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Mama Mary, what’s your real name?

by Jericho Zafra

DOES it ever cross your mind why Catholics remember Mama Mary in many names and titles? Or were you puzzled with how and why these names were associated with her?

Well, the Church also has answers for that. 

Marian devotee and Simple Professed Friar Br. Alvin R. Evangelista, O.Carm. said in an exclusive interview with republicasia that while people are confused with the many names and titles of Mama Mary, prompting them to question her real persona, Mary is just one.

Mary is a teenage girl to whom the Archangel Gabriel announces the incarnation of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, he said.

“Maraming titles si Mama Mary because those were titles based on the place of apparitions, or how a particular person or community experienced her; that is why there is Our Lady of Lourdes because the apparition happened in Lourdes, France, Fatima in Portugal, Guadalupe in Mexico.” Br. Evangelista said.

The Catholic Church has no accurate data on the official number of names and titles referring to Mary. However, according to Evangelista, the Church recognizes some Canonical names and titles approved by the Vatican.

Rev. Fr. Reynante Tolentino of Antipolo Cathedral said in an interview that while these titles have no definite number, according to Church doctrine and dogmas about Mary, the Church acknowledges some of the “official” titles for her including Mary Mother of God, Immaculate Conception, and Assumption.

Other famous names and titles approved by the Vatican are Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady, and Queen of Heaven, the Roman Catholic of Burlington said.

However, if there were official names and titles, Mary also had designations that were not recognized by the Church and were discouraged from being used to associate with Mary, including Mary, Mediatrix of all Graces in Lipa Batangas and recently, Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi forbids the use of “Inang Salvacion.”

When asked why Inang Salvacion was banned from being linked to Mary, Br. Evangelista said there were inconsistencies to the theology or the Mariological relevance of the title to what theology teaches based on Mary’s role in salvation history.

While there is no hierarchy with these names and titles, Evangelista said, “those Canonically approved by the Church should be given more importance because those titles have gone through discussions and debates before pronouncing it as it is like that of The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

In time for the feast day of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, one of the most notable official titles of Mary, Br. Evangelista and Fr. Tolentino have called on devotees and lay people to remember Mary as one and imitate Mary’s “purity and obedience to God’s will.”

Photo Credit: Quiapo Church

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