended twenty cubits: one wing of the one, of five cubits, touched the wall of the house, and its other wing, of five cubits, touched the wing of the other cherub; and of this cherub, one wing, of five cubits, touched the wall of the house, and the other wing, also of five cubits, was joined to the wing of the first cherub. The wings of these cherubim extended twenty cubits; the cherubim stood on their feet, facing the nave. And he made the veil of blue and purple and crimson fabrics and fine linen, and worked cherubim on it” (2 Chr. 3:10–14).

        (See the Catholic Answers tract, Do Catholics Worship Statutes? for further information.)

        Imitation is the Biblical Form of Honor

        The most important form of honoring the saints, to which all the other forms are related, is the imitation of them in their relationship with God. Paul wrote extensively about the importance of spiritual imitation. He stated: “I urge you, then, be imitators of me. Therefore I sent to you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church” (1 Cor. 4:16–17). Later he told the same group: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you” (1 Cor. 11:1–2). The author of the book of Hebrews also stresses the importance of imitating true spiritual leaders: “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith” (Heb. 13:7).

        One of the most important passages on imitation is found in Hebrews. Chapter 11 of that book, the Bible’s well-known “hall of fame” chapter, presents numerous examples of the Old Testament saints for our imitation. It concludes with the famous exhortation: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us” (12:1)—the race that the saints have run before us.

        NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
        presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
        Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004
        IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
        permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
        +Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004


  2. I find it quit curious that Catholics give all this honor to the Virgin Mary, pray to her, make statues to her, and I have even seen bumper stickers claiming that the Virgin Mary will grant you salvation. Obviously, there are some Catholics who even believe that you can find salvation through faith in the Virgin! But what I find especial odd is that with all this Mary worship, that woman can find little place of ‘honor’ in the church it’s self. One woman is lifted high and equal to Jesus (in regard to providing the way of salvation) but woman in the church in contrast, are pretty low and insignificant.


  3. “Unfortunately, many non-Catholics have been so schooled in hostility toward the Church that they appear unable or unwilling to recognize these distinctions.”

    My ancestor along with his wife and children escaped with only the clothes on their backs when the Catholics destroyed their village. Other family members were killed, the church was burned and all records of the existence of my ancestors were destroyed. They were probably a little hostile.


    1. Yikes…that’s horrid….what country are your ancestors from? Why did the Catholics do that?? I am from England….from Essex….where the Catholics burned many of my ancestors at the stake….you can read all about it in the book, Fox’s Christian Martyrs.


      1. My ancestors were French Huguenots, and technically they were killed at the order of the King of France, but that was pretty much the same as the church in 1536 when the persecution started. In fairness there were revolutionary actions and fighting back on the Huguenot side too. When I think about it, it sounds a lot like what is going on in the Arab world now. My ancestor left France in the 1630’s.


      2. I had to look up the history of the French Huguenots, quite fascinating…sounds like it was a bit of a double whammy….politics and religion… goodness, the things we do to each other.


  4. Look at you people. This is why I am an atheist. You argue about something you have no knowledge about other than what you were taught and read in a book that was written a long time ago in a mostly forgotten language and translated and adjusted so many times without any references to absolute proof. And you take all of it for the only truth. You all forget the core of your religion and your bible and that is to love and respect ALL living creatures. NO exceptions! Yet here you are,bickering about whether you are praying to the right entity. You people just want to pick a fight and be right all the time,so you have a reason to pray and ask for forgiveness, which in your pathetic little minds you always get, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to live with yourself. There is a story about 2 farmers. One farmer says: My cow produces more milk than yours,therefore I treat my cow better than you do. The other farmer says: I just want my cow to be happy and if she wants to thank me by giving me milk, I am pleased with that. But I don’t expect anything from her in return. After all,the pasture was there before me……
    Stop forcing your beliefs onto others. It’s not your job. You were never asked to. Keep an open mind and respect others for who they are,regardless of what they do or don’t believe.
    Try and be a good person instead of a good christian……


    1. Hi John,

      We aren’t forcing our beliefs on anyone. We are sharing ideas and backing them up with facts and logic. I hope you keep reading and try to think clearly about these important issues.


    2. John,

      If you read the Bible you will find that Jesus pretty much summed up the core of our religion when he was asked what the greatest commandment was:

      ‘Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”’ (Matthew 22:35-40 NIV).

      Note that loving God comes first, followed by loving other people. We can also deduce from other parts of the Bible (e.g. Genesis chapters 1&2) that we are expected to be good stewards of the earth and all it’s creatures.

      I agree that these somewhat ‘robust’ discussions on something as public as the internet could easily give the impression to an outsider that we are not really following the second greatest commandment that Jesus mentioned very well. We would do well to be warned by that!

      Neil K


    3. John…..since you are an atheist, what concern is it for you if some of us believers wish to make sure that we are in fact, interpreting the word to the very best of our understanding? No one on here is imposing anything on you, an atheist. We are all having a nice conversation amongst ourselves, no one is forcing anything on anyone. I find it all rather absurd that atheists such as yourself always show up on these Christian sites to set us all straight about something you all so adamantly do NOT believe in, or do you? Why else would you all so ‘religiously’ follow along and jump in all the time. I mean, if you don’t believe in something, why all the fuss? And incidentally, there is plenty of archeological evidence to back the Bible, which is basically a history book of the Jewish people and their God. When you say it is all myths and fairy tales, are you saying that Israel never existed? Are you saying that the Jewish people never existed? Are you saying that the Christian church has never existed? Are you saying all of this is a fantasy? Because if you say that everything in the Bible is a myth and fairy tale, then you better tell all those Israeli’s and Arabs and Persians, Greeks and Romans that they all never existed and their histories are nothing more than fairy tales…..and you can back up your statement with the following reasoning, YOU don’t believe it, therefore, because YOU do not believe it, then it must be the truth that their ancestors and their histories have NEVER existed.


  5. In reference to Revelations, I think there is a vast difference between the saints taking the prayers of the faithful to God versus the faithful praying to saints to do so. Just sayin’.


    1. When the curtain in the sanctuary was torn in two, I believe that indicated the end of separation between God and man. I think that anybody except Jesus who says he is the way to salvation should be avoided.
      Actually one of my former Sunday School students was just re-baptised by a man who claims that only by being immersed by a representative of his denomination can anyone be saved.
      I say trust Jesus, pray as he taught us, follow his word, and be at peace.


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