Why have faithful Catholics been so much in the forefront of the campaign to end the crime of abortion? Non Catholic Christians and non-believers and pro abortion activists should stop to consider an aspect of the Catholic faith which is unique among Christians and unique in world religions.

It is the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Virgin and Mother. Marian devotion is uniquely Catholic (and by “Catholic” yes, I am including the Eastern Orthodox and Lutheran, Anglican and Methodists who also have an element of Marian devotion in their lives. In my experience (among Protestants anyway) that Marian devotion is of a rather watered down variety, but it is at least present, and in this we can agree and hold hands across the Tiber.

Marian devotion is important because it is devotion to the miracle of the Incarnation. That is why images of Mary should usually be of the Madonna and Child. Of course images of Mary on her own are valid objects of devotion, but the image of Mary with the Christ child are especially potent and moving. This is the image that answers the horrible crime of abortion–of a mother murdering her own child.

The image of the Madonna is a universal image–one that should strike the heart and tender feelings of every person for every living person has a Mother and was once a child. The Madonna and child is also an answer to the pagan images of the goddess. The Mother goddess of the pagan world is a hint and a pointer towards the ultimate Madonna–not a Mother Goddess, but the Mother of God. The connection is real and the distinction subtle, but important.

In the Madonna and child we see the Mother of God. God’s Son Jesus Christ incarnate. She donates her flesh and therefore becomes intimate with God. She has a relationship with God as the Mother of the Son that is privileged above every other created being, and through this relationship she transforms not only motherhood, but the entirety of the female of the species and through that gift of motherhood the redemption of the whole human race is possible.

Abortion murders this. Abortion rips the child from the mother. Through abortion the woman’s womb is not a sacred sanctuary but a chamber of violence. Through abortion all human life is degraded. Through abortion the Madonna and child are dashed to pieces.

Any ideology or religion that denigrates the Madonna and child also denigrates motherhood and the gift of life. It is no wonder when Catholic Churches are desecrated by the howling mobs that the image of the Mother of God is so often decapitated, abused and broken. Those who would kill the child in the womb would also kill the mother. They speak as if they respect and honor women, but they invade the woman’s body and tear from it the life growing there. This is not honoring women, but doing violence to them.

Mary the Madonna and her child are the image of true humanity, true femininity and true love. Love Mary. Love her Son. Honor her in your prayers. Keep blessed images of the Madonna and child in your home and workplace for that love will change your life and change the world.