The Blessed Virgin Mary is an important figure in Catholicism and Christianity in general. Unfortunately, her importance may come across as worship to our separated friends in the Protestant fundamentalist faith. They often see our devotions and attention to Mary as blasphemous or as an attempt to equate Mary with Jesus as some co-savior.
We know this is not so. Mary cooperated with God in His salvific mission. However, we must wonder why there is so much hate for Mary. The vitriol against Mary by Pentecostals, Evangelicals, and others can be offensive and troubling. How can these people who claim to follow Christ have so much hate for His Mother?
Well, the hate is definitely based on ignorance. However, hate for Mary is also demonic. Satan hates the Virgin Mary with passion. In Genesis 3:15 God tells the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” Here God is speaking of Eve and Mary. How do we know this? Well for one, Eve was the one present and was the one who listened to the serpent’s lies. Moreover, we know Mary is referred to here as well because of what God says will happen in the future tense (Lumen Gentium 55). He says that the woman’s offspring will strike or crush the head of the serpent. Some Bibles have a feminine pronoun written instead, but this is due to possibly an error in the pre-Vulgate Latin versions of the Sacred Scriptures or a confusion on what pronoun to use because some Hebrew texts do have a feminine pronoun. However, this is beside the point because the text in Genesis still emphasizes the important role of Mary.
This statement in Genesis 3:15 would not make sense if it referred to a mere descendant of Eve. If Adam and Eve fell for the serpent’s lies, then what makes us think their descendants will do the opposite? This offspring mentioned has to be human, but also strong enough to resist the serpent. Of course, we are referring to Jesus Christ who is Son of Man (Adamah/Adam) and Son of God (Luke 1:35, Luke 19:10). Jesus was truly human and truly divine. Because of this, He resisted the serpent when he came with his lies in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11). While being human, Jesus never sinned, unlike Adam and Eve (2 Corinthians 5:21). So clearly we see that this offspring mentioned to the serpent with Adam and Eve present was referring to Jesus.
As we know, Jesus did not fall from the sky nor did He materialize into space, time and matter spontaneously. Rather, Jesus was born unto us via a woman named Mary (Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:26-28). God could have done it any other way, but He did it this way in keeping with the statement made in Genesis 3:15. This is why Mary is so important to Christianity and why we Catholics put her on a pedestal as our Queen. Mary herself foretold of the devotion that will be given to her for generations (Luke 1:48). Mary saying ‘yes’ to God and giving birth to the Christ child was indeed a big strike to the head of the serpent. This “enmity” materialized on the moment the archangel Gabriel told Mary of God’s plans for her to carry His Son and her acceptance of that plan.
It is no wonder why Satan hates Mary. She is not only human but also the Immaculate Conception who said yes to God. As we know, Satan hates humanity (Wisdom 2:24). If he hates humanity so much and is envious of us, then how much more would he hate the human who brought Christ to the world. This human happens to be a female. This is the woman the serpent is going to have enmity with. The serpent hated Mary so much that he waited to attack her and devour her child (Revelation 12:4-5; 13-17). Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI writes:
After the original sin, God addresses the serpent, which represents Satan, curses it and adds a promise: “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” (Gn 3: 15). It is the announcement of revenge: at the dawn of the Creation, Satan seems to have the upper hand, but the son of a woman is to crush his head. Thus, through the descendence of a woman, God himself will triumph. Goodness will triumph. That woman is the Virgin Mary of whom was born Jesus Christ who, with his sacrifice, defeated the ancient tempter once and for all. This is why in so many paintings and statues of the Virgin Immaculate she is portrayed in the act of crushing a serpent with her foot. (http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/angelus/2009/documents/hf_ben-xvi_ang_20091208.html)
Satan hates Mary because of her devotion and her ‘yes’ to God. Mary to Satan is a “cosmic party pooper” who ruined his fun in regards to deceiving humanity while watching us behave like non-human animals instead of the children of God which is what we are (Galatians 3:26). However, he has no power over her and cannot defeat her. He has no power over us who remain under her mantle despite waging war against us (Revelation 12:17). Mary is indeed an important figure in Christianity. She was mentioned before she even existed and is mentioned again in the last book of the New Testament as this powerful Queen who wears the sun as clothing, stars as a crown and stands on the moon (Revelation 12:1). Anyone who hates Mary is aligning him or herself with the offspring of the serpent. We must love Mary, not hate her if we are to call ourselves Christian. She is important to our faith. Mary is not a goddess or a co-savior. The Catholic Church has never taught this and never will. However, we must acknowledge Mary’s important role in our redemption and salvation. In the Church, we call this ‘hyperdulia’ which is a special veneration given to Our Lady, Our Queen, and Our Mother. Mary is indeed ‘blessed among women’ and the Lord’s favorite who is full of His grace (Luke 1:42, Luke 1:28).
Those who are with Christ must love Mary. We must cherish her and have devotion to her. As St. Maximilian Kolbe said, “Whoever does not wish to have Mary Immaculate as his Mother will not have Christ as his Brother.”
Only Satan hates Mary and anything that has to do with her. She and her Son have crushed his proud head.
AVE MARIA, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.