By Richard Bennett and Stuart Quint
Mary is one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented persons in history – thanks to the Roman Catholic Church!
The biblical Mary is truly a believer whom all generations should call blessed among women, but she is not above them, and she is not blessed on a par with Christ Jesus. Mary herself witnesses, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.”
Any believer redeemed by Jesus Christ shares in the identical “blessedness” of Mary because believers and Mary have received God’s unmerited favor, or “grace”: “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
The truth is that like all other genuine believers, Mary of Bethlehem was a sinner saved by God’s grace. Mary simply possessed faith in God her Savior. She was not saved by her own special merits or preserving grace granted in her own birth. Mary was no “perpetual virgin” who lived a higher calling than what the Lord has decreed in His Word. In this way, she was and is truly blessed among women!
Christ: The True Source of Grace for Believers
God’s grace and love in salvation does not come to us by means of a mother; rather, it is the high-priestly work of Christ, and of Him alone. Grace, a distinct attribute of His office, is everywhere in Scripture and ascribed to Christ Jesus the Lord, “He dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.” All that went before Christ Jesus was but a type and a representation; grace and truth come only by Christ. All that comes after Him points back to His faithfulness and accomplished work. “Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ,” the Apostle John proclaimed, “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” It is by His graciousness that we are made acceptable before the All-Holy God. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him.” “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell.” From this fullness, He abundantly gives all that are His own people “grace for grace.”
Rome Replaces Christ with Mary as the Source of Grace
In the tradition of Rome, however, the Catholic Mary is given a place in grace and salvation. Thus, under the heading, “…she is our Mother in the order of grace,” the Catholic Catechism teaches:
“Her role in relation to the Church and to all humanity goes still further. ‘In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace.’”
“This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect.” “…As St. Irenaeus says, ‘Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.’” 
Pope Francis has prolonged Rome’s manufactured myth of Mary. He elevates Mary’s status above that of the Apostles through whom the Holy Spirit wrote the Bible! “But I’d like to say something about this. I’ve said it, but I repeat it. Our Lady, Mary, was more important than the Apostles…”
The claimed “motherhood of Mary in the order of grace” having a saving office “to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation” is direct blasphemy against the person of Christ Jesus, who alone is full of grace and truth. It is also an insult to the true character of the Mary of Scripture.
Likewise is the confusion of Irenaeus, who absurdly claimed that “…she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.”  This infers a power of influence of her will with God, and actually credits her as being an effective cause in salvation of souls including her own.
Such claims show an arrogant disresgard for the love of God as the “original cause” of the salvation of souls. The Bible teaches that the salvation of men is a divine initiative because, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Scripture teaches that God is, “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth” and “longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression.”
Rome’s Manufactured Mary as “Queen over All Things”
The fact that Christ Jesus has ascended into heaven as King of Kings is matched in the Catholic Church with the claim that Mary has been assumed into heaven and is now the Queen over all things. Thus, Rome officially teaches,
“Finally, the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians: In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.”
The idea of gaining salvation through suffering and prayer is also the basic message of Mary’s apparition at Fatima. The apparitions of Mary preach a message that is always the same. Consider the most popular site of the apparitions, Fátima, in Portugal. In the apparition of Mary at Fátima stated people needed to increase the level of their sacrifices, because, Mary said that “many souls go to hell because they have no one to sacrifice and pray for them.” This message stands in direct contradiction to the teaching of Scripture, which plainly states that Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross was the first, last, and only meritorious sacrifice for the remission of sins.
Rome’s manufactured Mary directly contradicts the message of the Cross and, denies altogether its efficacy to save sinners.
Marian Devotion or Fanaticism?
The folly of Irenaeus has repercussions even to our day. Depraved fanaticism for Mary is alive and well even in our modern day.
In his previous tenure as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis introduced and fostered devotion to Mary as “Our Lady, Undoer of Knots”:
“This devotion was so intensely popular throughout Argentina and Brazil that the British Guardian called it ‘a religious craze.’ The Prayer to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, is as follows:
‘Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life. You know very well how desperate I am, my pain, and how I am bound by these knots. Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life…’”
The Lord saved this author (Richard) from this “religious craze” of fanatic devotion to Mary. Since the beginning of my training for the priesthood, I had desired to do all that I could to earn salvation for others and myself. I had memorized the teaching of Pope Pius XII in which he said, “…the salvation of many depends on the prayers and sacrifices of the mystical body of Christ offered for this intention.”
I had sought to win my own salvation as well as the salvation of others through personal suffering and intercessory prayer. In preparation for the priesthood, I performed many difficult feats to win souls, such as taking cold showers in the middle of winter and beating my back with a small, steel chain. In spite of all my religious exercises, I had no noticeable peace with God, nor did any other souls receive “salvation” from my efforts for Mary.
Thus, after accident that I explained at the beginning I spent the next fourteen years searching the Scriptures to understand how man is made right with God. I compared Catholic teaching to the Scriptures. The very first truth I discovered was the concept that salvation is in Christ alone. I read many times each day Chapters 1 and 2 of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. By underlining in my Bible, I noted the fact that forty-two times phrases denoting “in Christ” were given; for example, expressions such as “in the beloved,” “in him,” and “in whom.” In fact, I read that all spiritual blessings are “in Christ.” This was a shock for me, because in the Catholic Church I had always been told that salvation was in a person’s heart, salvation inside oneself, and by the sacraments. I was utterly surprised salvation was spoken of forty-two times as being “in Christ.” This truth is summarized in Ephesians 1:6, “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
The Bible not only establishes who God is, but it excludes all others from sharing His glory. Similarly, the Bible not only teaches who the Lord Jesus Christ is, but it also excludes all others from His roles. Finally, Scripture declares the Person and role of the Holy Spirit and bars all others from His role. These Bible truths exclude all Roman Catholic teaching that parades their “Mary” as “the All Holy One,” as one of “Immaculate Conception,” “Mother in the Order of Grace”, Queen of Heaven, Mediatrix, Advocate, and Heavenly Helper, “I am the Lord; that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”
While the Scriptures states that “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light,” it still comes as a shock to see the Prince of Darkness, the most alien to the God’s true light, misuse the wonderful believer, Mary, until she appears as a goddess. The Lord’s command and promise stand in face of this malicious doctrine and practice, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
Regarding their manufactured Mary, the Vatican’s message has even attempted to steal the uniqueness and glory of Christ and the unique roles of the Holy Spirit. The popes make no secret of where they stand. Sincere Catholics must know that to remain loyal to the Pope in exalting the Queen of Heaven is to spurn the exclusivity and splendor of Christ and His Gospel. The Word of the Lord speaks clearly to this choice before Catholics, “if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” ¨
 Luke 1:46b-8. Unless otherwise stated, all citations come from the King James Version of the Bible.
 Ephesians 1:5-6. Note that “blessed” in Luke 1:48 along with “grace” and “made” in Ephesians 1:6 share the same Greek stem “Kairos”. Hence, to be “blessed” by God means to have received His “grace”.
 John 1:14
 John 1:17
 John 1:16
 Hebrews 7:25
 Colossians 1:19
 John 1:16
 Catechism, #968
 Catechism, #969
 Catechism, #494
accessed on October 12, 2017.
 Catechism, #494
 John 3:16
 Exodus 34:6
 Numbers 14:18, Psalms 86:15
 Catechism, #966
 http://catholicstraightanswers.com/why-does-pope-francis-have-a-special-devotion-to-our-lady-undoer-of-knots/ accessed on October 12, 2017.
 ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XII ON THE MISTICAL BODY OF CHRIST; http://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_29061943_mystici-corporis-christi.html
 Isaiah 42:8
 II Corinthians 11:14
 II Corinthians 6:17-18
 Joshua 24:15