Mary Queen of Heaven, Mary Mother of Perpetual Help, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Lourdes, and Our Lady of Fatima, are just a few names used to discuss Mary the mother of Jesus, the mother of God. Why do we know her by so many names you may ask? That’s easy because she is showing us that she is one of us. And what better way to show us that than to be a vision or an apparition. Each time there has been a reported sighting of Mary, she has revealed herself in the native appearance of those with whom she revealed herself. Another interesting point is she has always chosen to reveal herself to the average person. Sightings of Mary are not by heads of state or powerful people, but by people who need her most; people who are most like she was while she walk the earth.

Non-Catholic Christians have difficulty understanding the significance we place on Mary. In fact, some even accuse Catholics of making Mary an idol to worship. Of course as Catholics we know we only worship the one true God. However, we also believe that praying to through Mary is a good thing to do. Mary has a very special relationship with Jesus. Due to that relationship, she is able to make requests. If you look at the first miracle Jesus performed at the wedding in Cana, it was at the insistence of Mary that Jesus turned water into wine.

Mary is an example of a woman called by God. Some people refer to Mary as the second Eve for she was conceived without the stain of original sin. In this way, she is for each of us, a reminder of what God intended for all people. Mary was faithful even in her lack of understanding as seen in Luke 1:26-38. She fully trusted God as she said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” This statement of faith clears the way for the Son of God to be born of a human woman. It is in her giving birth to Jesus that she becomes our spiritual mother. Mary was a disciple of Jesus following Him even to the cross. In Acts 1:14 Mary is listed as having been with the other disciples in Jerusalem before Pentecost.

Mary is special for many reasons, but for me, the most important reason is she said “YES” to God. In her willingness to serve God unconditionally, by her strength to stay by her Son during His passion, and from her ability to show herself in the world in times of trouble, she continues to be an example of how to live. May she continue to be an intercessor for the faithful as we continue to follow in the ways of her son, Jesus Christ.

This article was inspired after a Theology on Tap session with Archbishop Dolan on Thursday, July 17 which was held at Derry Hegarty’s Pub, 5328 West Bluemound Road