I find that those who accuse Catholics especially of idolatry with respect to Mary, or who accuse Catholics of teaching strange things about Mary, such as ascribing to Mary aspects of Christ’s ministry and dominion, do not really know what Catholics teach and believe about Mary.
I recall a “History of Europe -Fall of Rome to 1492” class I had decades ago (at the height of the Womens’ Movement in the 70s) . Dr. what ever his name was said that the veneration of Mary was an important turning point in womens’ rights. He said that, before Mary rose to such prominence in the Church, women were considered (under the civil and church law and in the minds of men) about the same as cattle- something useful that one owned. No rights for themselves, just property. As Mary came to prominence, the idea was advanced that if this ONE woman was important enough to be chosen by God to bring His Son to earth, perhaps ALL women had value. And slowly, medieval woman gain some legal and civil status. He said that if Mary had remained just a handful of chapters, mostly in Luke, women might never have regained the status they had in earlier times and (in his opinion) Europe might not have climbed out of the Dark Ages before various Eastern and Mideastern groups rose to power.
I was raised basically Baptist, where Mary was rarely mentioned except at Christmas a briefly at Easter.
This professor changed my views on the veneration of Mary. Perhaps not doctrinally sound, but part of God’s overall plan.
I agree: we don’t generally need intermediaries. But some find them helpful—and I don’t think Jesus would look down on those who find it hard to scrape up the courage to approach God on their own. I rather think he would disapprove those who deny those weak ones the help they need.
It also helps us to keep in mind what we are really called to be like as saints. Too many of us envision a saint as prim, proper, diapproving and even harsh. I find in inspiring that those without sin, according to Catholic doctrine—Mary, preserved by God’s grace from sin from the moment of her conception, and John the Baptist, purified at the Visitation when he leaped in Elizabeth’s womb on meeting his Savior—are both welcoming of sinners, reaching out to call them to grace and show them the Messiah.
It’s also worth noting how much of the Rosary is actually biblical—the Lord’s Prayer, the first half of the Angelic Salutation, the spirit of the Gloria, 18 or 19 of 20 Mysteries.
I have a great deal of respect for Joseph.A widower who marries a young girl that got herself knocked up, and raises her bastard as his own child.