Monday, June 21, 2010

Mary, Queen of the Universe


As we drove through Orlando last Thursday, we were stunned to see a huge "church" sign that says "Mary, Queen of the Universe." I've known for a long time that some Catholics worship Mary. However, this is the most up-front sign I have ever seen. It turns out that this church is more of a shrine than anything else.

I decided to take a look at the shrine's website (click here if you want to see it). The above photo shows a statue from the museum - I got it from the website, not from a visit to the shrine.

The following are four quotes from the site:

"Preserved free from all guilt of original sin, the Immaculate Virgin was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory ... exalted by the Lord as Queen of the Universe ..." -Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater

"A 2,000 seat Shrine Church adorned with inspirational stained-glass windows, depicting the story of God's love for man, and Mary's place in God's plan for salvation." (emphasis mine)

"But equally important - the area's teeming tourist population gives us a marvelous opportunity for evangelization and witness for Catholicism." (emphasis mine)

"In years that followed, the beloved Saint Desiderius was venerated as a martyr, his bone wrapped, sealed and preserved. And his feast day is still celebrated in Langres, France on the 23rd of May." (They have a relic from a bone of his forearm).

As we think about this shrine, let us first remember that if not for the grace of God we would too be worshipers of Mary. Let's also be reminded of the world's need for the gospel. The folks who worship at this shrine are lost just like Muslims, Hindus, materialists, and moralists.

I'm thankful that these Catholics are so up front about what they believe. My hope is that followers of Christ in the Orlando area will lovingly and sacrificially reach out to them with the biblical gospel.

7 comments:

Les Puryear said...

Like you, I was shocked when I saw the sign on the building in Orlando. When my family asked me what that was, I replied, "It's probably a cult." Turns out I was right. The RCC cult.

Les

Eric said...

Les,

I was really amazed. My daughter Mary kind of liked it - I think she just wanted us to take her photo by the sign.

Seriously, it really was sick to see Mary proclaimed to basically be god.

Bad Catholic said...

"The folks who worship at this shrine are lost just like Muslims, Hindus, materialists, and moralists."

Except that these lost souls believe fervently that Jesus Christ died for their sins and rose again on the third day and ascended into Heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

These lost souls offering prayers to the Queen of the Communion of Saints, whose last word in Scripture is "Do whatever he tells You," in reference to her Divine Son, and who belong to the Church founded by Jesus Christ on the authority of Peter the Rock.

Lost souls like Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Francis of Assisi, and Flannery O'Connor.

Just think of all those lost souls who died and went to hell because they prayed to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints for 1500 years after Jesus went back to Heaven until Brothers Martin Luther and John Calvin made it safe for all the real Christians to come out.

I have read that Brother Martin Luther himself had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Too bad that there wasn't a Baptist Preacher around to straighten him out.

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.

Joe G. said...

"....proclaimed to basically be god."

What?

You are obviously unschooled in Catholicism 101. Mary was Jesus's mother.
Jesus is God.
Therefore, Mary is the mother of God.

Why are Protestants confused by something so simple?

If you want to continue to say we worship Mary (which is completely untrue), fine. But please learn the basics -- that's all we ask of our separated brethren.
God bless you and good luck.

Eric said...

Bad Catholic and Joe,

It should be clear from the name "Mary Queen of the Universe" that those in charge of this shrine worship Mary as divine. The very language they use suggests this.

I am not, however, implying that all or even most Catholics worship Mary. I never wrote that in this post.

This shrine is problematic because it raises Mary to a position never even suggested in scripture. It is an affront to the biblical gospel itself.

KeeperatHome said...

Question: Is Mary the "mother of God" or simply the mother of the bodily manifestation of Christ? In Christ, Talya

Eric said...

Talya,

I agree - that is a key question. I'll take my answer from Genesis 1.