The Rosary: Biblical Meditation or Vain Repetition? Matt1618

A look at all of the Prayers of the Rosary: In Concert with or Against the Bible?

In this paper I will write on the prayers of the Rosary. Many from the Protestant tradition see prayers to Mary as sinful. My goal in this paper will be to look at the prayers of the rosary in order. I will address many of the overall problems that Protestants have on the specific prayers. On many occasions in my writings, I am responding to attacks on the Catholic faith and I respond with reasons/Scriptures to those attacks. I here will just look at all the prayers and analyze each prayer. I will focus on this piece the specific prayers that Protestants will most attack. I will put forth the objection that a Protestant might have, and respond to that objection. This is not just a ‘spiritual’ analysis of each prayer, there are web sites that do that. But as an apologist, I like to address objections. I will give a short take on the historical background for each prayer, which makes up the rosary. Though some will say even repeating the Our Father prayer is ‘vain’ repetition, the contents of those prayers do not generally rouse Protestant objections.

There are many parts of the rosary prayer, it is much more than the prayer that St. Dominic created in the 13th century. In this analysis, I will give all parts of the Rosary prayer, including the introduction, and final closing prayers. I will spend more time going over the prayers which are the cause of much of the attack on the Catholic faith, specifically because of the prayers said in the rosary. I will assess whether some high praises of Mary are really ‘unbiblical’ as generally alleged by Protestants. I will give Biblical citations for the most part only when addressing specific objections. I will also provide links where you can find out more history of each prayer, or if a Father is cited, a link for that writing. I will only summarize here. Colored in green will be the prayer that is used in the rosary. There will be analysis and the next time you see green is the next part of the rosary prayer.

The Rosary starts off with the Apostles Creed:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen. Amen.
This is the apostles creed which begins the whole prayer. There are different ideas where this comes from. Some will refer to this as actually coming from the apostles themselves, parts of which come from several apostles reciting each part. Though the teaching is said to come from the Apostles, the specific citations are not generally held that the Apostles actually cited it in its present form.

St. Ireneaus refers to a creed generally. He actually does say in book 1 Against Heresies, Chapter 10, that a creed was received from the Apostles. Then he goes on to say what Christians believe:

The Church, though dispersed through our the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: [She believes] in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His [future] manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father to gather all things in one, Ephesians 1:10 and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Saviour, and King, according to the willof the invisible Father, every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess Philippians 2:10-11 St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book 1 Chapter 10
This is a rudimentary rendition of the Apostles Creed that would be developed later on. His rendition of it, includes the sending of the unfaithful to eternal punishment, and the necessity of keeping the commandments to attain eternal life, later on in this writing. That is approximately 180 AD.

Tertullian proclaims what is more commonly understood to be closer to the apostles creed in about 215 AD, the following:

'believing in one God Almighty, Maker of the world, and in his Son Jesus Christ, born of Mary the Virgin, crucified under Pontius Pilate; the third day he rose again from the dead, received in the heavens, sitting now at the right hand of the Father, about to come to judge the quick and the dead, through the resurrection also of the flesh. ' Tertullian (c 150 - c215), (Virg. Vel. I)'
So the source of this prayer is apostolic teaching. Orthodox Christianity accepts all of the contents of this prayer. Each of the statements are backed by the Bible. So the first part of this rosary prayer would not be objectionable to anyone who believes in Christianity.

After we recite the Apostles creed, we say one Our Father and Three Hail Marys, then after that we go to the various mysteries which I will refer to later. We then do One Our Father, and then Hail Marys per mystery. The Our Father is obviously from Scripture, countless analyses have been done of this prayer, but this comes from Matthew 6:9-11:

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
This is something that Jesus said, and was a part of the life of the Church even before Matthew’s writing was distributed. The Didache, which is variously dated from 70 AD to 140 AD, has the most ancient directive on what the early Church participated in when it worshipped. Here is what the Didache mentioned:
8:1 And let not your fastings be with the hypocrites, for they fast on the second and the fifth day of the week
8:2 but do ye keep your fast on the fourth and on the preparation (the sixth) day. 8:3 Neither pray ye {as the hypocrites,} but as the Lord commanded in His Gospel, {thus pray ye. 8:4 Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; 8:5 Thy kingdom come; 8:6 Thy will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth; 8:7 give us this day our daily bread; 8:8 and forgive us our debt, as we also forgive our debtors; 8:9 and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one;} 8:10 for Thine is the power and the glory for ever and ever. 8:11 Three times in the day pray ye so. , Didache, 8 1-11, 70 AD, 140 AD)
So in the very first centuries we can see people were encouraged to say the Our Father three times a day, as mentioned in the Didache. So there was no idea of it being ‘vain repetition’. The following shows that there is definitely liturgical background to the actual Our Father prayer itself:
Throughout the Mediterranean world Jews had established synagogues and had gained proselytes. Jews and proselytes were schooled in the OT Scriptures. When they accepted the Messiah as Lord and Savior, they knew how to pray because of their rich liturgical background. In these Jewish Christian circles the Matthean version of the Lord’s prayer became the accepted prayer
From excavations at the ancient city of Pompeii, we have learned that the Lord’s prayer was in common use by A.D. 79 when the city was destroyed because of an eruption of Mount Vesuvious. The Rotas-Sator square discovered at Pompeii is eloquent testimony to the use of the Lord’s prayer at that time. The Lord’s Prayer in the First Century, Simon J Kistemaker
So we can see that this powerful prayer, which has so much we can draw from in each phrase, was used, and repeated often, from the very first century. Of course as it is a citation from Matthew 6, it is indeed biblical. There is no question that the apostles creed, the Our Father, is historic, and is incontrovertibly tied into the Bible itself.

Next however, we go into the Hail Mary. The historical background of that, is St. Dominic had a vision of Mary which she said to do 150 of her angelic salutations, and 15 Our Fathers. The vision is in 1208. He was combatting the Albigensian heresy with little success. Then after his vision, and he began praying the rosary, his instructions went well, and he got conversions from the Albigensian heresy. A brief summary is found here: This prayer is the part that Protestants start attacking, by saying it is unbiblical, and vain repetition since we do say 5 decades (going forward a decade means 10 times) of that prayer, when we say it with five mysteries. In the beginning, before we get to those decades, we say that prayer three times.

The first charge is that when we say the Hail Mary, is that it is vain repetition. Let us look at when Jesus talks about vain repetition, in Matthew 6:7. In many cases when the vain repetition is referred to, as cited in the King James version, that verse is cited in opposition to the Catholic use of the Rosary. With that background however, let us first look at the background to what Jesus says, is vain repetition. The vain repetition translation is from the King James version, here I will use the Revised Standard Version, Catholic edition, where the translation is ‘empty prayers’. But I want to give the full background to that specific citation of Jesus.

Matthew 6:5-15:

5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 “And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:

Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread; 12 And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors; 13 And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. 14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Ironically just after he speaks of vain repetition, he opposes it by creating the Our Father prayer. So we see that the background to Jesus talking about not using vain words. He is talking about Gentiles, or pagans saying empty words. And in contrast to that, he says a specific prayer. He says pray like this: Then he creates the Our Father prayer. So according to Him saying the ‘Our Father’ is the opposition to the vain repetition or empty phrases of the pagans, or Gentiles. So there is a difference, the pagans say useless words because those words are pointed to a pagan deity. The early church as we have seen, shows in the first century that they say the ‘Our Father’ prayer at a minimum three times a day. Besides that, the prayer is directly involved in the Liturgy of first century worship. So that prayer is repeated. Christians know that their prayer is directed towards God, and that is specifically contrasted to the Pagans. It is in constant use, as shown already in the first century. So it is apparent that the Church, from the beginning, when it said set prayers, did not think that those prayers were violating Jesus talking about empty phrases. So when Jesus teaches them the’ Our Father’, that is the contrast to the empty phrases, or vain repetition. So repeating those prayers is the contrast, the opposite of the vain repetition of the pagans. So to the very early Church, saying the Our Father, repeatedly, is totally against the vain repetition, or empty phrases of the pagans.

Also, there is proof in Scripture that repetition is ok.
Revelation 4:8 declares:

And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all round and within, and day and night they never cease to sing, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!"
Prayers are said in heaven, where the same prayers are said. The same prayers, day and night, are repeated, and the four living creatures never cease from repeating the same words. Heaven itself shows that repetition is just fine, as long as prayers are not being said to false gods.

Next we will move to the contents of the Hail Mary, which is uttered three times before we get to the mysteries, and 10 times per mystery:

Hail, Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy, Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
As we have seen, in his reference to vain repetition, Jesus is not talking about prayers using inspired Scripture, or scriptural meditations as vain repetition. Since this is a prayer that draws Protestant ire, let us break it down by three parts.

First part:

Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee.
The biblical parallel is found in Luke 1:28:
And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!”

The angel does not greet Mary with the name Mary. The angel says ‘Hail’ but doesn’t give her name but gives her a title. The word is Kerichitome, ‘full of grace’. Though modern translations downgrade the greeting to ‘favored one’ for example, that is the way St. Jerome translated it. So this is the Bible. Now to go a little more into this greeting of Luke 1;28 Tim Staples elaborates:

St. Luke uses the perfect passive participle, kekaritomene, as his "name" for Mary. This word literally means "she who has been graced" in a completed sense. This verbal adjective, "graced," is not just describing a simple past action. Greek has another tense for that. The perfect tense is used to indicate that an action has been completed in the past resulting in a present state of being. "Full of grace" is Mary’s name. So what does it tell us about Mary? Well, the average Christian is not completed in grace and in a permanent sense (see Phil. 3:8-12). But according to the angel, Mary is. You and I sin, not because of grace, but because of a lack of grace, or a lack of our cooperation with grace, in our lives. This greeting of the angel is one clue into the unique character and calling of the Mother of God. Only Mary is given the name "full of grace" and in the perfect tense, indicating that this permanent state of Mary was completed. Catholic Answer article on the Immaculate conception, written by Tim Staples
We add the term Mary, but the term full of grace is her identification. Again, this is Scripture.

Second Part:

Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thou womb Jesus
This prayer is from Luke 1:42, but here is included the verse before and after, Luke 1:41-43:
41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

Elizabeth declares Mary blessed as well. Again this part is pure Scripture. John the Baptist was excited to hear Mary speaking. Sure Jesus was of course there but hearing Mary’s voice, the Baptist was excited. Full of the Holy Spirit Elizabeth says ‘Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.’ So in essence the Catholic in this prayer is just echoing Elizabeth’s full of the Holy Spirit proclamation, but we add the term ‘Jesus’ to the end of it. So far from ignoring Jesus (as we will see these meditations focus on Jesus’ life), his name is added to the specific prayer. So thus far, the phrases used in the Hail Mary reflect Luke 1:28 and Luke 1:42.

Third part

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death amen

Okay as we have seen Mary is termed by the Angel full of grace. How can she not be holy? Mother of God. Okay let us look at how Elizabeth termed Mary:
Luke 1:43-48:

43 And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” 46 And Mary said,“My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
Elizabeth says the mother of her Lord. 17 times in Luke 1 the term Lord is used. Every single time it is used it refers to God. Jesus is man and God. Mary is the mother of Jesus who is God, so she clearly is Mother of God. So that part is a part of who Mary is. She is Holy, as she is identified as such in Luke 1:28, as we have seen, and the Mother of God. Notice in v. 48 how all generations shall call her blessed. She is blessed, and if we are a part of that generation that calls her blessed, we are fulfilling Scripture. It says All generations will call her blessed.

Finally ‘pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death amen.’ Catholics believe that neither life nor death will separate us from the love of God. Catholics believe that the Church is one body, not one body on earth and another body in heaven.

Hebrews 12:1-2:

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
We are in a race for salvation. This is from Hebrews 12 where it shows that we must pursue holiness or we will not see the Lord, Heb. 12:14. At the beginning of chapter 12 it looks back at Hebrews 11 which is a summary of salvation history of faith. All these people who have now passed away physically, now are there spiritually cheering us on. The term ‘cloud of witnesses’ takes us back to God’s spiritual presence in the cloud, which went along with Israel during Moses time. So it is a real presence of God. And those in heaven are cheering us on. And those of us down here who are trying to follow Jesus, and fix our eyes on Jesus, appeal for those in the cloud to pray for us, that is the way that they can cheer us on. Those in heaven can lift up our prayers (Rev. 5:8), and those in heaven can call for justice on earth (Rev. 6 :9) no doubt also are cheering us on in our race. Why is it considered a race for salvation? Why can’t we just trust in Jesus alone? Paul answers that question:
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; 27 but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
So in order to attain salvation we must run, discipline ourselves. We need help from God himself by the Spirit to put to death the deeds of the flesh in order to live (Rom. 8:13). We need help from others who can cheer us on. Paul himself knows that he himself must run that race, and is aware of the possibility of falling short himself. We cannot be more proud than Paul. So we know that Mary is holy, is Mother of God, and as a part of the Church whose relation to us does not die when they die, prays for us. Mary is a part of that living Church. That race does not end til we die. So we can use her intercession until that hour of death. So when we look at the whole prayer in total, it is filled with Scripture and has an ending with a Scriptural hope. This prayer is not vain.

When we complete the 10 Hail Marys for each decade we continue:

Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen.
In the apostolic tradition of Hippolytus a form of this prayer is found here:
through your son Jesus Christ, through whom to you be glory, power, and honor, Father and Son, with the Holy Spirit, in the Holy Church, now and throughout the ages of the ages. Hippolytus, Apostolic Tradition, 3:6, 215 AD.
This is from the prayers of the Liturgy at that time. This is a doxology here, this specific part is 3:6, but similar sayings are found in 4:13, 6:4. By the way, many of the prayers of the Mass are derived from this specific liturgy, though that is another issue. Now, in Scripture there is not a clear exact referral of the exact same thing, but there are some parallel doxologies in some fashion, for example in Romans 11:36, and Ephesians 3:21. In any fashion, any Protestant who believes in the Trinity, should have no problem with this prayer, as glory is given to the three persons of the Blessed Trinity, and that glory persists everlastingly, world without end, amen.

Now after the glory be prayer, there is a commonly used other prayer:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of your Mercy. Amen.
This is the prayer of Fatima. Here is where Mary made an appearance to the three children of Fatima. The historical background is here:
The Decade Prayer for the rosary, commonly known as the Fatima Prayer, was revealed by Our Lady of Fatima on July 13, 1917. She asked the three shepherd children, Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia, to recite it at the end of each decade of the rosary. It was approved for public use in 1930, and has since become a common (though optional) part of the rosary
Now a Protestant will reject that Mary appeared in Fatima. However, our focus on here are the prayers of the rosary itself. Now, the content of the prayer is asking Jesus to forgive us our sins. If he forgives us our sins we can be saved from the fires of hell. This prayer reflects the fact that Catholics do pray directly to Jesus to ask for forgiveness. Of course this does not exclude the sacrament of confession, established by Jesus himself, John 20:22-23, Matthew 18:15-18. For all mortal sins (1 John 5:16, 17), we are required to confess those sins in the sacrament he established. But when we sin, we are not required to wait for the actual sacrament of confession to go to God and ask for forgiveness. We should do it immediately. We know that Jesus himself has that authority to forgive sins when he was challenged (Mt 9:2-6, Mk 2:5-12) so the Fatima prayer is Biblical. As John says we are required to confess our sins in order to be cleansed of the sins that we cannot deny we commit, 1 Jn 1:7-10. I would argue that 1st John would refer to the sacrament of confession here, especially since he is the writer of Jesus’ establishment of the sacrament of confession (Jn 20:22-23), but us asking our Lord to forgive us our sins is as biblical as one can get.

The prayer ‘lead all souls to heaven’ is a prayer that reflects that Jesus died for all. To what purpose did God send Jesus?

Titus 2:11-13:

11 For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, 12 training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, 13 awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ
God sent his Son for the salvation of all men. Even sinners of the worst kind, all have a chance to come to the mercy of Jesus Christ. So the Fatima prayer reflects the whole purpose of God sending his Son. We pray for the salvation of all. Realizing that many do ultimately reject that call for mercy, we can still pray for the people to turn away from the bondage of sin, to renounce irreligion and to live soberly and godly lives so that they can be turned from the bondage of sin, to be adopted sons of the Father, and attain eternal life.

After we say the five decades of the Our Father, Hail mary, Glory Be, and the Fatima prayer, we then begin the closing of the rosary with the following prayer. This prayer is often one that raises the most ire of Protestants:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To Thee do we cry poor banished children of Eve. To Thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us. And after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary, pray for us O Holy Mother of God; that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen
Before I go into this prayer, when was this prayer started?
It was written by the Bishop of Puy, France. His name was Adhemar of Monteuil. He was a member of the Council of Clermont, the city from which the first Crusade was launched. Adhemar joined the Crusade and was its Apostolic Legate. He composed the "Hail, Holy Queen" in Latin to be used as a war chant by the Crusaders. Originally, the prayer did not include the triple invocation of Our Lady: "O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary." These were later added by Saint Bernard.
Here a Protestant will say, ‘How is Mary a Holy Queen Mother? After all, a Queen of Heaven, in the Bible is condemned in Jeremiah, as that is a referral to a pagan god. How can she be our sweetness and hope, when Jesus is our sweetness and hope?’

Well, I see on this specific prayer a great response to this is given and I will just borrow from that one. It is a brief, thorough response on the issue. I will bold the prayer and after the boldness, I will quote from a John Martignoni, a Catholic apologist:

• Hail Holy Queen – Mary, as mother of the King, is Queen Mother, is she not? And, she is with Jesus in Heaven, therefore, she is holy, isn’t she?
•Mother of Mercy – Jesus is mercy, and Mary is His mother. So, we can indeed say she is the Mother of Mercy.
•Our life – she is our life in that she undid what Eve had done. As sin entered the world through one woman’s disobedience, so Life entered the world through one woman’s obedience. Mary gave us the One Who is Life itself. She gave us Life. God sent Life to us through Mary.
•Our sweetness – Mary, united to Christ from the moment of His conception, is indeed our sweetness. Wouldn’t Jesus think the same of His mother? Do you think Jesus may have, at some point in His life, said something about His “sweet” mother? Are we not to imitate Christ in His feelings for His mother? She is our sweetness, again, because from her, absolute Sweetness came into the world.
•And our hope – we believe Mary was raised, body and soul, into Heaven to be with her Son. That, too, is our hope…to be raised, body and soul, into Heaven to be with her Son. We hope that her Son will one day raise us up to Himself, as He did His mother. In that sense, she is our hope, because Christ did for her what we hope He will do for us.
•To thee do we cry – we ask Mary to intercede for us, just as we ask any member of the Body of Christ to intercede for us. What is wrong with that? Will you pray for me that I will be saved? If so, you have interceded for me through prayer…does that mean I worship you because I asked you for prayer? Absolutely not.
•Poor banished children of Eve – that’s who we are. We are currently banished from Paradise, from our homeland, and it is to there that we strive to return.
•To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning, and weeping – we ask Mary to intercede for us, but we also share our trials and struggles with her, as any child does with their mother.
•Turn then, O most gracious advocate - Wait a minute! I thought Catholics believed Mary is a goddess of some sort! That she could grant us our every wish and desire? But, she’s just an advocate…an advocate with whom? Or should I say with Whom? Why don’t you latch onto that line of the prayer to portray what Catholics really believe about the relationship between Jesus and Mary and us? Doesn’t fit what you want people to believe about us, does it?
•Thine eyes of mercy towards us – Mary, as a member of the Body of Christ, perfectly united to Christ in Heaven, is merciful and takes pity upon us.
•And, after this our exile – we are indeed exiles here on Earth.
•Show unto us the Blessed Fruit of thy Womb, Jesus - why, if we Catholics put Mary above Jesus, would we be asking her help in reaching Jesus?
•O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary – she is indeed all of those things.
I borrow this from here: John Martignoni, Men of St. Joseph blog, ‘Catholics worship Mary. Here’s proof
I think that is a good response but what about the Jeremiah references to the Queen of Heaven, how, or does it relate to Mary? You will often see Protestants cite the Jeremiah references to a pagan god, and relate that to Mary. Well, let us look at Queen of Heaven references in Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 7:17-18

Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger.
Ok, so this queen of heaven is condemned. This is because the Israelis took to worship, offer incense to the queen of heaven. Worship should be to only God and Him alone. This queen of heaven is treated as a god, they pour offerings to other gods. So the Israelis here were offering sacrifices, worshipping this false god. This most likely is for the goddess Ishtar, a fertility goddess. This Queen, worshipped by the Assyrians and Babylonians, was worshipped by Israel as well. Mary is not a queen mother in any way shape or form that is equivalent to that. Mary is not a pagan god, nor a fertility goddess. This has absolutely no parallel to Mary.

Now during the other reference in Jeremiah to a Queen Mother, we can next see a reference where there is a real Queen Mother on the kings side. She is not talked of as though she is a faithful Queen Mother, but does speak to a role of a Queen Mother, in the Kingdom of Judah. The Queen Mother apparently has a role in interceding to the King. Now the background is God is taking on the King of Judah. The King has been unfaithful. It is going to bring him into exile and punishment for his subjects.

Jer 13:18

Say to the king and the queen mother ‘Take a lowly seat,for your beautiful crown has come down from your head.’
Now here God is speaking to King Jehoiachin. The King has tolerated the worship of idols. Injustice has been rampant. Apparently his mother has gone along with this. She has a role of interceding as a queen to the King, but just as his Son, has encouraged unfaithfulness. God refuses to grant this intercession because of the King and the King’s mother’s, unfaithfulness. But the thing is, there indeed is a role of a queen mother, that is involved with the Kingdom of Judah.

The Jerome Biblical Commentary notes the term used here in Jeremiah 13:18:

queen mother, The Hebrew word g’bid means lit., “the high lady,” and refers clearly to the queen mother. Apparently she had an official role to play at the court (cf. 1 Kgs 2:19; 15:13), corroborated by the fact that her name is almost always mentioned in the introductions to new reigns in Kgs. According to 2 Kgs 24:12, Jehoiachin was exiled in Babylon with the queen mother Nehushta in 597 BC, and Jeremiah specified the fact twice (22:26, 29:3). The present oracle certainly has to be understood in the light of this first deportation (cf. 2Kgs 24:10-17) Raymond Brown, Joseph Fitzmyer, The Jerome Biblical Commentary, Prentice Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1967, Gary Courtier, Jeremiah, p. 314.
So here there is a Queen Mother within the family of the Kingdom of Judah. There is a King, and his mother is the Queen Mother, not the wife. Unfortunately even starting with King David, the kings would turn to polygamy. This points us to Bathsheba, also a Queen Mother. There are roles of King and Queen in the Old Covenant, but it is a precursor to a faithful King and Queen in a New Covenant. Jesus in the New Covenant will be faithful king, and there will be a Queen Mother who is a faithful Queen Mother. And that is Mary. This is shown next in the Book of Revelation:

Revelations 12:1-5, 17

1 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; 2 she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery.3 And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. 4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; 5 she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne…

17 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. And he stood on the sand of the sea.

So here there is a faithful King of Kings in Jesus himself. Here there is a woman who has a Crown on her head. A woman clothed with sun, and on her head a crown of 12 stars. This woman, has the moon under her feet. And she bears a child, who is to rule all the nations. This child is a king who rules all the earth. All believe that the Son is Jesus himself. Who is the only woman who bears Jesus? The only woman who bears Jesus is Mary herself. Since she is a queen who bears Jesus, she is the Queen. But someone will say ‘well this is Israel’. The only one who bore Jesus is Mary. The prophecy in Isaiah, is who will bear Jesus? A virgin, Isaiah 7:14. Not a nation. The only one who qualifies is Mary. Later on there are other specific characters. The devil, and Michael the Archangel (vvs. 7-12) and Jesus already shown. So the characters are individuals. The main interpretation has to be an individual, and that is Mary. You can’t say ‘well here this is speaking about Jesus, Michael the Archangel, and the Devil, but here now it is speaking about the Nation Israel.’ There is a faithful Queen of Heaven, and that is Mary herself.

Also as we see further, this woman, has children, who keep the commandments. So this same Queen is also a Mother to the Believers. So this reference to the Queen of Heaven in the closing prayer to the Rosary is not problematic, but clearly Scriptural. The only person who fits this title is Mary, the one who actually did bear the Son Jesus. To see a more detailed analysis of who the woman of Revelation 12 is, I did a study here: Is Mary my Mother? A look at Revelation 12... by Matt1618

Now that we’ve treated a majority of the issues that are considered problematic by Protestants, let us look at the rest of the closing prayers:

Pray for us O Holy Mother of God; that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

So though she is a Queen, the Catholic view is that she is a mother that intercedes. She intercedes for us on our behalf that we become holy.

Psalm 84:11

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
We need to walk uprighty to avail ourselves of the promises that God offers us.

2 Corinthians 7:1

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
We need to cleanse ourselves from our sins, however, only through God’s grace, so we can inherit those promises.

The final prayer is the following:

O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal salvation. Grant, we beseech Thee, that while meditating on these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that we may both imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then here is the concluding prayer. (I could not find when this particularly closing prayer generated) Here it is a summary of all these prayers. God has sent us His Son, and he is the one who purchased us the rewards of eternal life. It is only through the incarnation, his suffering, death, and his rising, that he has purchased us the opportunity for eternal salvation. He was sent to redeem us from all iniquity (Tit 2:11-14). He was put to death and was raised for our justification: Rom. 4:24-25
24It will be reckoned to us who believe in him that raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
God in his life and death purchased us for eternal salvation. He gives us the responsibility, through his grace to live to attain that salvation.

God purchased us with a price. He did his part when he died for us. However, we have responsibility to pursue holiness so we can actually attain salvation:

1 Corinthians 6:20

you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 7:23
You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.
Even though we were bought with the price of Jesus’ blood, we must cleanse ourselves through God’s grace. Jesus came to set us free from the bondage of sin (John 8:32-36), but Paul knows that we can fall back into bondage and we must remember that Christ bought us with the price of his blood.

As noted above, the final prayer is that we meditate on all these mysteries. These mysteries are mostly on some aspect of Jesus and his life. When we say these prayers we are supposed to meditate, put ourselves into how Jesus lived his life. We are called to imitate Jesus. And we are called to imitate others who followed Christ. Paul writes of this here:

1 Cor. 11:1

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
There are five joyful mysteries, five sorrowful mysteries, five glorious mysteries. Under the auspices of Pope John Paul II, he added five luminous mysteries. It is a look at 17 of the events of Jesus life. Only two are ones that are exclusively in reference to Mary, the fourth and fifth glorious mysteries, relate to her coronation and assumption, the third the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles. Here is the biblical breakdown of all 20 mysteries, courtesy of the following: This is from a blog by Peggy Bowles
Joyful Mysteries:

1. The Annunciation (Humility) Luke 1: 26-38; John 1:14
2. The Visitation (Charity/Love of Neighbor) Luke 1: 39-56
3. The Nativity (Poverty) Luke 2: 6-20; Matthew 1:18-25
4. The Presentation (Obedience) Luke 2: 22-39
5. The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple (Joy in finding Jesus; prudence) Luke 2: 41-51

Luminous Mysteries (New Mysteries as enunciated by Pope John Paul II, 2002):

1. The Baptism of Jesus (Fidelity to our baptismal promises) Matthew 3:11-17; Luke 3:15-22; John 1:22-34
2. The Wedding Feast at Cana (Faith in Mary‘s intercession and maternal care) John 2: 1-12
3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom (Conversion of heart) Mark 1:14-15; Matthew 5:1-8; Matthew 6:33; Matthew 7:21
4. The Transfiguration (Become a new person in Christ) Luke 9:28-36; Matthew 17:1-8
5. The Institution of the Eucharist (Love of the Eucharist; active participation at Mass); Matthew 26:26-28; John 6: 33-59

Sorrowful Mysteries:

1. The Agony in the Garden (True sorrow for sin; repentance) Matthew 26: 36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22: 39-46
2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Modesty and purity; mortification or self-denial) Matthew 27:26; Mark 15:15; John 19:1
3. The Crowning of Thorns (Moral courage; love of our enemies) Matthew 27:29-30; Mark 15:16-20; John 1: 2-3
4. The Carrying of the Cross (Patience, especially when suffering; fortitude) Luke 23: 26-32; Matthew 27:31-32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23: 26-32
5. The Crucifixion (Perseverance; mercy) Luke 23: 33-46; Matthew 27: 33-54; Mark 15: 22-39; Luke 23: 33-47; John 19: 17-37

Glorious Mysteries:

1. The Resurrection (Faith) Matthew 28: 1-10; Mark 16: 1-18; Luke 24: 1-49; John 20:1-29
2. The Ascension (Hope) Mark: 16: 19-20; Luke 24: 50-51; Acts 1: 6-11
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Love of God; gifts of the Holy Spirit) Acts 2: 1-41
4. The Assumption* (Grace of a happy death; eternal happiness) Revelation 12:1
5. Crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth* (True devotion to Mary) Revelation 12:1

When we say the prayers of this rosary, we are supposed to meditate on each of these mysteries. Most of these, specifically relate to the life of Jesus. We are supposed to put ourselves in those situations, and apply our thoughts to these biblical events. We are called to be like Mary who did the following after Mary and Joseph found him teaching in the temple (5th joyful mystery):

Luke 2:51

And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
We must put the events of Jesus into our life. He is a live person who reigns in heaven, but is in the middle of our hearts and lives right now. The Rosary is a perfect way to grow spiritually and attach ourselves to Jesus, and his Mother. The Rosary has been shown in this study to be in complete concert with the Bible.

To all visitors Grace of Christ to you!

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2015 The Rosary: Biblical Meditation or Vain Repetition? Matt1618... This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author.

Work completed Tuesday, December 29, 2015