Throughout the world one can find evidence of the love people have for Mary, the mother of Jesus, whom many know as the Savior of the world. From magnificent cathedrals to small roadside shrines where the faithful followers of Mary leave flowers and prayers, the devotion to Mary is evident. Rosaries can be seen in the hands of her followers in nearly every continent, and the number of people who seek her intercession on their behalf continues to grow.
Where did this love for the mother of Jesus Christ begin? The Gospel of Luke, chapter 1, records Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth addresses Mary as "blessed among women." Mary states, "All generations will count me blessed," because she was chosen by God to bear the long-awaited, prophesied Messiah, the Savior of the world. These two statements point to recognition of the singular blessing God gave to this one woman among all the women who ever lived: she would bear the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who would be born to a virgin, Mary, and would not have an earthly father--just as God had prophesied in Genesis 3:15. Yet, the recognition of God's blessing on Mary--that He chose her to bear His only begotten Son--goes beyond mere acknowledgment in the hearts and actions of those who adore her.