To Save Protestantism, should we turn to… Mary?

The Theotokos of Vladimir, one of the most ven...
The Theotokos of Vladimir, one of the most venerated of Orthodox Christian icons of the Virgin Mary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Continuing with a post(al) thought from yesterday, I am reminded that many Reformers allowed for Mary’s place in Christian theology. As we have lost theology, protestantism is dying. Maybe it is because we have lost Mary as well…

Below is a snippet from a page linked before. On this page are several reformers and their views on Mary.

Huldreich Zwingli


He turns, in September 1522, to a lyrical defense of the perpetual virginity of the mother of Christ . . . To deny that Mary remained ‘inviolata’ before, during and after the birth of her Son, was to doubt the omnipotence of God . . . and it was right and profitable to repeat the angelic greeting – not prayer – ‘Hail Mary’ . . . God esteemed Mary above all creatures, including the saints and angels – it was her purity, innocence and invincible faith that mankind must follow. Prayer, however, must be . . . to God alone . . .’Fidei expositio,’ the last pamphlet from his pen . . . There is a special insistence upon the perpetual virginity of Mary.

{G. R. Potter, Zwingli, London: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1976, pp.88-9,395 / The Perpetual Virginity of Mary . . ., Sep. 17, 1522}

Zwingli had printed in 1524 a sermon on ‘Mary, ever virgin, mother of God.’

{Thurian, ibid., p.76}

I have never thought, still less taught, or declared publicly, anything concerning the subject of the ever Virgin Mary, Mother of our salvation, which could be considered dishonourable, impious, unworthy or evil . . . I believe with all my heart according to the word of holy gospel that this pure virgin bore for us the Son of God and that she remained, in the birth and after it, a pure and unsullied virgin, for eternity.

{Thurian, ibid., p.76 / same sermon}

Martin Luther (founder of the reform), speaks on Mary.

So, if the Reformers — these great men of the faith and sublime bowed the knee to Mary as “mother of our salvation,” then do we not need to properly reform ourselves out of our traditions to see what she may yet hold for us?

What is the proper place for Mary in the lives of Protestant Christians?


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3 Replies to “To Save Protestantism, should we turn to… Mary?”

  1. If Protestantism has become too exclusive for its own good, not even the Virgin Mary can save it.

  2. I remember being surprised as I was reading through Wesley’s Works to discover his admiration of Mary. I wish I could cite the exact reference. I think he may have referred to her as “ever-virgin”… Sorry I can’t be more specific.

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