Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bab 27 What About Mary?

We have identified the woman astride the beast as Vatican City and the false World Church which will eventually be headquartered there. But why a woman on the beast and not a man? Why is this false World Church seen as a woman? Again this criterion, like all of the others in Revelation 17, fits the Vatican perfectly. The most prominent figure by far in Roman Catholicism is a woman. She overshadows all else, including even God Himself. More prayers are offered to the Catholic Mary and more attention and honor is given to her than to Christ and God combined. There are thousands of shrines to Mary around the world (and hundreds of shrines to other "saints"), but scarcely more than a handful of minor shrines to Christ himself.

Some Catholic leaders even boast that in this day of burgeoning "goddess consciousness" and "women's liberation" the Catholic Church is right in tune with the times: A woman holds the position of highest honor and power. In Catholicism it is a woman through whom all graces, gifts, blessings, and power flow-a woman, who, as we shall see, has the amazing potential to unite the entire world, including even the Muslims, in one religion. This "perpetual Virgin," however, is a fiction that bears no relationship to the real Mary of the Bible, a woman who was not only Christ's mother but also Joseph's loving wife.

Mary "Ever Virgin"?

The Bible teaches that Mary was a virgin until the time that Jesus was born. Subsequently she had a number of other children by Joseph, her husband.

This fact is clearly expressed by the statement that Jesus was her
"firstborn son" and that Joseph "knew her not until" Christ was born (Matthew 1:25). There are repeated references to Jesus' brothers and sisters, some of whom are even mentioned by name. The people who knew Jesus where He grew up in Nazareth "were astonished and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom and these mighty

works?" They went on to argue:

Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brethren James and Joses and Simon and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? (Matthew 13:55,56; cf. Mark 6:3).

Catholic apologists such as Karl Keating insist that these brothers and sisters were really Christ's cousins and that Matthew and Mark had to use the word for brother/sister because neither Hebrew nor Aramaic had a word for "cousin." There is no basis for such an unbiblical supposition. Furthermore, Matthew and Mark were written in Greek. Keating insists that although there was a word for cousins (anepsios) in the Greek, it was common for Jews writing in Greek to continue the Hebrew practice of referring to all relatives as brothers/sisters (adelphos). He cites examples from the Septuagint, but none from the New Testament, because there are none. In fact, anepsios is used in Colossians 4:10 to refer to the cousin of Barnabas. Moreover, the brethren of Jesus are usually mentioned as being in the company of Mary, indicating that they were her children in her care or, if grown, traveling with her as part of the immediate family.

The Catholic argument goes on to insist that for Christ to be born of a womb that would later conceive and give birth to other children would somehow contaminate Him. That argument, again, is not only without biblical basis but takes away from Christ's very humility in becoming a man. Peter de Rosa, as a Catholic, gives some interesting insights into why Rome can't allow Mary to have sexual intercourse even after giving birth to Christ:

[W]e noted that priests, especially popes, have developed a cult of the Virgin Mary. For celibates, the ideal woman is an asexual being who gave birth to a child. Mary had a baby without sexual intercourse; that is perfection.

If Mary had taken a vow of virginity, however, and that was what she meant by her response to Gabriel, then (as Martin Luther pointed out) by allowing Joseph to marry her she would have committed treachery and poured contempt upon the holy covenant of marriage. Even the Catholic Church doesn't allow a wife to take a vow of continence at her own pleasure, and the Bible is against it, declaring that the marriage bed is God's will for married couples (Genesis 1:28; 2:21-24; 1 Corinthians 7:3-5) and that it is honorable in all (Hebrews 13:4).

Clearly Mary's words to Gabriel "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" (Luke 1:34) refer only to her condition at that time. This was not a declaration that she had taken a vow of celibacy. If she had, she would not have been engaged to Joseph (verse 27). And if her perpetual virginity isn't true, neither are the other fantasies about Mary which Catholicism has invented (her immaculate conception, bodily assumption to heaven, etc.).

Mary, "Mother of God"

The most authoritative book written on Catholicism's "Virgin Mary" is by Cardinal and Saint Alphonsus de Liguori. Titled The Glories of Mary, it is a virtual compendium of what the great "saints" of the Roman Catholic Church have had to say about Mary down through the centuries. The chapter headings are staggering, crediting Mary with attributes, abilities, titles, and functions that belong to Christ alone: "Mary, Our Life, Our Sweetness"; "Mary, Our Hope"; "Mary, Our Help"; "Mary, Our Advocate"; "Mary, Our Guardian"; "Mary, Our Salvation." Here is a sampling of Liguori's quotes of what the saints have said concerning Mary's role in salvation:

Sinners receive pardon by ... Mary alone. He falls and is lost who has not recourse to Mary. Mary is called ...the gate of Heaven because no one can enter that blessed kingdom without passing through her. The way of salvation is open to none otherwise than through Mary ... the salvation of all depends on their being favored and protected by Mary. He who is protected by Mary will be saved; he who is not will be lost ... our salvation depends on thee.... God will not save us without the intercession of Mary.... who would receive any grace were it not for thee, 0 Mother of God ... ?

"Mother of God"? Yes, Jesus is God and Mary is His mother, but she is not the mother of Him as God, which He was and is from all eternity before Mary was even born. She is the mother of the physical body which the Son of God took when He became man, but she is not the Mother of God! The Scripture explains Mary's role:

Wherefore when he [Jesus] cometh into the world, he saith... a body hast thou prepared me (Hebrews 10:5).

The incredibly unbiblical position to which Mary has been exalted by Roman Catholic tradition continues to be evidenced in the prayers offered to her. Those quoted at the beginning of this chapter are but a few of literally thousands which show that this false Mary is the very heart and life of Roman Catholicism. Yet Catholic apologists, sensitive of criticism in this regard, deny that Catholics pray to Mary. Peter Kreeft, for example, deceitfully writes, "Catholics [don't pray to saints, they] only ask saints to pray for them just as we ask the living to pray for us."

On the contrary, the most numerous and popular prayers in Catholicism are to the saints and especially to Mary, not to God or to Christ. Moreover, these prayers ask Mary to do for Catholics and for the entire world what she would literally have to be God (and, for some things, Christ) to be able to accomplish. At the close of the Sunday Mass in Denver in August 1993, John Paul II consigned all youth and the entire world to Mary's protection and guidance:

Mary of the New Advent, we implore your protection on the preparations that will now begin for the next meeting (World Youth Day]. Mary, full of grace, we entrust the next World Youth Day to you. Mary, assumed into heaven, we entrust the young people of the world ... the whole world to you!

Catholics only ask Mary to pray for them? If one asks prayer of a friend one doesn't say, "I implore your protection and entrust the whole world to you"! Yet such requests that only God could fulfill are typical of Catholic petitions of Mary, who is exalted to omnipotence and credited with caring for all who trust in her.

"Mary, Queen of Heaven"

Time magazine comments that "according to modern Popes" Mary is "the Queen of the Universe, Queen of Heaven, Seat of Wisdom. ..." In the pope's September 1993 speech in Lithuania, he spoke of Mary as "Mother of the Church, Queen of the Apostles [and] dwelling place of the Trinity"! He told "priests and aspirants to the priestly life, men and women Religious" to "look to Mary ... who is venerated here ... in the shrines of Ausros Vartai and Siluva, to which I will go on pilgrimage! ... To Mary I entrust all of you. .. !" Such blasphemy is repeated in the most recited Catholic prayer, the Rosary. It concludes with this final petition:

Hail, holy Queen [of heaven], Mother of Mercy! our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping, in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus; O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Mary is our life and our hope? According to Scripture, Christ is our life (Colossians 3:4)! Why Mary is the Catholic's hope was explained by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, whom Billy Graham admiringly called "the greatest communicator of the twentieth century":

When I was ordained, I took a resolution to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist every Saturday to the Blessed Mother.... All this makes me very certain that when I go before the Judgment Seat of Christ, He will say to me in His Mercy: "I heard My Mother speak of you." During my life I have made about thirty pilgrimages to the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes and about ten to her shrine in Fatima.

What a pitiful expression of hope for eternity-that Mary will put in a good word for him because of his devotion to her! What happened to his faith in the Christ who died for his sins? In Catholicism, Christ and His sacrifice for our sins upon the cross are not enough. To be saved, one must have Mary's favor, for she decides who will be in heaven, as the many quotes above demonstrate.

Do Mary's "eyes of mercy" actually see everyone in the world? Is she really the "Mother of Mercy"? Didn't God's mercy exist long before Mary was even born? We read of the "God of mercy" (Psalm 59:17) and are encouraged to "trust in the mercy of God" (Psalm 52:8; Luke 1:78; etc.) but never a word is said in the entire Bible about Mary's mercy toward mankind.

Those who know God's mercy have no need of Mary's mercy. In fact, she would have to be omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent (qualities of God alone) in order to extend mercy to all mankind. Paul and John both refer to "grace, mercy, and peace" coming from God to believers (1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4; 2 John 1:3), but nowhere is there a hint that mercy is bestowed by Mary on Christians. Yet the Rosary makes it seem that we depend upon her mercy rather than upon God's. Is it really her doing that brings believers into the presence of Christ? According to the Rosary, one would think so.

Mary is the "Queen of Heaven"? We are told in Scripture that Christ is the king, but never that there is a queen of heaven, much less that she is Mary. If there were a queen who shares Christ's throne it would be His bride, the church composed of the redeemed, yet the church is never referred to as the queen of heaven. The only "queen of heaven" mentioned in Scripture is an idol which was worshiped by the pagans and to which the Jewish women gave offerings, bringing the wrath of God upon them:

The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger....

Because ye have burned incense [to the queen of heaven] and because ye have sinned against the Lord ... therefore this evil is happened unto you (Jeremiah 7:18; 44:15).

Far from being embarrassed by such pagan connections, Rome flaunts them. Many Catholics boast that Mary has taken the place of "Maia, the nymph of Greek mythology, who was the mother of Hermes by Zeus, the sky god." The month of May was named after Maia, who was known as "the queen of May ... [and] the Jesuit effort to turn the Queen of May into the Virgin Mary was successful...."

The Multiple Marys

There are many Marys in Catholicism, "Our Lady" of this and "Our Lady" of that. Wherever "Mary" appears in various forms, that particular "Mary" develops a following. Most Catholics have their favorite "Mary." Some prefer "Our Lady of Medjugorje," others "Our Lady of Guadalupe" or "Our Lady of Lourdes." Pope John Paul II has two favorite "Marys": the "black Virgin" of Jasna Gora, the patron saint and protectress of Poland, and "Our Lady of Fatima."

The latter allegedly appeared to him during his convalescence from the attempted murder (which took place on the anniversary of her supposed first appearance in Fatima, Portugal, on May 13, 1917). She had saved his life, she said, for a purpose and would give the world a sign that would cause it to bow to his supreme spiritual authority. Time reported:

Devotion to Mary was ingrained in the Pope in his Polish homeland, where over the centuries the [black] Madonna has been hailed for turning back troops of the Muslim Turks, Swedish Lutherans and, in 1920, Soviet Bolsheviks....

John Paul [II has] made Mary's unifying power a centerpiece of his papal arsenal. He has visited countless Marian shrines during his globe trotting, and invokes the Madonna's aid in nearly every discourse and prayer that he delivers.

The "Mary of the New Advent" to whom the pope referred in Denver is particularly associated with World Youth Day, which John Paul II has been promoting for some years. She was displayed at the all-night prayer vigil of pilgrims who walked to Cherry Creek Park (near Denver) to meet the pope, who came in by helicopter. A journalist who was present writes:

It is well past 9 P.M. when the icon, the official one of World Youth Day, is presented. This part of the vigil is referred to as "Veneration [worship] of the image of the Virgin Mary: Our Lady of the New Advent" [which] the pilgrims now view for the first time. .. a painting of Mary with the child Jesus still in her womb....

The Lady of the New Advent is the most vulgar icon we have seen.... As the Colorado Chorus and the Youth Chorale sing the "Taize Magnificat," ten youngsters from Denver lift the icon of Our Lady of the New Advent and carry it around the aisles of the magnetometered area near the three-part stage. The crowd responds lavishly to it. Flashbulbs go off.... [Flower] petals are strewn around the icon....

The next day, Sunday, the pope returned in his helicopter. The pilgrims, shivering from the chill (having tried to sleep through the night on the ground), greeted him again with renewed excitement. There he celebrated Mass and 3000 priests took several hours to minister the wafers to the crowd of 375,000. Addressing Mary in heaven personally at times during his talk, the pope began:

With my heart full of praise for the Queen of Heaven, the sign of hope and source of comfort on our pilgrimage of faith to the heavenly Jerusalem, I greet all of you who are present at this solemn liturgy.... This liturgy presents you, Mary, as the woman clothed with the sun.... 0 woman clothed with the sun ... the youth of the world greet you with so much love.... In Mary the final victory of life over death is already a reality....

O Mary ... as Mother of the Church, you guide us still from your place in heaven and ... help us to increase in holiness by conquering sin.

The Cult and Worship of Mary

As early as 1854 Pius IX had sent up a papal infallibility trial balloon. It was well-received by the Church because it involved the ever popular "Virgin Mary." On his own initiative-by his own authority and standing alone without any Council or the magisterium supporting him-Pius IX pronounced as a dogma that all Catholics must accept the Immaculate Conception of Mary: that she was "in the first instant of her conception ... preserved free from all stain of original sin...." It was, in effect, a declaration of his own infallibility-that he did not need the support of the bishops or a Council but could define such binding dogmas on his own.

On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII made an allegedly infallible ex cathedra declaration in his Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus that "the immaculate Mother of God and ever Virgin Mary was at the end of her life assumed into heaven body and soul." In the Constitution the pope claimed that the dogma of the assumption had been unanimously believed in the Church from the very beginning and that it was fully supported by Scripture. In fact, the dogma was unknown to the early church and is unsupported by Scripture. Such papal declarations simply responded to the popular sentiment of Catholics and contributed to the growing cult of Mary.

The cult of Mary developed gradually as the apostasy gathered momentum. Commenting upon the adoration of Mary that took place during the pope's 1993 visit to Denver, a writer reminds us: "The Encyclopedia Britannica says that during the first centuries of the church there was no emphasis of Mary whatsoever. The Catholic Encyclopedia concurs: "... there is no ground for surprise if we do not meet with any clear traces of the cultus of the Blessed Virgin in the first Christian centuries."' Von Dollinger explains:

Neither the New Testament nor the Patristic writings tell us anything about the destiny of the Holy Virgin after the death of Christ. Two apocryphal works of the fourth or fifth century-one ascribed to St. John, the other to Melito, Bishop of Sardis-are the earliest. .. [suggestions] about her bodily assumption.

The Roman Catholic Church denies that Mary is worshiped. She is supposedly only given hyperdulia, the other saints dulia, while Christ is given latria. But consider this prayer which is popular among Catholics: "Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul." Why not only to Jesus? Why to anyone else? Only God demands-and surely only He deserves-one's "heart and soul." How can one give one's heart and soul to someone without worshiping that person? Can anyone in the same breath give latria to Jesus, hyperdulia to Mary, and dulia to Joseph?

Among devout Catholics, those who have dedicated themselves to serve Mary are legion. Typical is the Legion of Mary, which "began in Ireland on Sept. 7, 1921 ... and is now in every country on the face of the earth. Mary's troops are everywhere!" The Legion has enjoyed the "commendation of five popes" since its inception. Pope Paul VI said, "The Legion of Mary is an army of those devoted and stalwart clients of Mary who are combatting the forces of evil in the world today." It is an undeniable fact that devotion to Mary among Catholics far exceeds devotion to God or Christ.

The Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent Mary

Soul Magazine, "Official publication of The Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima in the U.S. and Canada" (22 million strong) declares: "Mary is so perfectly united with the Holy Spirit that He acts only through [her] His spouse.... all our life, every thought, word, and deed is in Her hands ... at every moment, She Herself must instruct, guide, and transform each one of us into Herself, so that not we but She lives in us, as Jesus lives in Her, and the Father in the Son." Every thought, word, and deed of all mankind is in Mary's hands? She instructs, guides, and transforms each one of us into Herself? Then Mary is God!

Never does the Bible say that the Holy Spirit only acts through Mary! The Holy Spirit has been in action from eternity past, an eternity before Mary even was born. All our life is in God's hands, not Mary's. We are instructed and guided by God, not by Mary. And we are being transformed into the image of Christ, not the image of Mary. Nor does the Bible ever hint that Mary lives in the believers, while it assures us that Christ lives in us by His Spirit. To suggest that such promises are fulfilled in Mary is blasphemy of the vilest sort, which the real Mary would rebuke!

The Bible says repeatedly that Christ lives in the Christian (John 14:20; Colossians 1:27; Galatians 4:19) and the Christian in Christ (Romans 8:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:10; etc.) but says never a word about anyone either being in Mary or Mary in anyone. For that to be true of Mary, as it is of God and Christ, she would have to be omnipresent like God. Amaz-ingly, whatever the Bible promises God will do for us through Christ requires, in Catholicism, the intercession and intervention of Mary as an additional intermediary. What an abomination!

Consider "the Holy Father's [pope's] Prayer for the Marian Year." The pope asks Mary to comfort, guide, strengthen, and protect "the whole of humanity." To do so she would have to be all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere at once. Even worse, his prayer ends: "Sustain us, 0 Virgin Mary, on our journey of faith and obtain for us the grace of eternal salvation.” This is blasphemy! Yet it is commonly declared that "Mary is the refuge of sinners ... the Gate of Heaven ... our way to enter into paradise."

Christ paid the debt for our sins and with His blood purchased our salvation, which is offered freely by God's grace to all who will receive it. There is no mention whatsoever of Mary in the gospel which Paul and the early church preached. To suggest that Mary must or even can in any way "obtain for us the grace of eternal salvation" is a denial of the sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice upon the cross for our sins and a rejection of the grace and love of God and Christ. Catholics try to explain it away, but the fact is that Catholicism's "Mary" is exalted above Christ and God.

Maryology and Maryolotry

There are conservative Catholics who consider Pope John Paul II to be the betrayer of their Church because of his acceptance of other religions. Yet they are united with him in his devotion to Mary. The powerful expose of the pope's ecumenism titled Peter, Lovest Thou Me? is dedicated "to the Immaculate Heart of the Most Holy Virgin Mary."

For Mary's heart to be immaculate she must have been sinless. Yet the Bible unequivocally declares, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Mary herself rejoiced in God as her Savior (Luke 1:47), and only sinners need a Savior. Christ clearly said, "There is none good but one, that is God" (Matthew 19:17; Mark 10:18). No exception is made for Mary.

If the accusation were made that Mary is their chief deity, almost every Catholic would deny it vehemently. This is, however, the way it works out in practice. It is said that when Mary commands even God obeys. What began as Maryology gradually became Maryolatry as the thousands of prayers to Mary, which attribute to her everything from salvation to omnipotence, testify. A popular tract, "The Rosary, Your Key to Heaven," declares:

The Rosary is a means of salvation, because a true child of Mary is never lost and one who says the Rosary daily is truly Mary's child.... Mary is our all-powerful Advocate and she can obtain from the Heart of her Divine Son whatever is good for her children.... No one is beyond redemption if he but turns to Mary Immaculate.

The fact that Christ died for our sins and offers eternal life as a free gift of His grace means nothing without Mary. Though the Bible never even hints at such a thing, and though Paul never preached it or told it to anyone, yet for the Catholic,

Mary has become the essential conduit through which salvation and all grace flows. Jesus and God the Father play an important role too, but it is Mary who brings everything together and dispenses all God's gifts to those who through devotion to her become "her children."

This blasphemous dogma is taught without any biblical basis whatsoever. Nowhere does the Bible suggest that anyone becomes a "child of Mary." According to the biblical gospel we become "the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:26). Yet in Catholicism one becomes a "child of Mary" with the promise that "no true child of Mary will ever perish." Again she has usurped the place of Christ.

Yes, Catholicism acknowledges that Christ is the one Mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5), but Mary is the mediatrix between mankind and Christ, "the short road to Jesus." "Jesus is. .. the Reservoir of all graces, and Mary is the Conduit whereby they are brought to us.... [Jesus] desires that His own Mother be our immediate Advocate ... to Whom we entrust our wants, and She shall present them to Jesus..............Thus prayers to God, though in Christ's name and through Him, require Mary's intervention. Indeed, "all graces" come by means of Mary's "powerful intercession":

O God of infinite goodness and mercy, fill our hearts with a great confidence in our Most Holy Mother, whom we invoke under the title of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and grant us by her most powerful intercession all the graces, spiritual and temporal, which we need. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Bible is very clear that we come to the Father through Jesus Christ (John 15:16; 16:23). Never is there the slightest suggestion that we must come to Christ through Mary, much less that Mary herself is to be petitioned and answers prayer on her own initiative and in her own power. Yet Mary's function as an intermediary to Christ and her powerful intervention on behalf of and protection of those who call upon her is both taught in Catholicism and testified to by Catholics.

A convict in prison who converted to Catholicism testified in Keating's This Rock magazine to the transformation in his own life and what "the Holy Spirit" did for other convicts who were also "converted." There is little about Christ (other than making the "sign of the cross"), but much about the Church and "Catholic community" and, of course, Mary. The article stresses the "spiritual fruits" of the prison ministry, demonstrated by the converted convicts all participating in an act of "total consecration"-not to Christ or God, however, but "to the Immaculate heart of Mary":

I knew it was Mother who had called them [the converts] to her heart.... I realized we could work things out so that the consecration could be made as a group in public when Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb was scheduled to be here for confirmation.

The only time we could all get together for our group preparation was at 6:30 in the morning on the recreation yard, so that's what we did for 33 consecutive days. Murderers, rapists, burglars, drug dealers, and arsonists; these men sacrificed daily to meet for the Mother of God. Each day they withstood cold, wind, rain, and ridicule to prepare their hearts and souls for a total consecration to the Mother of the Perfect Prisoner.

The big day came. Just before the apostolic blessing at the close of Mass, Archbishop Lipscomb allowed the public consecration. We filed past a borrowed statue of our Lady, each man stopping to bow in her honor, and lined up before the altar and then knelt. Since I led the consecration prayers, I couldn't see what was going on around me. I was told later that the Archbishop and the priests who accompanied him appeared to be fighting emotion during the ceremony. After all, before them knelt thirteen hardened criminals, converts all, who had become innocent little children at the feet of their Mother (emphasis added).

Mary Crushes the Serpent's Head

Genesis 3:15 provides the first promise of the Messiah. God is speaking to the serpent (Satan): "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it [the seed of the woman, i.e., the virgin-born Messiah] shall bruise thy [the serpent's] head, and thou [Satan] shalt bruise his [the Messiah's] heel. Yet Catholic translations of Genesis 3:15 for years have said that "she [the woman] shall bruise thy head."

"The Rosary, Your Key to Heaven," cited above, says that Mary "will crush the serpent's head ... all are in need of her help to get to Heaven." This abominable usurpation by the fictitious Catholic Mary of Christ's place as victor over sin and Satan persists as one of Catholicism's major perversions of truth. In Pius IX's 1849 encyclical, Ubi primum, he declared that Mary's "foot has crushed the head of Satan" and that it was Mary herself who "always has delivered the Christian people from their greatest calamities and the snares and assaults of all their enemies, ever rescuing them from ruin." Again, she would have to be God to do so.

On November 27, 1830, Mary allegedly appeared in Paris to Catherine Laboure with her heel on the serpent's head and ordered that a "medal" be cast with this depiction of her victory over Satan. "Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal" became extremely popular. This medal is still worn around the necks of millions of Catholics for protection, many of whom swear that miracles have occurred for them as a result of wearing this amulet.

"Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal" is only one of literally thousands of alleged appearances of the Catholic "Virgin Mary" around the world and down through the centuries. Such apparitions have been multiplying and their frequency accelerating in recent years. Some are not recognized by the Church as legitimate, but many are; and all, whether officially acknowledged or not, affect millions of Roman Catholics who look to them as evidence that the Catholic Mary is indeed the hope of the world.

It is a Woman whom John saw astride the beast. Does that fact include intimations of the strategic role that Rome's fraudulent Mary will play in the preparation of the world for antichrist? We must consider that possibility carefully.

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