Mary Protectress, Mother, Goddess & Saint
Mary is celebrated around the world as the Divine Feminine by millions of people, many of them Catholics. Those who are devoted to Mary, honour Her as the mother of Jesus. The Blessed Virgin Mary is known as the dispenser of mercy, the ever patient mother, and protectress of humanity, and special protectress of women and children.
Many believe that with the rise of Christianity and papal power, the Goddess slowly disappeared from western culture and faded into the Mists of Avalon . . . . So great was devotion to the Goddess that She was resurrected in the hearts of the people by a new Goddess, Mary, Mother of Jesus, the Christian version of the Green Man.
Officially, the Catholic Church teaches that Mary was mortal and is not a Goddess, but despite this official position, many Catholics honour Mary as a Goddess. Other Catholics revere Mary as Mother of Jesus, but not as divine.
Visions of the Virgin Mary have appeared to thousands of people around the world. Her sacred shrines are at Lourdes in France and Guadalupe in Mexico, as well as many other places. Her apparitions are often to children.
Artemis Diana of Ephesus
Mary was declared to be the “Mother of God” by the Christian church in the 7th century at Ephesus, Turkey. Ephesus was the home of a magnificent temple to the Goddess, Artemis Diana, one of whose sacred titles was “Queen of Heaven”. Mary is a more recent and much loved incarnation of the Great Goddess of the ancient Middle-eastern cultures. Mary shares many standard Goddess attributes and symbols.
The Christian church also conferred the Goddess’s title on the Mother of Jesus. They called Her, “Mary, Queen of Heaven” and “Mary, Queen of the Angels” both are very ancient titles of the widely worshipped Great Goddesses on the Middle-east.
The Madonna and child have been revered since the earliest times. Isis and Her son Horus, Mary and Her son Jesus, Demeter and Her daughter Kore, all have attracted a devout following. Long before Isis, and long before Mary or Demeter, the human psyche fashioned Madonna and child icons and placed them in sacred shrines. in ritual caves and worshipped the Icons as sacred representation in sacred groves, to honour the Mother & Child. Mary is always shown wearing a head covering like Muslim women today, a head covering was required for women throughout Christian history. In 1983 the rule requiring woman to cover their hair in Church was omitted from the updated official revised Catholic Canon pertaining to such matters.
Through time, the names and sometimes the images of the Madonna and child have changed, but the location of these shrines and the wide devotion to them has remained constant. in many cultures. Image of the Madonna & Child are central to Catholicism, as they were often central to the Pagan worship of the Goddess IsIs and other Goddesses in the ancient world. Below are Demeter and her daughter Kore.
Demeter and Persephone / Kore
One of the most beloved images in all Christianity is The Black Madonna. Devotion to the Black Virgin has never been stronger; Her shrines attract thousands of worshippers each year. The Black Madonna is revered throughout the world, particularly in France, Poland, Italy, and Spain. She is the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Crusades and holy pilgrimages. There are thousands of these beautiful sacred Madonna Icons.
The Black Madonna is honoured as a true Goddess figure, and has been since Christianity entered Europe. She is honoured by many as Isis, Gaia, Kali, Mary, “the Other Mary” (Mary Magdalene), Diana, Sheela Na Gig, and the Ancient Primal Earth-Mother Goddess. All are beloved all are revered; each region has their own traditions.
For many European Christians, the blending of their ancient Goddesses with the Blessed Virgin Mary has been a well-accepted fact of their faith for centuries, there is no conflict. The holy Black Madonna, be She called Isis, or Mary, or Kali, or Diana, embodies all the aspects of Female Divinity for many millions of people. Mary’s blessings and intervention are still sought daily by millions who pray to the Mother.
Mary Magdalene is believed by many to have been the wife of Jesus, or his most favoured Apostle, though most Catholics today vigorously reject this idea. At the very least, Mary Magdalene was Jesus’ chief Apostle and a Priestess of early Christianity in her own right. Church fathers have tried for two thousand years to erase Mary Magdalen as a woman of importance, spirituality and power. They have failed, Mary Magdalen remain a figure of importance for women. The Apostle Mary Magdalene is not a fallen woman, she is a free woman, and one of the “Three Marys” of the New Testament who shared the life and labours of Jesus. Fragments have survived of “The Gospel of Mary” written in the first century or two of Christianity. We will probably never recover a copy of the complete Mary Gospel, but what has been found profoundly alters our perceptions of the role of women in early Christianity. Women were church leaders and teachers in the early years after the death of Jesus Mary Magdalene and Phoebe were among them.
For more on the Virgin Mary, read the book “The Virgin” by Jeffrey Ashe or “A Woman Clothed in Light”.
Pope John Paul II was deeply devoted to the Blessed Mother and did much to bring honour and vitality to Her worship. Many millions of Catholics around the world share his deep devotion to Mary. It is because of the love for Mary that the Church considered elevating the Blessed Virgin Mary to the role of Co-Redeemer with her son Jesus Christ. This is a controversial issue in the church.
- Catholic Heresies and Human Traditions over 1600 Years (raymondjclements.wordpress.com)