Catholics justify praying to Mary and the dead Saints. Or even worse, they go to the extent of bestowing upon Mary the titles of “Mediatrix of Divine Grace”, “Advocate”, “Helper”, “Benefactress” etc. For instance, on 1st Jan 2021, in the new year’s mass, Cardinal Pietro Parolin read Pope Francis’ homily/sermon to the world:
"Whereas Jesus is the blessing, Mary is blessed through grace, and in this way, brings us God’s blessing. Wherever she is, Jesus comes to us. Mary is not only the bridge joining us to God; she is much more. She is the road God travelled in order to reach us, and the road that we must travel in order to reach Him.”
Also, in a papal encyclical of 8 September 1894, Pope Leo XIII said: "The recourse we have to Mary in prayer follows upon the office she continuously fills by the side of the throne of God as Mediatrix of Divine grace.”
Look at this excerpt from https://www.catholic.com/qa/why-pray-to-mary
“Why Pray to Mary? Because Jesus has given us his Blessed Mother as our great spiritual mother (Rev.12:17), a heavenly advocate who intercedes for us. Some Christians will ask, “Why pray to Mary when we can go directly to Jesus?” And yet they have no problem asking others here on earth to pray for them, instead of simply and solely praying to Jesus on their own. Indeed, St. Paul says that God grants blessings “in answer to many prayers” (2 Cor. 1:11). And if the prayer of a righteous man on earth avails much with God (Jas. 5:16–18), how much more would prayers from one who has finished the race and now reigns with Christ in heaven?”
All this sounds convincing, right? But sorry, the Bible denies all these statements outright!
Mary was indeed declared to be “blessed among women”, and was highly favoured before God. But it all stops here- there’s no need to blow things out of proportion. She is NOT the mediator between God and man- Lord Jesus Christ Himself is. She is NOT the administrator of divine grace; And most importantly, she is NOT standing beside the throne of God. Nowhere does the Bible mention any of this.
Mary was a righteous woman whom God used for the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. However, after Jesus was born, she had other sons and daughters (Mark 6:3; Matt 16:55,56). Like other people, she too died and was buried. To consider her a deity and sing praises is ridiculous and blasphemy. Jesus Himself did not endorse or encourage praising Mary. Look at the below incidents:
Luke 11: 27 "While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed." 28 But He said, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.""
John 2:1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
Jesus very clearly reveals that Mary is just His human mother, and has no influence on His divine ministry.
Debunking the Catholic myths:
1. “Mary is the road we must travel to reach God”.
Jesus is the ONLY way.
John 14: 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
Heb 7:25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
Eph 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
2. “Mary is the mediator between God and man”
Jesus is the ONLY mediator.
1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
The word “ONE mediator” strongly rejects the concept of any other sub-mediators.
1 John 2: 1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Heb 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament.
3. “Mary administers grace to the believers”
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Grace is a free gift of God. We cannot earn it, nor can Mary recommend God for us.
4. “Christians ask their Pastors to pray for them. Why can’t we ask Mary and the Saints in Heaven to pray for us?”
This is a case of severe misunderstanding. There is no wrong in asking someone to pray for us; In fact, the Bible encourages us to pray for each other.
1 Tim 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
But what many fail to understand is that dead people cannot pray for us. Nor should we pray to them.
Isa 8:19 should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?
Deu 18:10 There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer 11 or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, 12 for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD.
Ecc 9:5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.
Psa 6:5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
Not only that, no one has ascended to Heaven, except the Lord Jesus Christ:
John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
All other good people who have died just rest in Paradise and await their resurrection. Only when the last trumpet sounds will they come back to life. The following verses prove it:
Acts 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens:
Rev 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
If this is the first resurrection, then clearly there is no other resurrection before that.
All the above verses prove that Mary and other Saints have no influence or role to play after their death. Praying to them is equivalent to praying to dead people- and therefore necromancy.