“Immaculate Mary”: A sad song from my past

Every once in a while, we come across something that triggers a memory from very long ago; a memory that we had completely forgotten about. I’m currently reading through a new book about Roman Catholicism (review to follow in a few days) and in a chapter about Mariology/Mariolatry, the author referenced a hymn from my Catholic past; “Immaculate Mary.” Wow! I had completely forgotten about that song.

I remember that our teachers (both nuns and lay teachers) had us students sing “Immaculate Mary” quite often throughout my nine years (1961-1970) in Catholic grammar school. It’s possible that we may have sung it more than other song. The song was also a staple at Sunday mass. Wikipedia states that “Immaculate Mary” “was composed in 1873 by French priest and seminary director, Jean Gaignet, for pilgrims to the site of the apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes,” which is why it is sometimes also referred to as the “Lourdes Hymn.”

I thought it would be interesting to examine “Immaculate Mary” from the perspective of forty-seven years later as a follower of Jesus Christ. Below are the song’s lyrics with my commentary in red:

Immaculate Mary, thy praises we sing,

Factions within the Catholic church debated for centuries whether Mary was immaculately conceived without sin. Franciscans pushed for the doctrine while Dominicans (including Aquinas and Catherine of Siena) strongly opposed it. Pope Pius IX finally proclaimed Mary’s immaculate conception as infallible dogma in 1854. What is meant by this teaching is that Mary was born without “original sin” and that she never committed a single sin in her entire lifetime. In contrast, the Bible says in several passages that there is not one single human being on Earth without sin (e.g., Romans 3:9-20). Mary herself recognized her need of the Savior in Luke 1:47. Catholics praise Mary as a semi-deity.

Thou reignst now in Heaven with Jesus our King.

Catholics teach that Mary reigns as the Queen of Heaven at the right hand of Jesus Christ, but nowhere in the New Testament does it indicate that Mary would have this position or honor. In fact, the last time Mary is mentioned in the New Testament is Acts 1:14. There’s not a single direct reference to Mary in the following 170 chapters, many of which touch on the most significant aspects of church belief and practice.

Ave, Ave, Ave Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!

In Luke 1:28, the angel Gabriel visits Mary in Nazareth and greets her with “Hail,” from the Greek word, “chaire,” which also translates as a simple “Greetings” or “Hello.” In the Latin translation, the word that’s used is “Ave,” which was sometimes used as a formal salutation for an honored personage. When the Roman Caesars appeared at a function, they were greeted with the expression, “Ave Caesar!” We later see this same salutatory obeisance to German dictator, Adolf Hitler, in the use of “Heil (hail) Hitler!” Likewise, Catholics use the term, “Ave,” as a reverential and worshipful salutation to their mother, Mary.

In Heaven the Blessed thy glory proclaim,

In this verse, it is claimed that those who are in Heaven proclaim Mary’s glory. But in God’s Word we find that the saints and angels in Heaven worship God alone (e.g., Revelation 19:5-7). The Bible specifically states that God will not share His glory with another (Isaiah 42:8).

On earth we thy children invoke thy fair name.

The Catholic church teaches Mary is the Mediatrix of all graces, while God’s Word says that Christ alone is the Mediator between God and mankind (1 Timothy 2:5). Nowhere in the New Testament does a believer pray to anyone other than God.

Ave, Ave, Ave Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!

Again, the worshipful salutation.

We pray for our mother, the Church upon earth

In this verse, the Catholic church as mother is entwined with Mother Mary.

And bless, dearest Lady, the land of our birth.

Here, supplicants acknowledge Mary as deity with the powers to bless their native country. Yet the Bible states that God alone has this kind of power (e.g., Psalm 86:10).

Ave, Ave, Ave Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!

The song closes with the third and final worshipful salutation to Mary.

Mary was a humble believer who accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior just like every other Christian. If Mary could speak to us today, she would rebuke all of Catholicism’s idolatrous worship of her and plead with everyone to repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone.

I sang this song many times as a child and (disinterested) teen. I didn’t know Christ as my Savior at that time and neither did any of my Catholic classmates. We were all (somewhat) following a complicated religious system with its many man-made traditions including Mariology/Mariolatry. None of us had come to Jesus as sinners in need of the Savior through faith alone because we were not taught the Gospel. We were taught that salvation had to be merited by receiving the sacraments and obeying the Ten Commandments. Accept Christ!

For information on an excellent resource on the orchestrated rise of Mariolatry within Catholicism, “The Virgin: Mary’s Cult and the Re-emergence of the Goddess,” see here.

For a video of the song, “Immaculate Mary,” see here.

What does the Bible say about the virgin Mary?

20 thoughts on ““Immaculate Mary”: A sad song from my past

  1. Tom,

    You know we do not worship Mary. You know the Catholic Church does not teach that.

    Let us go to the Bible since “honor” of anyone by Catholics is “idol worship.” Yet for weeks all I have read or seen written is, “Oh Hail, Martin Luther.”

    First off God Himself honored man. Moses, “Never be another prophet like him.” David, “A man after my own heart.” Just two of many. God is due the upmost of all honor, but that does not mean man deserves no honor at all. We honor our vets for fighting for this country. I guess we need to stop that and tear down all the statues of them? We honor policemen, firefighters, etc…

    So let us go to Scripture.

    Lot venerates two angels by bowing himself with his face to the ground. Gen. 19:1

    Joseph’s brothers bow before Joseph. Gen. 42:6

    Joshua fall to the ground prostrate to venerate an angel. Josh. 5:14

    Nathan bows before David. 1 Kings 1:23

    The sons of the prophets bow down to Elisha at Jericho. 2 Kings 2:15 (I can go on, but this is enough)

    Mary is the mother of Christ. She raised him. She instilled in him right from wrong as the Bible says, “He had to learn these things.” Who taught Him? His mother as under Jewish history it was the mother who taught the “religion,” for lack of a better term.

    She is due the upmost of honor, for many things. It is funny to me, how one can see “Eve” as the “mother of all the living” and not see Mary as such. Eve is also the mother of all the dead, and Mary is not.

    As far as intercessory prayer goes.

    Did not Jesus say, “We will be like angels when we get to heaven?” Do not the angels as proven in Scripture assist us here on earth? So if we are going to be like an angel, would we not do the same?

    Those in heaven Tom are not dead. They are alive. To believe different is to believe Jesus never rose.

    If we cannot call upon them in heaven to pray for us, then why do we ask others here on earth to pray for us, if “intercessory prayer” is of no value? If it is only Jesus who is our intercessor?

    Jesus is the one mediator between God and man. Of what Tom? The Bible says, “The New Covenant.”
    It is that to which Jesus mediates between God and man.

    St. Paul says, “Be imitators of me and the Lord.” We are to behave and live by the examples of the saints, as well as Christ.

    Did not Jesus say, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and He will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” Mt. 26;53 If Jesus can do this so can we. This does not mean that Jesus would worship those angels nor do we.

    This is what gets me. I read your comments and some post, as well as others. This is what gets me. As long as it is John Calvin, Martin Luther etc… I see words used such as “inspired,” “thankful,” “grateful” concerning their writings and works. Let a Catholic do/say that, and you place a whole new meaning on it.
    That is not being Sola-Scriptura. That is giving thanks and honor to someone outside of God. You cannot have it both ways, and that is exactly what you do.

    Rev. 12 is no other than Mary. I can explain that better if you want.

    If you went to visit the queen of England I promise you, you would have to bow before her.

    We do not worship Mary. But as the chosen one by God to be impregnated by the Holy Spirit, to bring forth Jesus, she is due the upmost of honor. God honored her Tom, by choosing her to have His Son. It does not get much more honor than that. I promise you, if she appeared before you, you would hit that ground in honor of her.

    If you are going to take out things I said here, please just do not post it. You cannot make things just fit what you want to believe. The whole of Scripture runs from Genesis to Revelations. That, is the “Whole Counsel of God.” God Bless, SR


    1. SR, Early Mariologists had a big problem on their hands; how to justify worship of Mary when Scripture strictly forbids worship of anyone other than God. They solved this riddle by concocting a worship-reverence construct. “Dulia” reverence was for saints, “hyper-dulia” reverence was for Mary, and “latria” worship was only for God. So Catholics could worship Mary with clear consciences by using the mental reservation/qualification that they were technically only honoring her. But any disinterested party who observed Marian hyper-dulia would conclude the devotees were worshiping Mary. Where exactly the line is between “hyper-dulia” and “latria,” no Catholic can honestly say. You ascribe divine powers to Mary and co-attribute to her the offices that Christ alone holds of Mediator and Redeemer. I see from your blog that you are a fervent Mariolatrist and a lover of your institutional religion so I’ll keep this reply brief.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I thank you for your reply and the kindness in it. Though I disagree that I “worship Mary,” I just wanted to point out, that at sometimes in all of our lives man gives honor to man. I do honor Mary, Tom, for all she did. I honor Moses, David, Abraham, Paul, Peter, and those in the Bible, to whom the will of God was handed to and they delivered it.

        Just as many give honor to Martin Luther, John Calvin, book authors and the like, for their thoughts and for their works. They do this actually by giving them the respect they feel they are due.

        I just do not like it when a Catholic does the same thing for someone in the Bible or one of the saints, then it is “idol worship.” If that holds true for us, then it has to hold true for others as well. The same goes for the many statues in this nation of our veterans, those who shaped and formed this country, pictures of our grandkids etc…. I kiss the pictures of my grandkids each time I dust them, but that does not mean I “worship them.”

        Yes, I honor our vets, living and dead, as this whole country does on Veterans Day. A whole day is set aside in their honor.

        Jesus is my Redeemer and no other, and the Mediator of the New Covenant. That is what I hold true in my heart. Only God knows my heart.

        Again thank you for your kindness and honesty in this reply. God Bless, SR


  2. I am sorry but I had to come back with this thought. I also “honor” my father and mother, as I am commanded to by God. Each time I go to my mother’s grave it makes me go to my knees, as I miss her so much.

    I honor my father by seeing about him in his old age, and as a parent.

    Tom, as well as my earthy father and mother, I also give honor to those in my spiritual life as well. God most of all. For some reason just thought about that.

    Sorry to come back, but that was just placed in my heart. God Bless, SR

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No problem, SR. God commands that we must worship Him in spirit in and truth. We must worship Him according to His way and not our own. We must come to Him for salvation by His Way, not by the imaginations of men which say everyone in the world will be saved if they “follow the light they are given.” That is not the Narrow Way of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

      The Israelites of the Old Testament certainly honored their parents, living and deceased, to a much greater degree than we honor our parents in this culture. But they would never think of praying to them or to any other dead personage. That would be necromancy and idolatry and a person who practiced such things could be stoned to death according to the Mosaic Law. We certainly remember and honor our loved ones but I pray to and worship only the Lord. There is no example in the New Testament of any believer praying to or worshipping anyone but God. Comparing the honor and love we have for our parents to the great worship and supplication Catholics give to Mary as a Mediator and co-Redeemer for the sake of salvation is not valid.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tom,

    I thank you for your reply and I could give a five day discussion on this but will leave it here. There are some things we will never agree on, but I must say this:

    For the first time I really enjoyed our discussion. Again, I thank you for your honesty and kindness. I try not to comment here a whole lot, but this was something I felt I had to point out. Have a great day and God Bless, SR

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, SR. Yes, I have also enjoyed our exchanges…this one and our previous one months ago. I don’t usually care to spend a lot of time debating and arguing with Catholics who send in comments objecting to my posts. I feel that engaging in long debates and arguments draws me away from what the Lord intends for me to do here and I must be a good steward of my time. But I felt the Lord wanted me to spend time discussing these issues with you. Thanks and I also hope you have a great day and that the Lord will bless you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think respect goes a long way and knowing when to quit. I am sorry if I have ever offended or hurt you. Sometimes my dander could get stirred up. We all have our calling from God. The thing we must be careful with it is as you say, “being a good steward” of the time and how we handle it. God Bless, SR

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Likewise, I am sorry if any of my messages took on a mean spirited tone. I certainly do not mean any personal affront, but as you mention, we get stirred up emotionally when something so important to us is being discussed/debated. Many of my friends and family members are Catholics although most could be categorized as nominal Catholics at best. My arguments are with Catholic doctrine and I should make sure to curb any personal harshness. Jesus offered the Good News with hard hitting truth but also with grace and love for the lost.

      Liked by 1 person

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