3 Shocking Quotes on Mary


September 12, 2012 by mattfradd

In honor of the feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary I wanted to present three shocking quotations from Protestant reformer, Martin Luther.

Those who study the writings of the reformers will find that they accepted almost every major Marian doctrine and considered these doctrines to be both scriptural and fundamental to the historic Christian Faith. Shocking, I know.

“The veneration of Mary is inscribed in the very depths of the human heart.” – Martin Luther

“We too know very well that God did not derive his divinity from Mary; but it does not follow that it is therefore wrong to say that God was born of Mary, that God is Mary’s Son, and that Mary is God’s mother.” – Martin Luther

“But the other conception, namely the infusion of the soul, it is piously and suitably believed, was without any sin, so that while the soul was being infused, she would at the same time be cleansed from original sin and adorned with the gifts of God to receive the holy soul thus infused. And thus, in the very moment in which she began to live, she was without all sin.” – Martin Luther

51 thoughts on “3 Shocking Quotes on Mary

  1. It’s a shame that so many Christians who reject devotion to Mary don’t honor her only because Catholics do! They’ve thrown away a pearl of great value for no reason.

    • Eic says:

      Father Carrozza,
      Do you think anyone who claims Christ as Lord should ever pray this prayer and believe these things about Mary? Are these statements true about Mary?

      “Mother of Perpetual help, thou art the dispenser of every grace that God grants us in our misery. For this reason He hast made thee so powerful, so rich, and so kind that thou might help us in our needs. Thou art the advocate of the most wretched and abandoned sinners, if they but come to thee. Come to my aid for I commend myself to thee.

      In thy hands I place my eternal salvation; to thee I entrust my soul. Count me among thy most faithful servants. Take me under thy protection; that is enough for me. If thou doth protect me, I shall fear nothing: not my sins, because thou wilt obtain for me their pardon and remission; not the evil spirits, because thou art mightier than all the powers of Hell;not even Jesus, my Judge, because He is appeased by a single prayer of thine.

      I fear only that through my own negligence I may forget to recommend myself to thee and so lose my soul.
      My dear Lady, obtainest for me the forgiveness of my sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance,and the grace to have recourse to thee at all times, Mother of Perpetual Help.

      • That prayer is perfectly fine! You lack understanding of the role of Mary in our Catholic faith, and that is misleading you into believing that this prayer somehow takes away from Jesus. Proper devotion to Mary is proper devotion to Jesus. The best way I can explain it is to recall the story of the miracle at the wedding feast at Cana. Mary interceded with Jesus, who performed a miracle out of love for her when she asked it of Him. So we likewise, in addition to praying to the Lord, also ask Mary to intercede with us to her son, praying that He will grant our request if His mother asks it of Him. No one is saying Mary takes the place of Jesus – that would be the heresy of Mariolatry. Equally, no one is saying Mary will grant us something Jesus is refusing. People frequently think that’s what we believe, but it is not true.

      • Jane says:

        Any reasonable Catholic should at least be able to see from this prayer why Protestants view the distinction between hyperdulia and latria as a distinction without difference.

  2. Brendan says:

    Martin Luther must be a big embarrassment to his children because he held on to much of catholic devotion whilst living sinfully and breaking his vows

  3. Patrick says:

    Great quotes, but could you give us a source/reference? Thanks.

  4. Tom says:

    You catholics u know exactly that you are preaching wrong word which is not biblicaly. Whats the shock here?, its true and it will not change.

    • Rachel says:

      The shock is that Luther said those things in the first place and a lot of people with an anti-catholic bias would rather conveniantly forget he ever said them. “You catholics” lol! You’re right about one thing; “its true and it will not change.” Mary is the mother of God and she is without all sin.

  5. Julia McCoy says:

    Non Biblical? I disagree.

    Luke 1:40-45 “And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, andblessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[a] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.””

    Luke 1:47-48 “And Mary said,
    “My soul magnifies the Lord,
    47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
    48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;”

    12:1 And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 12:2 she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. 12:3 And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. 12:4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; 12:5 she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, 12:6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which to be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

    Luke 1:26-28 “in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!”

    Luke 2:34-35 “and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”

    “Isaiah 7:14:Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

  6. dessacatholic says:

    prostestants are not only blind but arrogant. sorry about that.its true!

  7. Great quotes. I am converting to the Catholic church from the Lutheran LCMS church. I was surprised to have found these myself, when studying and coming to understand the doctrines on Mary and her immaculate conception. I do try to now take the route of charity when approaching other people’s writings from the past. And even though I now see Martin Luther was wrong to have pushed so hard as to warrant excommunication from the church – I also believe he was acting according to his own conscience – even if the outcome was not good (the division in the church).

    I always found it interesting that in the Book of Concord, we find many harsh things to be said about the Pope and the ecclesiastical hierarchy of the church, yet very little treatment about Mary. In fact, the Book of Concord affirms the “ever virgin” state of Mary. So Lutherans who adhere to the Lutheran confessions do affirm this Catholic dogma as well.

  8. neil says:

    helo julia, nice quote from the quoted Luke 1:40-45,47-48, then next to it is 12:1-6…why you did not put the book there? to make it appear that it is still from the book of Luke? while it is from Revelation 12:1-6…or maybe you just forgot to put the book there…by the way, it would not be shocking for a protestant to still hold on to some of his catholic dogmas instilled to his heart and mind for years..another, can anybody tell me from the bible that says Mary is the mother of God? coz i cud not find any…and if Mary was without sin, why did she offered a sin offering at the temple? and again can anybody show me in the Bible that tells that Mary was born without sin?

    • Hello Neil, and thanks for the good questions. To respond: We as Catholics do not believe in “Sola Scriptura”, that if it isn’t in the bible it can’t be true. The official canon of the Bible was only adopted in the fourth century at the Council of Nicea, so if the Bible is the full authority of truth, what did Christians believe for the first three centuries/ Were they without any guidance? No, they used the tradition of the Apostles and the Magisterium of the Church, the other two sources of Truth, which were very present to them and, together with Sacred Scripture, represent the three sources of Divine Revelation.

      As regards Mary the Mother of God, it is simple: If Mary is the Mother of Jesus, and Jesus is God, then Mary is the Mother of God. It’s simple logic. We are not saying she is the Mother of the Trinity, but to deny that Mary is the Mother of God ends up saying something very wrong about Jesus.

      As regards Mary offering sacrifice: Mary did not grow up knowing she was conceived – not born – without Original Sin, nor was she aware of her divine favor before the Angel Gabriel came to her. Otherwise, she would not have been “greatly troubled and wondered what his greeting meant” (Luke 1:29). So she would have performed all acts of righteousness according to law, even if by then she knew she was the Immaculate Conception, just as Jesus was baptized and paid the temple tax, even though he had no need for either.

      God’s blessing upon you!

      Rev. Andrew P. Carrozza

      • Eic says:

        Rev. Andrew P. Carrozza’
        Actually its not correct to say Mary is the mother of God in the sense that God has a mother but rather she is the mother of Jesus Who was human. All humans have mothers (except Eve).
        Keep in mind also that all we know about Mary is found only in the Scripture and the Scripture says nothing about many of the claims the RCC makes about Mary. Claims such
        as her being without sin and her supposed assumption. What it really comes down to for RC’ is an authority teaching things not grounded in Scripture. This means these things are not apostolic and are the teachings of men.

      • Actually, your quote is precisely what caused the problem in the 5th century, the first time this question came up. A priest by the name of Nestorius said exactly what you did, that Mary was the mother of Jesus, who was human. He said she gave birth to his humanity but not his divinity. Christians argued that “Nestorius divided Christ”, separating his humanity from his divinity, and it was so hotly debated that the Church called the Council of Ephesus in 452 AD to address the question. The conclusion of the Council of Ephesus was that you cannot separate Jesus’ humanity from his divinity (any more than you can separate your height from your weight), therefore, since God took flesh in the womb of Mary, Mary in fact gave birth to God, and therefore, can rightly be called the “Mother of God.” The Greeks call this the Theotokos – the God-bearer. Nestorianism – the belief that Mary could not be called “Mother of God” was declared a heresy, and the Church bult the beautiful Basilica of S. Maria Maggiore in Rome to celebrate her title as “Mother of God.” So basically, to deny that Mary is the Mother of God is to deny that Jesus is God, the second person of the Blessed Trinity become man.

    • mattfradd says:

      Thank you Neil, your thoughts are very welcomed here.

      If it’s okay with you I would like to take your objections one at a time.

      No where in Sacred Scripture will you find, in reference to Mary the words, “Mother of God.”

      To say Mary cannot be the Mother of God because Sacred Scripture does not use those explicit words (if that is, in fact, your claim) is going to put you in a very uncomfortable position. You would also have to conclude multiple essential Christian doctrines to be erroneous because they are not found verbatim in the Bible either. Take for example the trinity (a word never used in Sacred Scripture).

      Are you familiar with a deductive argument? A deductive argument is one in which, providing the premises are true and the logic valid, the conclusion follows necessarily.

      Premise 1. Jesus is God
      Premise 2. Mary is the Mother of Jesus
      Conclusion: Therefore Mary is the Mother of God.

      Since the logic is sound, In order to deny the conclusion, you must be willing to deny one of the premises. So which will it be? Is Jesus not God? Is Mary not the mother of Jesus? If you are willing to accept each premise then you are bound by the rules of logic to accept the conclusion.

      We do see in Sacred Scripture that Mary is called “Mother of my Lord.”

      Elizabeth does proclaim in Luke 1:43, “Why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord (Gr., kurios) should come to me?” It is true that Kurios can be used specifically with regard to a human person but it can and is also used with regard to Divinity.

      We read in 1 Corinthians 8:6 “Yet to us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.”

      Notice that Jesus is called both the one Lord and he is called creator of all things. There can be no doubt the context refers to our Lord’s divinity.

      I think it more plausible that Luke 1:43 is using the word Kurios to mean Lord in the Divine sense. For the sake of brevity I will not go into those reasons now.

      I hope this is a help, and thank you for your comments.

      • My name is David says:

        Do you need logic to accept God, does logic not tell us that there is no way that God just simply always was, does logic not tell us that an explosion and not god created the universe. God creates miracles and lives on a different plane than humans, things he does we may never understand and people are trying to say simple logic can sum it all up? Religious arguments=stupid, can anyone quote when Jesus Argued (actually Argued, not just stated a fact) with the devil when he was being tempted, please do and follow that example.

      • Actually, David, it is quite the reverse: logical argumentation can very well prove the existence of God. That’s why virtually every society that has ever existed has had some sort of belief in a deity. I think it is far more illogical to conclude that God doesn’t exist. If, as you say, an explosion created the universe and not God, then what caused the explosion? Someone or something would have to exist to get it going, even to form the material from which the explosion happened. I would say that the explosion is in fact God creating. The Big Bang does not disprove God any more than figuring out how a cake was made disproves the existence of a baker. All you’ve done is discover how God created.

      • neil says:

        hi, Rev. Andrew..thanks for the reply…I honor your position though I beg to disagree..But thanks anyway….I love you in the Lord…

      • mattfradd says:

        @my name is David (though I’m assuming it’s just David)

        Let me attempt to respond point by point.

        No, it is not unreasonable to believe in a necessary being from which all other beings receive existence. On the contrary, it is unreasonable to believe that all that exists is contingent upon other contingent entities ad infinitum.

        According to the standard model of the universe, all space, matter, time and energy began to exist around 13.7 billion years ago. This is strong evidence for the existence of God since nothing can begin to exist without a cause.

        God does not create miracles, he performs them. God does not live on another planet, that is not the Christian claim.

        I think the only thing you’ve said which I agree with is that God may do things which we may, at least in this life, never understand. The conclusion that we cannot know anything about God does not follow from that premise.

        Your claim that religious arguments are stupid is itself a religious argument. If you were to follow your own logic you would be forced to conclude that your own argument is stupid.

        Your last point about the temptation of Christ was unintelligible to me, perhaps you could restate it.

    • Julia McCoy says:

      Hello Neil! No malice intended 🙂 I was simply copying it from (my fingers can’t withstand typing for very long) and it looks like I missed the book. Thanks for the catch! As for the other questions, I believe Rev. Andrew P. Corrozza and Matt have answered those questions thoroughly and with more wisdom than I.

  9. OLO says:

    I had a conversation with a protestant about these quotes of Luther on Mary and he said that that’s why we should put our faith in the bible and not on a man because a man can make mistakes. I asked how did he decide that Luther made a mistake on the Mary things if Luther seems to be using scripture to back them up? How can one be sure that Luther didn’t make mistakes on other theological issues such as sola scriptura? In order to avoid confusion and division, God should have given us a living body that could interpret these issues authoritatively… oh wait he did… St. Peter pray for us!

  10. […] as you may be aware, I posted a blog entitled “3 Shocking Quotes on Mary.”  This generated a lively discussion on why Catholics refer to Mary as the Mother of God. Because of […]

  11. Gabriel says:

    Thank you to one and all for all the info I received about what Luther said and all that you have posted . I just got back from a charismatic prayer and the Deacon was telling us about Our Mother Mary , and now I have more understanding about Mary . God Bless and as I like to finish “VIVA CRISTO REY ” y La Virgen de Guadalupe !

  12. My name is David says:

    One religion says something to the other religion, this goes on back and forth endlessly, religion was not made so that stupid people could argue about it. Religion was invented because man is flawed and needed an establishment to bring them closer to God instead of just being able to serve God without the intermediary (church, or religious authorities of any kind). Keep arguing about religion and let the people who really praise God say It doesn’t matter what religion I am part of I will simply worship God.

    • But the question, David, then becomes, how do you know you are worshipping God as he really is? And what does God ask of you? That’s where religion comes in, and that’s why there are debates. Yes, some debates can get silly, but some are very important, especially when we need to disprove a religion that believes their god wants them to kill innocent people, either by throwing virgins into volcanoes, sacrificing their children, or flying airliners into the World Trade Center. Right religion is in fact very important.

  13. Ovidio says:

    The worst thing of all is that many catholic priests they have became heretical and now, they don´t preach nor pray to the blessed virgin Mary. They said, the devotion to our Lady comes form the greek devotion to the goodes Artemisa.

  14. Ngoka Amaka says:

    Is good that the mighty pour out their respect for MARY.

  15. George Ben says:

    All this this saying and arguments prove that human knowledge is taking the place of divine knowledge, by human beings. Spiritual things should be treated spiritually. You either believed or you refuse to believe. FACTS about God are mysteries that must be believed

  16. Jane, I don’t know what point you are making. Are you defending the Catholic view or the Protestant view?

    The difference between dulia and latria is hardly without difference; in fact, it is critical. “Dulia” is like saying “You’re my hero!” “Latria” is saying, “I bless you, I adore you, I glorify you, for you are my One True God!” Without that distinction, no one could ever have a role model, for to look up to someone else would be considered idolatry. Naturally, there’s a vast distinction between the two, and any Protestant that would deny it places himself in untenable situation: he could never admire another human being or look up to them. There is a vast difference between looking up to someone (as we do with the saints and Mary) and worshipping them (as we do only with God). Protestants often accuse us of idolatry, which is clearly not the case. “Dulia” and “Latria” are in fact critically different things, and the difference between them must not be dismissed.

    • Jane says:

      Father, I am simply pointing out that the specific prayer “Eic” posted is a great example of why Protestants believe that *in practice*, in regards to Mary, we see no practical difference between hyper-Dulia and Latria. Honestly, I have no problem with the whole calling Mary “Mother of God” (I would agree with R.C. Sproul’s commentary on that particular subject) and, additionally, I am happy to give Catholics a lot of breathing space on issues I may disagree with theologically, but don’t see as “deal breakers” in the eternal scheme of things–making them not worth arguing about.

      BUT, when I read a prayer like that, that says “in thy hands I place my eternal salvation” and “though wilt obtain for me . . . pardon and remission” and that one could lose their soul by not going through Mary… wow. I mean, I have no other words. Just wow. It makes me very, very saddened. We are to place our trust and our life into God’s hands, not Mary’s. Christ is our ONE and ONLY Mediator, Savior, and Redeemer. No one comes to the Father but through the Son. There is no Scriptural equivalent that says no one comes to the Son except through his earthly mother. To me, based on the straightforward reading of the text of the prayer, that specific language goes beyond Dulia, beyond hyper-Dulia, and amounts to Latria. Worship. This prayer makes Mary a “true god” alongside with Jesus.

      And sorry to revive this discussion… but I’m new here and was browsing through some of the older posts. I don’t come to bash Catholics. I have actually spent a considerable amount of time in the last six months listening to Catholic radio, Catholic answers, reading, daily Catechism, etc in order to better understand the beliefs of some dear friends and relatives. But let me tell you, Catholic doctrine is tough stuff! It is hard to understand! (And I’m a law student for goodness sake…) So if I have somehow misunderstood this prayer, please explain! But on it’s face… to me, and to many Protestants I think, we would view it as Latria and as going against the Word of God.

      • Thanks for the clarification Jane!

        You must remember that lots of these prayers come from the devotion of common people, not from someone in the Vatican Office of Liturgy. Often, these prayers reflect the devotion of the individual who first composed it, which may to some people seem a bit overdone, but it’s not much different from a child buttering up a parent. I wouldn’t personally use those words in my own prayer, but the Church only bans prayers that are clearly contradictory to the faith, such as the “magical miracle prayers” we’re forever finding that people leave in church, instructing people to light a candle every day and leave 9 copies for 9 days in a row and your prayer will be granted, “guaranteed to work; never known to fail!” That’s voodoo and is clearly wrong, and I rail against those prayers constantly. I always tell people that the only guarantee with these prayers is that, when I find them, they go straight into the garbage! The prayer you mention, while perhaps a bit overdone, properly understood, is not heretical. It shows a love for and trust in the Blessed Mother as a great intercessor, and the person offering it is certainly not for a moment intending to say, “Mary, I worship you and not your son! I’m asking you instead of him!” I can understand why an outsider would see a problem in it, as at first glance, it does seem to be a bit problematic, but taken in context, while a bit drippy, is not heretical.

    • George Ben says:

      Thank you Fr. Leave the Protestants alone the way they now adored the wife of their GOs is more than what we Catholics honour the Holy Mother of God.

      • Jane says:

        Thanks Father, I appreciate your quick response and explanation. Very interesting…

        George Ben, what is a GO?

      • George Ben says:

        GOs means General overseers (the founded or the head of each Protestants Church.

      • So let me get this straight: the Protestants broke away from the Catholic Church because they rejected the authority of the Pope, declaring that there is no one authority figure that governs them but only the Bible, but then they replaced the Pope with a GO? I guess they realized the hard way that every group needs someone to oversee it and have authority when it matters. Maybe that’s why Jesus established Peter as the authority.

      • Jane says:

        GB – I don’t know any Protestants enamored with or who adore their GO as you suggest… or the wife of their GO (I’m not sure what that even means). If you adore/honor/love Mary, own it. Don’t try to justify it by saying, “well Protestants are worse”. Seems like an unloving, baseless, cheap shot to me.

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