“The Cult of Mary” debuted on the National Geographic Channel yesterday evening. If you missed it the documentary will be re-broadcast next Sunday, December 20th, at 9 A.M. ET. The DVD version is scheduled to be released on March 15, 2016.
“Explorer examines the global phenomenon of the “cult” of Mary. The episode opens a window into the many ways devotees venerate the Virgin Mary. From a small community in Alabama to thousands of people gathering in Mexico, Mary draws millions of people to shrines and sustains religious tourism that’s estimated to be worth billions of dollars a year. The film is a journey into the heart of modern-day Mary devotion around the world.” – from the National Geographic web site here.
- The program focuses mainly on the continuing alleged Marian apparitions at Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina along with apparitions in the United States claimed by former visitors to Medjugorje.
- Becki Berg suffers from terminal brain cancer and visits Medjugorie hoping for a cure through the intercession of one of the visionaries. Becki died this past October.
- Marian devotee, Terry Colafrancesco, befriends one of the Medjugorje visionaries and proceeds to create a multi-million dollar Marian community in Birmingham, Alabama called Caritas. Detractors accuse Colafrancesco and Caritas of cult-like manipulation of it’s live-in members. Caritas claims frequent Marian visits at its Birmingham complex.
- Gianna Sullivan, a visitor to Medjugorje, returns to her home in Emmitsburg, Maryland and claims to receive regular visits from Mary.
- The Catholic church currently does not recognize the Marian apparitions at Medjugorje, Birmingham, or Emmitsburg.
I enjoyed this documentary very much but, unfortunately, the interviewees were all Catholic. The creators should have included a dissenting, Evangelical perspective on Mariolatry. To its credit, the show does mention that Mary is barely mentioned in the New Testament and that her cult grew within Catholicism to eventually rival the devotion given Jesus Christ.
See my earlier posts on Mariolatry here.
Catholicism has strayed so unbelievably far from the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.
“While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” – Matthew 12:46-50.