In the Land of Mary?
At the beginning of May, more than one million people gathered in a Madrid square to watch the Pope canonise five Spaniards – two priests and three nuns – all of whom lived into the twentieth century. The number of Roman Catholic “saints” has mushroomed during the present pontificate, clear evidence that this form of superstition continues to flourish.
Individuals are only raised to the sainthood if there are claims that they have performed miracles. Very often the evidence is that someone has recovered from serious illness after intercession has been made to the prospective saint. However, to link the recovery with prayer to a deceased human being cannot be justified in any way. The one foundation that such an assertion could have is a revelation from heaven, and Scripture teaches the opposite. It directs us not to worship any creature, however holy; the apostle John was rebuked when he fell at the feet of an angel with a view to worshipping him. Prayer too is worship and therefore is to be directed only to God.
Besides – and the Scriptures must be our guide here, as in all matters of religious doctrine and practice – there is no separate category of sainthood to which men and women may be raised who have attained to a special degree of holiness. On this side of eternity, the confession of genuine saints will always be: “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags”.
The Pope appealed to his followers in Spain to be faithful to “their rich spiritual legacy”. And he flattered the crowd by telling them: “The successor of Peter, pilgrim in Spanish lands, repeats to you: Spain, continuing a legacy of courageous evangelization, be a witness today of the resurrected Jesus Christ!” How good it would be for Spain and other countries where many are deceived by his false doctrines to receive the truth concerning Jesus! The fact is that the true witnesses of Jesus Christ follow the Saviour in the light of Scripture revelation and would wish to add absolutely nothing to it; they have indeed a rich spiritual legacy. Those who trust in the works-righteousness of Rome have no such legacy; they need the free forgiveness which Mary so much valued when she declared: “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour”.
“Farewell, Spain! Farewell, Land of Mary!” cried the Pope as he brought his address to a conclusion. That the Pope so eagerly gives Mary a place which she would earnestly disclaim, if she was spared still in this world, shows clearly that he is no successor of Peter.