You are so funny. You know I think you may be on to something though...I have a statue of Mary on the mantlepiece of my fireplace and a Cross on the wall next to it, complete with the image of Jesus. I measured the size of the statue against the Cross and by jove Mary is bigger....Oh noooooooooooo...LOL!
Tell me, how often is Mary mentioned in the Mass? (assuming you have been to a Mass and actually listened)? I can only think of once, during the opening confession "....therefore I ask Blessed Mary ever virgin, all the angels and the saints, and you my brothers and sisters to pray for me to the Lord our God."
And regarding "Hail Mary", you are right it is popular, even the Angel Gabriel like to say it.
According to the CCC, here is what the Hail Mary is all about.
2676 Hail Mary [or Rejoice, Mary]: the greeting of the angel Gabriel opens this prayer. It is God himself who, through his angel as intermediary, greets Mary. Our prayer dares to take up this greeting to Mary with the regard God had for the lowliness of his humble servant and to exult in the joy he finds in her.
Full of grace, the Lord is with thee: These two phrases of the angel's greeting shed light on one another. Mary is full of grace because the Lord is with her. The grace with which she is filled is the presence of him who is the source of all grace. "Rejoice . . . O Daughter of Jerusalem . . . the Lord your God is in your midst." Mary, in whom the Lord himself has just made his dwelling, is the daughter of Zion in person, the ark of the covenant, the place where the glory of the Lord dwells. She is "the dwelling of God . . . with men." Full of grace, Mary is wholly given over to him who has come to dwell in her and whom she is about to give to the world.
Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. After the angel's greeting, we make Elizabeth's greeting our own. "Filled with the Holy Spirit," Elizabeth is the first in the long succession of generations who have called Mary "blessed." "Blessed is she who believed. . . . " Mary is "blessed among women" because she believed in the fulfillment of the Lord's word. Abraham. because of his faith, became a blessing for all the nations of the earth. Mary, because of her faith, became the mother of believers, through whom all nations of the earth receive him who is God's own blessing: Jesus, the "fruit of thy womb."
2677 Holy Mary, Mother of God: With Elizabeth we marvel, "And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" Because she gives us Jesus, her son, Mary is Mother of God and our mother; we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her: she prays for us as she prayed for herself: "Let it be to me according to your word." By entrusting ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: "Thy will be done."
Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death: By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the "Mother of Mercy," the All-Holy One. We give ourselves over to her now, in the Today of our lives. And our trust broadens further, already at the present moment, to surrender "the hour of our death" wholly to her care. May she be there as she was at her son's death on the cross. May she welcome us as our mother at the hour of our passing to lead us to her son, Jesus, in paradise.
You sound like a nice fellow, but this is nonsense. Gabriel did not like to say it. He said it one time, on orders just as with Zacharias, to explain what Mary was about to go through. She then recognized her need for a Savior and who needs Saviors except sinners? How then did she become a co-redemptrix?
"According to the CCC, here is what the Hail Mary is all about."
Save your explanation. Information on Mary is useless to one who has been captured by Jesus, the Son of God, alone. No props, no groups, no rituals, no ceremonies, no transubstantiation, no purgatory, no indulgences, no sacerdotalism, no mariolatry, no men in pointy hats, my FRiend...just Jesus. When He grants faith as a gift of grace, there is no need for trying to be heard for many words. You may look into this sometime...if He permits.
Twice, actually. The other is in the Nicene Creed: "And by the Holy Spirit, was incarnate of the Virgin Mary"
I wonder ... do these anti-Catholic folks disagree with this sentence? Perhaps that's the real problem.