Leading Lady: ‘Crushed by the Woman’ Explains Mary’s Role
New EWTN documentary offers myriad Marian insights.
Genesis 3 sheds light on Catholic teaching about Our Lady — but do you know why?
As the title indicates, Crushed by the Woman, a new film that premieres on EWTN television May 1 at 6:30pm ET, explains who Mary is, including why she ultimately is the one who is going to crush the head of the serpent and why there is an indisputable and necessary role for her in salvation history.
The quick-moving documentary begins with Father Dwight Longenecker, pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, South Carolina, who explains why devotion to Mary is such a major part of Catholicism.
To correct the many misconceptions regarding the Blessed Mother that non-Catholics and even some Catholics may have, he and Marian scholar Mark Miravalle are joined by other commentators to explain the necessities of devotion to Mary and her indispensable role, often using colorful analogies that are clear, simple and convincing.
Miravalle underscores that Marian theology is not a “competition between Jesus and Mary.” On the contrary, Son and Mother go together. The opposition “comes from the adversary, to have us see Mary as an obstacle to Jesus,” he explains.
Miravalle challenges viewers not to think of this as “two separate rooms: There’s the Jesus room, and there’s the Mary room. You’re in the hall. You’ve got to make your choice. No, No! They’re both in the same room.”
The interview style makes for engaging viewing. Others who join in the conversation include Ann-Marie Altomare of Maria Vision USA, also based in Ave Maria, Florida, and Father Frank D’Amato of St. Jude Catholic Church in Tequesta on Florida’s east coast, who emphasizes that “the evil one is trying to convince us not to look toward Mary because he knows the power of her intercession — that she has a direct connection to Christ our Lord.”
Altomare explains that Satan knows that she can and will crush him. “She’s so humble; he doesn’t want to be crushed by a woman.”
And there is plenty of scriptural proof in the offing.
Neither Father Longenecker nor Miravalle leave the Bible on the bookshelf. In one instance, Father Longenecker gives a simple biblical connection to explain the Blessed Mother’s Assumption.
“The assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is not contradictory to the Bible,” he says. “Elijah was carried up into heaven, without dying (2 Kings 2:11). Furthermore, in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 12, St. John has a vision of heaven: He actually sees the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the Covenant is a symbol for the Blessed Virgin Mary. And then right after that, he sees a vision of a woman with 12 stars around her head, and with the moon under her feet, and she is the one who gives birth to the Savior. Therefore, this is clearly the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
In another, Miravalle proves biblically, from the Old Testament illustration of the relationship of a king and queen mother (1 Kings 2:19), how and why Mary is our mother who brings our needs and petitions to the throne of her Son, Christ the King, and at the same time why she is queen mother and where and how far her queenship extends.
The queen mother was an advocate, “someone who intercedes on behalf of someone else … while Our Lady is speaking on our behalf. She is our Mother, who brings our petitions, our needs, to the throne of Christ, the King. This was a very vivid role for the queen mothers of the Old Testament,” who were “the principal means of intercession for the people to get something to the attention of the king. Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings. But it also means this: Mary’s queenship is as extensive as the kingdom of God, as the kingdom of Jesus Christ. And that’s universal.”
The explanations and proofs are straightforward and simple to grasp.
Again, turning to a well-known verse in the New Testament, “all generations will call me blessed” (Luke 1:48), Miravalle explains that calling Mary “blessed” fulfills the major prophecy of that verse.
“As a Bible-believing Christian,” he adds, “we fulfill this prophecy when we call Mary ‘blessed.’”
A little science is also included.
Father Longenecker explains, “Any mother will tell you that actually the bond between mother and children extends even after birth,” and even the physiologist and biologist will say “some of the baby’s genetic material remains within the mother’s body.”
Then he makes the connection of how and why this ties into what happens when we seek the intercession of Mary.
This film offers yet another “surprise” when Bishop Athanasius Schneider appears to explain, in very short order, a “why” about prayerfully asking for help.
“We are humbled also to ask help from the friends of God,” he says, referring to saints. And who is closest to him? “In the first place, Our Lady.”
In the First Book of Timothy, St. Paul urges Christians to be mediators. Again referring to both the Old and New Testaments, Miravalle emphasizes that God shows us that he uses human mediators and angelic mediators.
They “bring us messages to unite God and man,” he says, going on to delineate how the Blessed Mother does this mediation “like no other creature.”
“Mary is not just a woman, but she is the woman of Scripture,” emphasizes Miravalle.
This film, expertly and with great understanding and Christian love, offers a deeper understanding of Mary and her role.
WATCH Crushed by the Woman premieres on EWTN May 1 at 6:30pm ET.