The first Catholic source to be considered here is St. Alphonsus De Liguori [1696-1787] who was canonized a Saint in 1839 and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX on July 7th, 1871. What follows are excerpts from the Dignity and Duties of the Priest, which was written as an instructional guide especially for the clergy of the Catholic Church.
Now, if I were to state that Jesus was the divine Son of God the Father, noone would doubt that by those words I am stating that Jesus is deity, no less so than the Father. Please note the many times in which Mary is referred to as the divine Mother by Liguori. While Liguori and Catholics surely do not specifically claim that Mary is deity, you will see that they have indeed elevated her to a position that is second only to God, and at times materially indistinguishable from God.
(Bold text in the body of the following quotes are my own emphasis, and text in squared brackets are added for the convenience of the reader.)
St. Alphonsus De Liguori
DEVOTION TO THE MOST HOLY MARY
(This instruction may serve either for an instruction or for a sermon; but whether it be given in the form of an instruction or of a sermon, the person who gives the spiritual exercises to the priests is entreated not to omit this discourse, which is, perhaps, the most fruitful of all; for without devotion to the divine Mother it is morally impossible for any one to be a good priest.)
Let us, first, consider the moral necessity of the intercession of Mary for priests; and secondly, the confidence which they ought to have in the prayers of this divine Mother.
Confidence that we should have in the Intercession of the Mother of God.
Let us now pass to the confidence which we ought to have in the intercession of Mary, on account of her power and mercy.
I. As to her power. Cosmas of Jerusalem has called the intercession of our Queen not only powerful, but omnipotent. And Richard of St. Laurence has written: " From the omnipotent Son the Mother was made omnipotent." The Son is omnipotent by nature, the Mother of grace, inasmuch as she obtains from God whatsoever she asks. ...
And St. George of Nicomedia has written, that Jesus Christ, in order to discharge the obligations that he owed in a certain manner to Mary for having given him his human nature, grants whatever she asks from him. Hence St. Peter Damian has gone so far as to say, that when Mary goes to Jesus to ask a favor for any of her clients "she approaches the altar of human reconciliation; not asking, but commanding, not as a servant, but as a mistress; for the Son honors her by not refusing her anything." ...
Hence St.George, Archbishop of Nicomedia, says, O great Mother of God: "Thou hast insuperable [unsurpassable] strength, since the multitude of our sins does not outweigh thy clemency. Nothing resists thy power, for the Creator regards thy honor as his own. ...
Omnipotence is an attribute unique to God, and means totally unlimited power. It is a term that can never be applied to a mere human being.
Let us always have recourse to this divine Mother, who knows not how to let any one who invokes her aid depart without consolation, says Blosius. ...
Every little act of devotion is sufficient to secure the patronage of this divine Mother. ...
Blessed Edminco, Bishop, began every sermon by the praises of Mary. This was so pleasing to the divine Mother, that she one day said to St. Bridget: "Tell that prelate that I will be a mother to him, and that at death I will present his soul to my Son." ...
8. DEVOTION TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN.
He [the priest] should endeavor to conceive a great confidence and a tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin. All the saints are always fond of nourishing in their hearts a filial piety towards this divine Mother. ...
Source: Dignity and Duties of the Priest or Selva, by St. Alphonsus De Liguori, edited by Rev. Eugene Grimm, published by the Redemptorist Fathers, copyright 1927 by Very Rev. James Barron, C.SS.R.
Next we will look at the teaching of St. Louis-Marie Grignion De Montfort [1673-1716] who was canonized a Saint in 1947. What you are about to read has been endorsed by no less than eight popes (to include John Paul II) and also the Vatican II Council, which are all quoted in the opening pages of the document. Note that De Montfort also refers to Mary as divine, but a footnote attempts to explain this away.
St. Louis-Marie Grignion De Montfort
[pg. 4, Extract from the Preliminary Remarks by St. Louis De Montfort]
5. Mary is the excellent masterpiece of the Most High, the knowledge and possession of which He has reserved to Himself. Mary is the admirable Mother of the Son, who took pleasure in humbling and concealing her during her life in order to favor her humility, calling her by the name of "woman" (Jn. 2:4; 19:26), as if she were a stranger, although in His heart He esteemed and lover her above all the angels and all men, Mary is the "sealed fountain" (Cant. 4:12), the faithful spouse of the Holy Ghost, to whom He alone has entrance. Mary is the sanctuary and the repose of the Holy Trinity, where God dwells more magnificently and more divinely than in any other place in the universe, not excepting His dwelling between the Cherubim and Seraphim. Nor is any creature, no matter how pure, allowed to enter into that sanctuary except by a great and special privilege.
6. I say with the saints, the divine (2) Mary is the terrestrial paradise of the New Adam [Jesus], where He was made flesh by the operation of the Holy Ghost, in order to work there incomprehensible marvels. She is the grand and divine world of God, where there are beauties and treasures unspeakable. She is the magnificence of the Most High, where He hid, as in her bosom, His only Son, and in Him all that is most excellent and most precious.
(2.) "... the word 'divine' may be used without attributing the nature of divinity to the person on thing thus qualified. We speak of our own prayers, whether addressed to God or to His saints, as a 'divine service.' The Psalmist [82:6] speaks of us all as being gods and sons of the Most High; and yet no one takes offense, because the sense given to the words uttered is understood. Mary may be called 'divine' because divinely chosen for the divine office of Mother" of a divine Person, Jesus Christ. (Cardinal Vaughan, Preface to the English edition of True Devotion).
27. Inasmuch as grace perfects nature, and glory perfects grace, it is certain that Our Lord is still, in Heaven, as much the Son of Mary as He was on earth; and that, consequently, He has retained the obedience and submission of the most perfect Child toward the best of all mothers. But we must take great pains not to conceive this dependence as any abasement or imperfection in Jesus Christ. For Mary is infinitely below her Son, who is God, and therefore she does not command Him as a mother here below would command her child who is below her. Mary, being altogether transformed into God by grace and by the glory which transforms all the saints into Him, asks nothing, wishes nothing, does nothing contrary to the eternal and immutable will of God. When we read that in the writings of Sts. Bernard, Bernardine, Bonaventure and others that in Heaven and on earth everything, even God Himself, is subject to the Blessed Virgin, they mean that the authority which God has been well pleased to give her is so great that [pg. 17] it seems as if she had the same power as God; and that her prayers and petitions are so powerful with God that they always pass for commandments with His Majesty, who never resists the prayer of His dear Mother, because she is always humble and conformed to His will.
If Moses, by the force of his prayer, stayed the anger of God against the Israelites in a manner so powerful that the most high and infinitely merciful Lord, being unable to resist him, told him to let Him alone that He might be angry with and punish that rebellious people, what must we not, with much greater reason, think of the prayer of the humble Mary, that worthy Mother of God, which is more powerful with His Majesty than the prayers and intercessions of all the angels and saints both in Heaven and on earth.
28. In the Heavens Mary commands the angels and the blessed. As a recompense for her profound humility, God has empowered her and commissioned her to fill with saints the empty thrones from which the apostate angels fell by pride. The will of the Most High, who exalts the humble (Lk. 1:52), is that Heaven, earth and Hell bend, with good will or bad will, to the commandments of the humble Mary, whom He has made sovereign of Heaven and earth, general of His armies, treasurer of His treasures, dispenser of His graces, worker of His greatest marvels, restorer of the human race, Mediatrix of men, the exterminator of the enemies of God, and the faithful companion of His grandeurs and triumphs.
Catholics will routinely deny that they are involved in any worship of Mary, and Catholic documents are normally very careful to describe this "veneration" of Mary as a lesser form of devotion than is due to God. It is indeed rare to find a Catholic scholar who will use the word worship in connection with Mary, which makes the following two quotes of great interest:
The most infallible and indubitable sign by which we may distinguish a heretic, a man of bad doctrine, a reprobate, from one of the predestinate, is that the heretic and the reprobate have nothing but contempt and indifference for Our Lady, endeavoring by their words and examples to diminish the worship and love of her, openly or hiddenly, and sometimes by misrepresentation. Alas! God the Father has not told Mary to dwell in them, for they are Esaus. ...
115. There are several interior practices to true devotion to the Blessed Virgin. Here are the principle ones, stated compendiously: (1) to honor her as the worthy Mother of God, with the worship of hyperdulia; that is to say, to esteem her and honor her above all the other saints, as the masterpiece of grace, and the first after Jesus Christ, true God and true Man; ...
63. I here turn for one moment to Thee, O sweet Jesus, to complain lovingly to Thy Divine Majesty that the greater part of Christians, even the most learned, do not know the necessary union there is between Thee and Thy holy Mother. Thou, Lord, art always with Mary, and Mary is always with Thee, and she cannot be without Thee, else she would cease to be what she is. She is so transformed into Thee [Jesus] by grace that she lives no more, she is as though she were not. It is Thou only, my Jesus, who livest and reignest in her more perfectly than in all the angels and the blessed. Ah! if we knew the glory and the love which Thou receivest in this admirable creature, we should have very different thoughts both of Thee and her from what we have now. She is so intimately united with Thee that it were easier to separate the light from the sun, the heat from the fire; nay, it were easier to separate from Thee all the angels and the saints than the divine Mary, because she loves Thee more ardently and glorifies Thee more perfectly than all the other creatures put together.
Note the following two paragraphs, in which De Montfort chastises those Catholics who exalt and promote the worship of Jesus but do something less with regard to Mary, that they even dare to suggest that Mary's importance has been exaggerated by the Church. De Montfort goes on to proclaim that Mary and Jesus are really one; and indistinguishable.
64. After that, my sweet Master, is it not an astonishing pitiable thing to see the ignorance and the darkness of all men here below in regard to Thy holy Mother? I speak not so much of idolators and pagans, who, knowing Thee not, care not to know her. I speak not even of heretics and schismatics, who care not to be devout to Thy holy Mother, being separated as they are from Thee and Thy holy Church; but I speak of Catholic Christians, and even of doctors among Catholics, who make profession of teaching [pg. 40] truths to others, and yet know not Thee nor thy holy Mother, except in a speculative, dry, barren and indifferent manner. These gentlemen speak but rarely of Thy holy Mother and of the devotion we ought to have to her, because they fear, so they say, lest we should abuse it, and do some injury to Thee in honoring Thy holy Mother too much. If they hear or see anyone devout to our Blessed Lady, speaking often of his devotion to that good Mother in a tender, strong and persuasive way, and as a secure means without delusion, as a short road without danger, as an immaculate way without imperfection, and as a wonderful secret for finding and loving Thee perfectly, they cry out against him, and give him a thousand false reasons by way of proving to him that he ought not to talk so much of our Blessed Lady; that there are great abuses in that devotion; and that we must direct our energies to destroy these abuses, and to speak of Thee, rather than to incline the people devotion to our Blessed Lady, whom they already love sufficiently.
We hear them sometimes speak of devotion to our Blessed Lady, not for the purpose of establishing it and persuading men to embrace it, but to destroy the abuses which are made of it; and all the while these teachers are without piety or tender devotion toward Thyself, simply because they have none for Mary. They regard the Rosary and the Scapular as devotion toward Thyself, simply because they have none for Mary. They regard the Rosary and the Scapular as devotions proper for weak and ignorant minds, without which men can save themselves; and if there falls into their hands any poor client of Our Lady who says his Rosary, or has any other practice of devotion toward her, they soon change his spirit and his heart. Instead of the Rosary, they counsel him the seven Penitential [pg. 41] Psalms. Instead of devotion to the holy Virgin, they counsel him devotion to Jesus Christ.
It is quite true that in the view of other creatures, however holy, may perhaps at certain times retard divine union. But this cannot be said of Mary, as I have remarked before and shall never weary of repeating. One reason who so few souls come the the fullness of the age of Jesus Christ is that Mary, who is as much as ever the Mother of the Son, and as much as ever the fruitful spouse of the Holy Ghost, is not sufficiently formed in their hearts. He who wishes to have the fruit well ripened and well formed must have the tree that produces it; he who wishes to have the fruit of life, Jesus Christ, must have the tree of life, which is Mary; he who wishes to have in himself the operation of the Holy Ghost must have His faithful and inseparable spouse, the divine Mary, who makes Him fertile and fruit bearing, as we have said elsewhere.
165. Be persuaded, then, that the more you look at Mary in your prayers, contemplations, actions, and sufferings, if not with a distinct and definite view, at least with a general and imperceptible one, the more perfectly you will find Jesus Christ, who is always, with Mary, great, powerful, active and incomprehensible - more than in Heaven or in any other creature. Thus, so far from the divine Mary, all absorbed in God, being an obstacle to the perfect in attaining union with God, there has never been up to this time, and there never will be, any creature who will aid us more efficaciously in this great work; ...
246. A second reason is that the principal mystery we celebrate and honor in this devotion is the mystery of the Incarnation, wherein we can see Jesus only in Mary, and incarnate in her bosom. Hence it is more to the purpose to speak of the slavery of Jesus in Mary, and of Jesus residing and reigning in Mary, according to that beautiful prayer of so many great men: "O Jesus, living in Mary, come and live in us in the spirit of sanctity," etc.
247. Another reason is that this manner of speaking sets forth still more the intimate union between Jesus and Mary. They are so intimately united that the one is altogether in the other. Jesus is altogether in Mary and Mary is altogether in Jesus; or rather, she exists no more, but Jesus alone is in her, and it were easier to separate the light from the sun than Mary from Jesus; so that we might call Our Lord, "Jesus of Mary," and Our Blessed Lady, "Mary of Jesus."
Source: True Devotion to Mary, by St. Louis-Marie Grignion De Montfort, translated from the original French by Father Frederick William Faber, D.D., Edited and annotated by the Fathers of the Company of Mary, copyright 1941, published by Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., Rockford, Illinois, 61105, ISBN 0-89555-279-5, Library of Congress Catalog Card No: 85-50571, bearing the Imprimi Potest, Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur of the Catholic Church.
True Devotion to Mary online at EWTN.
Note also the following hymn to Mary, found in the back of the Baltimore Catechism #1, which was widely distributed in the United States during the last century, and is still popular among Catholics:
DAILY, DAILY, SING TO MARY
1. Daily, daily sing to Mary
Sing, my soul, her praises due;
All her feasts, her actions worship,
With the heart's devotion true.
Lost in wond'ring contemplation,
Be her Majesty confess'd;
Call her Mother, call her Virgin,
Happy Mother, Virgin blest.
2. She is mighty to deliver;
Call her, trust her lovingly;
When the tempest rages round thee,
She will calm the troubled sea.
Gifts of heaven she has given,
Noble Lady, to our race;
She the Queen who decks her subject,
With the light of God's own grace. ...
Source: A Catechism of Christian Doctrine (No. 1), prepared and enjoined by order of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, bearing the Imprimatur of the Catholic Church, Copyright 1885, by J. L. Spalding, published by P. J. Kenedy & Sons, printers to the Holy Apostolic See, 44 Barclay St., New York, page 51.
The above citations show that the movement now underway to infallibly proclaim Mary the Co-redeemer and Mediatrix of all graces, as well as the other Marian dogmas already proclaimed, are rooted in the deepest, darkest apostasy and blasphemy about Mary that one can imagine. Mary is worshipped as being in a position approaching divinity, with omnipotence, supreme power and authority, that supposedly even her obedient son Jesus cannot oppose her will.
It should be stated, most emphatically, that I believe most Roman Catholics are quite unaware of these particular teachings, and that they would probably deny believing what is presented here. It is hoped, that by reading this article, sincere truth-seeking Catholics will come to recognize the apostate doctrines that they have been taught for so many years.