The Blessed Virgin Mary

Here is part two of the Being Frank posts clarifying the Catholic concept of asking the intercession of Blessed Virgin Mary through exploration of the Biblical types she fulfilled.

< Saintly Interccession • The Blessed Virgin Mary > 

To expand on what others have written, here’s a (long-ish) summary of the typologies pertaining to Mary. A type is a symbol which points to its fulfillment. As St. Augustin said, “New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is revealed in the New”. Examples include: Jesus as the Second Adam; Manna and spotless lamb prefiguring Christ, and ; circumcision and ccrossing of the Red Sea prefiguring baptism. The fulfilment in New Testament are found to be greater or more perfect, and more universal. They reveal the true meaning of the types.

Mary is the fulfilment of at least three types:
1. Arc of the Covenant
2. Davidic Queenship
3. Eve

Here, she is referred to in her fulfilment of these. It’s also notable that all of the following can be deduced from these in the Bible alone (although, of course, Sacred Tradition and Sacred Magisterium are necessary to validate them):

• Co-redemptrix
• Mediatrix
• Advocate

• Mother of God – Theotokos, “God bearer”
• Perpetual Virginity
• Immaculate Conception
• Assumption of Mary

Here are the keys used for clarification:
[T] – Type
[F] – Fulfilment

1. Arc of the New Covenant

[T] The old Arc of the Covenant contained:
1. manna (bread from Heaven)
2. Aaron’s rod (symbolising priesthood)
2. 10 commandments (God’s word in stone).

[F] The New Arc of the Covenant, the Virgin Mary, contained within her:
1. True Bread of Life from Heaven
2. the Eternal Priest after the order of Melchizedek
3. Word of God incarnate

The following parallel passages from the Old Testament foreshadow the New Arc:

[T] 2 Sam 6:9 – David says: “How can the ark of the LORD come to me?”
[F] Luke 1 – Elizabeth says: “And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

[T] 2 Sam 6:11 – “And the ark of the Lord abode in the house of Obededom the Gethite three months: and the Lord blessed Obededom, and all his household.”
[F] Luke 1:56-58 – “And Mary remained with her about three months (house of Zechari’ah). Now Elizabeth’s full time of being delivered was come, and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and kinsfolks heard that the Lord had shewed his great mercy towards her, and they congratulated with her”

[T] 2 Sam 6:14 – “And David danced before the LORD”
[F] Luke 1:41 “the babe leaped in her womb”

The implications of Mary being the Arc of the New Covenant are many, including:
• Powerful intercession in battle:[T] As the Arc was in physical battle, [F] Mary fulfills this in spiritual warfare, in fulfilment of Genesis 3:15: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
• Holiness: [T] The Arc was made from acacia wood and pure gold with precise, calculated instructions (Exodus 25:10-22), the perfection of which, by the way, is shown by its conformity to the divine proportion. We also know how holy the Arc was – so much so that a man died touching it [F] (alluding also to perpetual virginity). Imagine how much holier Mary, the fulfilment of this type, is. God himself designed her to be the perfect carrier of His only Son, imbuing her with the Sanctifying grace at the moment of conception – this is what we call the Immaculate Conception.

2. Queen Mother

See the article Chris links to in #27 for a more comprehensive coverage on this one.

In the Old Testament tradition, owing to the sheer number of wives that Kings often had, the Queen was not the wife of the King, but the mother. Part of the job description for the Queen was to intercede on behalf of the people. This can be seen in 1 Kings 2:13-23:

Then Adoni’jah the son of Haggith came to Bathshe’ba the mother of Solomon. And she said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably.” Then he said, “I have something to say to you.” She said, “Say on.” He said, “You know that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel fully expected me to reign; however the kingdom has turned about and become my brother’s, for it was his from the LORD. And now I have one request to make of you; do not refuse me.” She said to him, “Say on.” And he said, “Pray ask King Solomon–he will not refuse you–to give me Ab’ishag the Shu’nammite as my wife.” Bathshe’ba said, “Very well; I will speak for you to the king.”

So Bathshe’ba went to King Solomon, to speak to him on behalf of Adoni’jah. And the king rose to meet her, and bowed down to her; then he sat on his throne, and had a seat brought for the king’s mother; and she sat on his right. Then she said, “I have one small request to make of you; do not refuse me.” And the king said to her, “Make your request, my mother; for I will not refuse you.” She said, “Let Ab’ishag the Shu’nammite be given to Adoni’jah your brother as his wife.” King Solomon answered his mother, “And why do you ask Ab’ishag the Shu’nammite for Adoni’jah? Ask for him the kingdom also; for he is my elder brother, and on his side are Abi’athar the priest and Jo’ab the son of Zeru’iah.” Then King Solomon swore by the LORD, saying, “God do so to me and more also if this word does not cost Adoni’jah his life!

So we observe that the Queen Mother:
1. Sits on the right hand of the King (a position of honour and influence)
2. The King honours her
3. Her requests are given guarantee to be granted.

And so we pray to our Queen Mother – “Hail, Holy Queen” – because:
1. She is more exulted than Bathsheba because of the perfect honoring she receives from her Divine Son
2. She fulfils the duty of her office more perfectly. She is, together with her spouse the Holy Spirit, our advocate. Her intercessory prayers are therefore very powerful. This is her role as the Mediatrix, which was most notably fulfilled by being the channel through which the Saviour would come into the world.

3. New Eve

We know that Jesus is the New Adam, but the Early Church also believed that Mary is the New Eve, a co-redeemer. Jesus did not descend onto the Earth alone (which he could very well have done) but chose to implicate Mary in the plan of salvation to bring life, just as the original Adam had a partner in the fall to bring death. And so the words of Scripture are fulfilled also for the Second Adam: “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’” (Genesis 2:18). Thus, she is the co-redemptrix per excellence, as the helper ordained for the Second Adam in the work of redemption.

[T] Eve, through her disobedience, brought about eternal death. 
[F] Mary, through her obedience (”let it be to me according to your word” – Luke 1:38), undid the disobedience of Eve to bring about eternal life.

[T] Eve gave to Adam (”man”) the forbidden fruit to bring about death
[F] Mary gave to man (”mankind”) the fruit of her womb (Luke 1:42) in order to bring about life.

Following this pattern, we can deduce that:
[T] Eve returned to dust (Gen 3:19)
[F] Mary was taken into Heaven (Rev 12).

[T] Adam and eve were created without the stain of original sin but lost it through their disobedience
[F] Just as New Adam was created without original sin, Mary was also (as a helper fit for him), and through their perfect obedience (culminating at Calvary, where both hearts were pierced for our sake) maintained this throughout their lifetime. This is the dogma of Immaculate Conception.

[addition] I’ve found a better one to quote from this site:

            Eve, the O.T.”Type”                                                Mary, the N.T. “Antitype”
Created without original sin, Gen 2:22-25……Created without original sin, Luke 1:28,42 *1
There was a virgin, Gen 2:22-25………………..There is a virgin, Luke 1:27-34
There was a tree, Gen 2:16-17…………………….There was a cross made from a tree, Matt 27:31-35
There was a fallen angel, Gen 3:1-13……………There was a loyal angel, Luke 1:26-38
A satanic serpent tempted her, Gen 3:4-6……….A satanic dragon threatened her, Rev 12:4-6,13-17
There was pride, Gen 3:4-7…………………………There was humility, Luke 1:38
There was disobedience, Gen 3:4-7……………….There was obedience, Luke 1:38
There was a fall, Gen 3:16-20……………………There was redemption, John 19:34
Death came through Eve, Gen 3:17-19………….Life Himself came through Mary, John 10:28
She was mentioned in Genesis 3:2-22………….She was mentioned in Genesis 3:15
Could not approach the tree of life Gen 3:24…Approached the “Tree of Life”, John 19:25
An angel kept her out of Eden, Gen 3:24………An angel protected her, Rev 12:7-9
Prophecy of the coming of Christ, Gen 3:15….The Incarnation of Christ, Luke 2:7
Firstborn was a man child, Gen 4:1…………….Firstborn was a man child, Luke 2:7, Rev 12:5
Firstborn became a sinner, Gen 4:1-8………….Firstborn was the Savior, Luke 2:34
The mother of all the living, Gen 3:20………….The spiritual mother of all the living, John 19:27
Returned to dust, Gen 3:19………………………..Taken to Heaven, Rev 11:19,12:1

*1. Since Eve was created without original sin as well as Adam, then the realities of these Old Testament “types” had to be without original sin also. We know that Jesus had no original sin, and so Mary, the New Testament reality of Eve had to be without original sin also, or else she was inferior to her “type”. See “The Immaculate Conception” on this website.

[T] The name “Eve” signifies that she is “the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20).
[F] New Eve is the new Mother of all those who are alive in Christ . When Jesus gave Mary to the beloved disciple at the cross to be his mother, He gave her as a mother to all of us (John 19:27); note that he is mentioned by this title rather than any particular name – the ‘beloved disciple’ is each and every one of us. Being one of the seven last words on the cross, he spoke universal words (not the particulars and the domestic, along the lines of, “oh, I forgot about mum. John, look after her). She is our mother, because she is the mother of Christ, and the Body of Christ is the Church. And because she is our Mother, we honour her, as God tells us to (Exo 20:12).

4. The Woman of Revelation, Our Mother

Here is the culmination of all the previous types, where (in case you missed them previously!) all is revealed in glory.

The Lady of Revelation is not only Jerusalem and the Church: “And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Revelation 12:1). The child who she gives birth to is an actual person, as is the dragon. It stands to sense that the Mother is also an actual person who gave birth to the child – Mary:

• [F] Arc of the New Covenant: revealed in Rev 11:19 (a verse before the one above – keep in mind that chapters were put in place later)
• [F] Queen Mother: Jesus is the Davidiac King, so Mary must be the Davidiac Queen Mother. This is confirmed by her coronation in the Heavens with the twelve stars. (Revelation 12:1)
• [F] New Eve: We see here that she is the mother of all Christians: “Then the dragon was angry with the woman , and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus” (Rev 12 :17). This confirms Christ’s words to us: “behold your mother!” (John 19:27).

The mystery of Mary’s greatness adds (only for our perception, of course) to the glory of God in manifold ways as a sign of His overabundant love and grace. What king so majestic, so perfect in charity, so generous and glorious would fail to honour and glorify his own mother, restrict our love for her? Indeed, Mary’s perfection does not diminish the glory or worship due to God, but “magnifies the Lord” (Luke 1:46). The abundance of grace which God has ordained to allow Himself to be moved beyond justice and beyond logic, beyond His hour that “has not yet come” is indeed beyond astounding – should we not be stupefied by this staggering overabundance of grace, in Cana as well as in the present? Let us entrust ourselves and the fate of all the world to her who Christ Himself has given to us, that all may be drawn closer to Christ and rest in His salvation.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Immaculate heart of Mary, pray for us.
Arc of the Covenant, pray for us.
Queen of Angels, pray for us.
Mary, Mother of Christians, pray for us.

Saintly Interccession • Blessed Virgin Mary > 


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