National Geographic named ‘Mary’ as the most powerful woman in the world


A reader tipped me off to the following in the December 2015 edition of National Geographic:

How the Virgin Mary Became the World’s Most Powerful Woman

Mary barely speaks in the New Testament, but her image and legacy are found and celebrated around the world.

As the sun sets in Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina—a hot spot for Virgin Mary sightings—devotees of diverse faiths and nationalities gather to pray.

It’s apparition time: 5:40 p.m. In a small Roman Catholic chapel in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the village of Medjugorje, Ivan Dragicevic walks down the aisle, kneels in front of the altar, bows his head for a moment, and then, smiling, lifts his gaze heavenward. He begins to whisper, listens intently, whispers again, and doesn’t blink for ten minutes. His daily conversation with the Virgin Mary has begun.

Dragicevic was one of six poor shepherd children who first reported visions of the Virgin Mary in 1981. She identified herself to the four girls and two boys as the “Queen of Peace” and handed down the first of thousands of messages admonishing the faithful to pray more often and asking sinners to repent. …

Praying for the Virgin Mary’s intercession and being devoted to her are a global phenomenon. …

It was in A.D. 431, at the Third Ecumenical Council, in Ephesus, that she was officially named Theotokos, Bearer of God. Since then no other woman has been as exalted as Mary. As a universal symbol of maternal love, as well as of suffering and sacrifice, Mary is often the touchstone of our longing for meaning, a more accessible link to the supernatural than formal church teachings. Her mantle offers both security and protection. Pope Francis, when once asked what Mary meant to him, answered, “She is my mamá.”

Her reported appearances, visions experienced often by very poor children living in remote or conflict-wracked areas, have intensified her mystery and aura. And when the children can’t be shaken from their stories—especially if the accounts are accompanied by inexplicable “signs” such as spinning suns or gushing springs—her wonder grows. …

Mary is everywhere: Marigolds are named for her. Hail Mary passes save football games. The image in Mexico of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the most reproduced female likenesses ever. Mary draws millions each year to shrines such as Fátima, in Portugal, and Knock, in Ireland, sustaining religious tourism estimated to be worth billions of dollars a year and providing thousands of jobs. …

Muslims as well as Christians consider her to be holy above all women, and her name “Maryam” appears more often in the Koran than “Mary” does in the Bible. …

During the first millennium, as Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire and began spreading into Europe, Mary typically was portrayed as an imperial figure, the equal of emperors, dressed in royal purple and gold. In the second millennium, beginning in the 12th century, says medieval historian Miri Rubin of Queen Mary University of London, “she underwent a dramatic shift,” evolving into a more accessible, kinder, gentler maternal figure. …

Kibeho, a small town in southern Rwanda…1982…Mary appeared first to Alphonsine, then to Anathalie Mukamazimpaka, followed by Marie Claire Mukangango. The girls said they spent countless hours in conversations with the Virgin, who called herself Nyina wa Jambo, Mother of the Word. Mary spoke to the girls so often that they called her Mama.

I found Anathalie at dusk one evening in her modest home near her old school, surrounded by rosaries and statues of the Virgin.

The article had more discussion of apparitions, predictions, and also pointed out that despite thousands of claimed Marian apparitions, the Church of Rome does NOT require that anyone believe in any of them.  Much idolatry is associated with Marianism, and even the rosary allegedly came because of messages claimed to be from Jesus’ mother Mary.

Notice also that people of DIVERSE faiths come to worship at sites of Marian apparitions.  ‘Mary’ is believed by many to be key to the ecumenical and interfaith movements.

But consider what an Eastern Orthodox writer said about this:

“Mother goddesses” known in the ancient world were not just confined to the Near East and Mediterranean but are universal. The Kogi Indians, among whom we lived in Columbia, worship a spirit called Nabuba, the “Ancient Mother.” When Roman Catholics missionaries attempted to evangelize the Kogi int he last century, they used a not-uncommon strategy for drawing pagan peoples into Rome’s fold: rather than explaining the differences between the pagan mysthology and Christian truth, they found “equivalences,” Christ, under this syncretistic view, corresponds to the Kogi Sejukukui (a trickster god who faked his own death by hiding in a cave), while Nabuba is said to be the Virgin Mary. This confusion has led the Kogis to call their pagan temples “cansamaria,” a corruption of “casa de Maria” (house of Mary).

Given these Roman Catholic “evangelistic methods” of more than a century ago, it is it any wonder that contemporary “apparitions” of Mary are invariably accompanied by ecumenistic messages promoting the idea that all religions are equally valid and Orthodox Christianity is but one “path” among many? A recent issue of Orthodox Tradition (1966) contains the account of Matushka (wife of a Russian Orthodox priest) Katherine Swanson’s trip to Medjugorje, Croatia, to investigate the most famous of the recent cases of apparitions of Mary in the Roman Catholic world. In it she recounts a telling episode:

Our guide took our group for an audience with the “seers.” During this audience, a pilgrim asked one of the children the following questions: “Does the Virgin say that the Catholic Church is the true church?” The response given by the child provides clear evidence of the ecumenical content and religious relativism which, oddly enough, increasingly mark the “revelations” at Medjugorje: “Our Blessed Mother says that all religions are equally pleasing to God.

The Life magazine article, then, is yet another contribution to this line of thought. Given the idea that all paths are equally valid, then all “Marys” are equally valid, too. The author describes several of the Marys of our times: Miearculous Mary (such as at Medjugorje), Mediator Mary (Who, as the author quotes Fr. Andrew Greeley saying, lets people into Heaven through the “back door”), (Editors notes: the Orthodox Church of course never taught about the “back door”, and of course one only prays that this is a matter of a figure of speech, but let us not dwell on the “back door”, but the gates of Paradise, the Kingdom of our God). Mediator Mary of the feminists, and Mother Mary. This last one, Mother Mary, is the role which the author considers the most appealing to non-Catholics: “The emotional need for her is so irresistible to a troubled world that people without an obvious link to the Virgin are being drawn to her. It is known that Muslins revere Mary as a pure and holy saint…Interdenominational Marian prayer groups are springing up throughout the world. Many Protestants, even some who still reject notions of a supernatural Virgin, miss Mary.”

To which Mary are Muslims and Protestants being drawn? The Protestant Reformation rejected the distorted view of Mary which had developed in the West since the Schism of 1054, and which would ultimately result in the Roman Church’s proclamation of their dogma of the Immaculate Conception. But Protestantism did not just reject the Western view of Mary; it ignored Her altogether, in effect denying Her role in the Incarnation and, consequently, the part She plays in our salvation. As Rome began to see her more and more as a “goddess,” a fourth Hypostasis of the Trinity, as it were, the Protestants reacted by down playing Her position and refusing to honor Her at all, this in spite of the Gospel words:“All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed.”

Today, as heterodox Christians become more and more ecumenist and work toward creating a “One World Church,” the search has begun for a Mary of universal recognition, one who will appeal not only to those who bear the name Christian, but apparently to Muslims and others as well, just as attempts are likewise being made to identify the “new Christ” with the Muslim concept of their coming Mahdi and with the Messiah still awaited by the Jews. This, of course, will be no Christ at all but the antichrist.

(Jackson P. ORTHODOX LIFE., No. I, 1997., Brotherhood of Saint Job of Pochaev at Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, N.Y. pp. 18-22. viewed 05/11/09)

There have long been warnings about the use of ‘Mary’ and related apparitions to bring about a false ecumenical unity.

In the old Radio/Worldwide Church of God, the late Raymond McNair warned that the Vatican had plans related to the Marian apparition from Fatima Portugal that appeared in 1917 (McNair R. The Real Meaning Behind POPE PAUL’S PILGRIMAGE TO PORTUGAL. Plain Truth, June 1967, pp. 3, 47; McNair R. POPE MEETS PATRIARCH. Plain Truth, October 1967).

Notice also the following, which seems to explain the timing of the National Geographic cover article:

December 9, 2015

National Geographic Names Virgin Mary ‘Most Powerful Woman in the World’

Just in time for Christmas, National Geographic is honoring the Virgin Mary as the “most powerful woman in the world.”

From featuring Mary on its December cover to airing an episode on the worldwide Marian devotion this coming Sunday, National Geographicis recognizing the gentle power of Jesus’ mother. …

Thus, part of the commercial reason to name ‘Mary’ the most powerful woman in the world was to time it with Christmas and with an episode related to the cult about her.  I would also add that Tuesday was a Marian holiday (see Mary’s claimed ‘immaculate conception’ feast–and 12 other non-biblical ones in December) and this Saturday is as well (see The ‘Lady’ of Guadalupe: Any Future Ramifications?).

So why be concerned at all about this Marian stuff?

Because of biblical (cf. Isaiah 47; Revelation 18) and other prophecies.

Ever since I started researching Catholic prophecies, it struck me that some associated with the Church of Rome had plans to utilize their version of ‘Mary’ in order to attempt to bring Muslims, Hindus, and others into a type of ecumenical-interfaith unity.  This finally led me to write a book called Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions. where I explained how and why Rome may try to do this type of thing with ‘Mary.’

The fact that National Geographic has named ‘Mary’ as the most powerful woman in the world is consistent with my position that ‘Mary’ is expected to have influence.

It should be noted that even The Catholic Encyclopedia admits that Marian devotion was NOT part of the original “faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3):

Devotion to Our Blessed Lady in its ultimate analysis must be regarded as a practical application of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. Seeing that this doctrine is not contained, at least explicitly in the earlier forms of the Apostles’ Creed, there is perhaps no ground for surprise if we do not meet with any clear traces of the cultus of the Blessed Virgin in the first Christian centuries. The earliest unmistakable examples of the “worship” — we use the word of course in the relative sense — of the saints is connected with the veneration paid to the martyrs who gave their lives for the Faith…Further, it is quite likely that the mention of the Blessed Virgin in the intercessions of the diptychs of the liturgy goes back to the days before the Council of Nicaea, but we have no definite evidence upon the point, and the same must be said of any form of direct invocation, even for purposes of private devotion (Herbert Thurston. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XV. Published 1912. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

So, certain Catholic scholars admit that there is NO clear early evidence of Marian adoration by any real Christian.

Another article in The Catholic Encyclopedia teaches that there were those who opposed this once it became prevalent:

An Eastern sect which…was so designated as being the “opponents of Mary”… This doctrine…was afterwards modified so as to teach that, although Our Lord was born of Mary through the Holy Ghost, afterwards Joseph and Mary lived in wedlock and had many other children. The sect denied the formula “ever-Virgin Mary” used in the Greek and Roman Liturgies. The earliest reference to this sect appears in Tertullian, and the doctrines taught by them are expressly mentioned by Origen (Homilia in Lucam, III, 940). Certain Arians, Eudocius and Eunomius, were great supporters of the teaching. (Shipman AJ. Transcribed by Douglas J. Potter. Antidicomarianites. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I. Published 1907. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Thus, Catholic scholars admit prior to the 4th century (which is when the Council of Nicea was) that there was not much related to Marian veneration, but they suspect that it may have existed. Thus, it was NOT documented as a part of the original faith nor among the earliest faithful traditions. This is a MAJOR CHANGE, then, as Marian adoration is a big deal within the faith that now calls itself “Catholic.”

In the late fourth century, the Catholic Bishop Epiphanius warned that some were worshipping Mary and were causing “excess awe of the saint” (Epiphanius. Section VII, pp. 618-629)–he thus seemed to clearly condemn what is now referred to by Catholics as veneration of Mary.

And in the fifth century, another Bishop complained that “If Mary is called the Mother of God, she will be made into a goddess…”  (Chapman, John. “Nestorius and Nestorianism.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 10. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 4 Aug. 2011 <>).

Scholar Jesse Hurlbut observed:

About 405 A.D. images of saints and martyrs began to appear in the churches, adored, worshiped.   The adoration of the Virgin Mary was substituted for the worship of Venus and Diana (Hurlbut, JL. The Story of the Christian Church. Zondervan, 1967, p.62).

Therefore it should be clear that Marian worship/veneration was not originally part of the Catholic faith, but was a later innovation that even some with ties to that faith denounced. Bowing down before images of Mary is a form of idolatry, thus much Marian veneration is essentially the same as Marian worship.

How did Marian veneration happen?

Well, there were a combination of events and factors that led to what the Church of Rome now has related to ‘Mary.’  But basically, it was the result of accepting non-biblical doctrines, along with messages from apparitions, and compromise to keep worshipers of the goddess Diana in the fold.  In time, this became more acceptable to more and more (more details are in my book Fatima Shock!).

Pope Francis, who came into office after Fatima Shock! came out, has elevated Marian devotion faster than any of his recent predecessors (see also Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?). Papal influence is increasing Marian influence and devotion.

As far as Medjugorje goes, it should be pointed out that in 1985,  Cardinal Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI denounced it and prohibited Catholics from going there–though his ban was generally ignored.  Even Pope Francis seemed to insult that location some time back (see also Medjugorje: Vatican still silent).  One reason to mention Medjugorje is that it supposedly gets nearly daily messages from some source, which we can all be sure of is NOT Mary of the Bible.  This is the same for other messages claimed to be from ‘Mary.’

Msgr. Pavao Zanic, the former Bishop of Mostar (which includes Medjugorje), in 1990 wrote:

For even a short description of the falsehoods about Medjugorje we would need 200 pages, but for now all I will give is this short summary…Marina B…brought a priest from Panama to my office in August 1989.  His name: Presbitero Rodriguez Teofilo, pastor of Nuestra Senora de Lourdes…  The priest asked me for the reasons why I do not believe in the “apparitions”.  I told him that I have at least 20 reasons not to believe…He asked me to please tell him at least one reason.  I told him about the case of the ex-franciscan priest Ivica Vego.  Due to his disobedience, by an order of the Holy father the Pope, he was thrown out of his franciscan religious order OFM by his General, dispensed from his vows and suspended “a divinis”.  He did not obey this order and he continued to celebrate Mass, distribute the sacraments and pass the time with his mistress.  It is unpleasant to write about this, yet it is necessary in order to see who Our Lady is speaking of.  According to the diary of Vicka and the statements of the “seers”, Our Lady mentioned 13 times that he is innocent and that the bishop is wrong.  When his mistress, sister Leopolda, a nun, became pregnant, both of them left Medjugorje and the religious life and began to live together near Medjugorje where their child was born.  Now they have two children.  His prayerbook is still sold in Medjugorje and beyond in hundreds of thousands of copies. (Zanic P.  The Truth About Medjugorje.  1990.  viewed 05/16/2011)

Notice what one allegedly “Marian” message stated in Pfaffenhofen, Germany on April 25, 1946:

Wherever it is taught that I am all-powerful, I will spread peace, for peace will be where all men have faith in my power…I am the sign of the Living God…” (Culleton, Reign of Antichrist, p. 216).

The Bible does not state that Mary is all-powerful, that people should have faith in her power, or that she is the sign of the Living God. But it appears that apparitions claiming to be ‘Mary’ (or somehow implying that) may ultimately be claimed to be a confirming sign for a power that will emerge in the 21st century that is actually opposed to the true God. And the above apparition is implying that those who do not have faith in her power will not have peace–hence those who hold fast to the Bible will apparently be persecuted by those who have faith in ‘Mary’ (see also Persecutions by Church and State).

The reason I often put quotes around the word Mary is that the ‘Mary’ many venerate is NOT the Mary of the Bible that the Vatican seems to often promote.

Speaking of the Vatican, notice the following interview that was published yesterday that also mentioned Fatima:

December 9, 2015

ZENIT: Your Eminence, the Extraordinary Jubilee Year, proclaimed by Pope Francis, begins with the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Can you explain in what this feast consists and how it developed?

Cardinal Piacenza: In every Marian celebration, the Church always turns to contemplate the roots of Her life itself and Her irreducible vocation to be the Bride of Her Lord, Mother of the redeemed and Mystical Body, living Presence of Christ in the world. The great truth of the Immaculate <Conception> was proclaimed dogmatically on December 8, 1854, by Blessed Pope Pius IX. …

ZENIT: One last question, Eminence, hoping that you can give us this confidence: what do you ask the Immaculate for the Church in this Jubilee Year?

Cardinal Piacenza: I answer with pleasure, raising now, in fact, through this means my prayer to the Immaculate, that She may obtain three graces for us: first of all the protection of the Holy Father in his unimaginable task of Supreme Pastor of the Church, perpetual and visible principle and foundation of unity, called to confirm his brothers in the faith, resisting the tempest of errors that grips the world; in the second place, I ask the Immaculate for a great and renewed vocational spring, which can give the Church holy priests and consecrated persons, for the glory of God and the salvation of humanity; finally, I ask simply, that She grant the great promise of Fatima, whose centenary occurs in 2017: the great triumph of Her Immaculate Heart.

Note that the so-called ‘truth’ of the claimed ‘immaculate conception’ of ‘Mary’ was not declared until 1854, which is over 18 centuries after Jesus was resurrected–it was NOT part of the original faith (cf. Jude 3).

There are people who actually believe that if the nation of Russia is ‘dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary’ as the Fatima apparition supposedly asked over 90 years ago, that there would be world peace and new prosperity around the world (see The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27). While the Bible does not teach anything like that, it is possible that some might feel that at least some of the seven years following the confirmation of a deal in Daniel 9:27 (see also The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27) fulfills this ‘prophecy.’

Pope Francis’ devotion to his version of ‘Mary’ is another reason to feel that ‘Mary’ may receive credit for one or more peace deals in the future, including the one alluded to in Daniel 9:27.

The Bible, however, repeatedly warns against false declarations of peace (Ezekiel 13:10-16; Jeremiah 6:14, 8:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:3), and ‘Mary’ may be pointed to as the source of ‘peace’ by many–especially since many now call her the Queen of Peace.

Be wary of Marian promotion.  As I wrote in Fatima Shock! , we should expect more of Marian promotion in the future, and National Geographic has done that.  Yet, its current promotions are only a small part of what is coming (Nahum 3:4-5; cf. Isaiah 47; 1 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

For more information, please check out the following:

Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers?
The ‘Lady’ of Guadalupe: Any Future Ramifications? It is claimed that a female apparition appeared near Mexico City on December 12, 1531. How has it affected the world? What might it suggest about the future? A video of related interest is titled: The ‘Lady of Guadalupe’ and Prophecy.
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
Origin of the Marian Dogmas: Where Do Catholic Scholars Say The Four Dogmas of Mary Came From?
Assumption of Mary Did Mary die? Was she taken to heaven on August 15th? What is known? What does the Bible show?
Women and the New Testament Church Were women important in the New Testament Church? Which women and how were they involved?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions. Whether or not you believe anything happened at Fatima, if you live long enough, you will be affected by its ramifications (cf. Isaiah 47; Revelation 17). Fatima Shock! provides concerned Christians with enough Catholic-documented facts to effectively counter every false Marian argument. In addition to the print version, there is a Kindle version of Fatima Shock! which you can acquire in seconds.

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