On Mother Mary And Marian Devotion In The Philippines

After all the articles aiming to criticize the destructive religiosity of the Philippines, I find myself writing another piece about how some of our beliefs seem twisted and somehow dangerous in a sense. Of course, again, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and opinion. However, for now, please hear out some of the points I have to offer. Indeed, when I finish, you’re even welcome to brand me as a blasphemer and heretic. After all, I know what I’m putting forth here is largely against Filipino traditions and concepts. Then again though, do note that some of our traditions such as “Filipino Time” and “Fiesta Mentality” do more harm than good…

marian_devotion

Okay, first off, note how I used the title “Mother Mary” over “Virgin Mary” even though the latter seems to be the more popular moniker for the mother of Christ. Well for one, she is, after all, a mother figure to all Christians and, secondly, I don’t believe the idea she stayed a virgin for the rest of her life. I mean, c’mon, she was a traditional Jewish woman in the ancient world. For all we know, she and Joseph probably produced kids of their own once Jesus was up and about in the world. However, that’s not the point here and I’m not going to go any deeper on that topic.

Based on what I know of ancient history as well as what I’ve read from the Bible, Mary was an otherwise ordinary woman with extraordinary reserves of kindness, wisdom and strength of character. She’d had the strength to bear the responsibility of raising God in human form and impart to him the values of being a good man and, at the end of it all, the fortitude to watch her own son die a brutal death at the hands of His enemies. She seemed like a humble woman who nonetheless made it her personal duty to be a good mother and a figure of hope to her son’s friends.

However, in our culture (as well as that of many other third-world societies), we tend to focus too much on the “virgin” aspect of Mother Mary, giving an otherwise Christian figure a very pagan feel. Indeed, our Marian Devotion (devotion or veneration of Mother Mary) only affirms the concept of the “Madonna-Whore Complex”, that is believing a woman is either “all good” or “all bad” instead of seeing them as people who are every bit as vulnerable and fallible as men. To many Marian Devotees, the Virgin Mary is the perfect example of feminine purity and plays a part into why we look down or laugh at people who mention genitals or why some of us assume outgoing women to be “flirty”.

For some of us, the Virgin Mary has become a deity in her own right (even though she clearly isn’t and, if she’s watching us right now, she’d be outright appalled by some of our practices and beliefs) and often use her as the image of the “ideal woman” even though she was clearly meant to be no such thing. If anything, she should be considered a model mom for Christian women in society and not used as a measuring stick to measure a woman’s worth. As implied by long-time GRP commenter Marius, there seems to be a sizable difference between what was probably the real Mother Mary and the porcelain idols that many claim are the image of Christ’s mother with the thought that the latter might actually be something else entirely.

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Post Author: Grimwald

I came that you may know PAIN and have it in abundance…

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21 Comments on "On Mother Mary And Marian Devotion In The Philippines"

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actjaxs2000
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Please answer this question, what is “Filipino Time” and “Fiesta Mentality” and where do these things belong in the business or academic world? I have seen people miss work or school. I have seen people come to work or school late because of these two things. i look at someone who will tell me they need more money, but miss work due to these two things. I believe in keeping traditions sacred. I do not believe an tradition should come between making a better living for yourself or family. I ask everyone this question. Is “Filipino Time” and “Fiesta Mentality”… Read more »
marius
Guest
Ah, so that’s what you meant 🙂 I was expecting another horror story. I completely agree. However my original comment was that it doesn’t really matter who she was or was not. Christianity is about Christ. Jesus took on the role as mediator with God (“no-one comes to the Father except through me”) and he certainly never suggested his mother could stand in for a while if he felt like taking a day off. The saints were all just human beings. Talking to (or attempting to talk to) the souls of dead humans, saints or otherwise, is called necromancy, and… Read more »
Andy
Guest

Spot on Marius…love it!

MidwayHaven
Guest

I have a book entitled “Papal Sin” (2000) by Gary Wills, which describes Mary less as a religious figure and more of a political instrument of the Catholic Church (especially during the 19th-20th centuries).

Marian devotion is kept white-hot because Roman Catholicism ignores a female aspect of the Trinity. Wills suggests that it should be the Holy Spirit which should be the feminine aspect of God, because it possesses the traditional roles that Marian politics co-opted (teacher, comforter, evangelizer).

zaxx
Member

More joxx…

What do Mary and Mar have in common?

Ans: Both are deaf to all your requests/pleas.

An incompetent goddess and an incompetent future president for an incompetent people. They all match perfectly!

34Hayden007Toro9999.99
Guest
34Hayden007Toro9999.99

Mr. Grimwald, I respect your beliefs; whatever they may be. As long as you do not go on, strapping explosives on your body. And become a suicide bomber; killing us, non believers; or murdering those who do not share your beliefs, to prove your point…

Vincent
Member
Is being a Marian devotee makes one a Catholic and which automatically makes him a devoted Christian? I asked that because I find it confusing. Why? Because in the Bible, I don’t remember Mary being appointed by God to have a position to which Catholics have put her. In the case of Christ, there were clear passages in the Bible that makes him a “mediator” between God and Man. Most Catholics I asked this question always points me to the scene at a wedding in Canaan where Mary ask her son Jesus to turn water into wine. However, I remember… Read more »
Vincent
Member

Sorry for the italics. I just inky want to emphasize “May padrino system din pala sa langit, e dito pa kaya.”

zaxx
Member
Well if something smells fishy, you can bet there’s something rotten. I think religion has to be logical. If you hear a lot of baloney from the teachers which doesn’t make sense, you can be quite sure these guys are just pulling your leg. Catholicism is a stepping stone to the next level. Think of it as a stairway to the truth. Pinoys need to graduate and move higher. I like the way fast-talking creation apologist Kent Hovind says it: once you get to the top of the mountain of truth, you’ll find the Baptists have been sitting there all… Read more »
Rolf
Guest
Since it is said that the Devil is able to disguise himself, it is possible that those Marian apparitions/messages are all fraudulent, proving that many people have already been deceived by the Devil’s charms. Also, that story regarding the rosary is built on lies if one has read and understood the Bible. There is no basis that Peter serves as a gatekeeper to heaven, possessing the Book of Life. When one has already been sent to the Lake of Fire, they are damned to burn there eternally. The Bible has no documentation or proof regarding the Rosary as a tool… Read more »
Rolf
Guest
Just to add to my previous statement regarding the Rosary as a mean to enter heaven, if those claims, though contradictory to the Bible’s teachings, were true, what would be the point of Christ’s sacrifice and mission to free mankind from sin? Also, John 10:1 considers those who trust ways other than Jesus Christ for salvation as thieves and robbers, as stated as such: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” To conclude, Philippine spirituality needs to… Read more »
Jorge Barba
Guest

Deification is a pagan practice. Only divine condescension is scriptural.

God is the perfection of attributes.
Mary is deified as omnipresent, God’s infinity applied to space.
Therefore, God ceased to be God as He has to compete with Mary in one of his attributes.

Therefore, Catholics have the entire country drunk in idolatry.

Aeta
Guest

What Filipinos need is not more religiosity, but more ego-lessness.

d_forsaken
Guest

With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.

Aeta
Guest

It goes the same for all corrupt Filipino politicians, who had delusionally convinced themselves that they are faithful, disciplined, and selflessly devoted to their causes; and, still nothing has changed in the Philippines.

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