Can Mary Save Us?

Provocative question, no? Merely seeing the question asked may cause some sectarians to lose their breakfast cereal. I’m going to answer it by stealing the reply a Ukrainian (I think) priest gave to a non-Catholic objection on — of all places — a YouTube video. Commenting on the Arvo Pärt’s piece, “Most Holy Mother of God,” with its manifold repetitions of the verse, “Most Holy Mother of God, save us!”, a Protestant said this:

Beautiful, but I prefer when the music is in Latin, then I don’t hear all the blasphemy such as that Mary should “save us”.

To which Father Andrew Stephen Damick replied…

“Save” language is not exclusive to God in the Scripture:

“For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.” (Rom. 11:13-14)

“For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?” (I Cor. 7:16)

“…to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” (I Cor. 9:22)

“Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” (I Tim 4:16)

“And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” (James 5:15)

“There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 3:21)

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” (Jude 1:20-23)

Points well made.

By the way, here is the piece that the Protestant considered beautiful but blasphemous:

  • M.

    This is excellent, Br. André Marie. I have a question. A TLM priest taught a “little prayer” years ago. Alas, as my brain cells, ahhh, mature, they mix things up. I THOUGHT the prayer was “Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I love you. Save souls.” In speaking with a Catholic friend, said friend pointed out, “That’s blasphemy. Saint Joseph can’t SAVE. You should just drop his name and pray THAT instead.” Maybe the prayer that Father taught didn’t include St. Joseph’s name–brain cell mix-up? At any rate, I’ve been including St. Joseph’s name, out of great devotion to him, the flow of the prayer, and habit. Is this something I need to stop? Should I drop St. Joseph’s name from this little prayer? From what I read in your post above, which could be mixed up by my brain cells, it seems that it is perfectly acceptable and not heretical for me to include Good St. Joseph. I await your elucidation. Thank you and God bless.

  • Dear M.: Your “little brain cells” are better than you think! That is exactly the way the prayer goes: “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you! Save Souls!”

    According to WikiPedia (that infallible source of wisdom and knowledge!), this prayer was given to Sr. Consolata Betrone by Our Lord. See:

    Other sites I saw left Saint Joseph’s name out.

    Regardless of what the exact private revelation was to this holy Capuchin nun, the prayer is theologically defensible with Saint Joseph’s name based on the principles given above.

  • M.

    Brother, you are too kind! Thank you so very much for your reply. I shall include you and your intentions today and tomorrow when I pray this “little prayer”. I will be printing out this post and the comments to help me remember your answer. Haha about WikiPedia and its infallibility. God bless.

  • Thank you!