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Webster's Dictionary [1]

(n.) Veneration or worship given to the Virgin Mary as the most exalted of mere creatures; higher veneration than dulia.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [2]

( Ὑπέρ , Above; Δουλία , Sworship, Service), the worship of the Virgin Mary in the Roman Church. The Romanists speak of three kinds of adoration, namely, Latria, Hyperdulia, and Dulia. "The adoration of Latria," they say, "is that which is due to God alone, and is given on account of his supremacy; Hyperdulia is worship paid to the Virgin on account of what the Papists call the maternity of God, and other eminent gifts, and her super eminent sanctity; dulia is worship paid to saints on account of their sanctity." These distinctions are too refined for the common people; and it is greatly to be feared that multitudes worship the Virgin instead of God, or take her as a mediator instead of Christ. The prayer books of the Roman Church are not free from the charge of encouraging a belief in the mediation of Mary. A book in, common use, called The Sacred Heart of Jesus and of Mary, which is published with an indult of pope Pins in favor of its use, contains the following passages: "Come, then, hardened and inveterate sinner, how great so ever your crimes may be, come and behold.

Mary stretches out her hand, opens her breast to receive you. Though insensible to the great concerns of your salvation, though unfortunately proof against the lost engagings invitations and inspirations of the Holy Ghost, fling yourself at the feet of this powerful advocate." Again (p. 256): "Rejoice, O most glorious Virgin, such is thy favor with God, such the power of thy intercession, that the whole treasury of heaven is open to thee and at thy disposal. When thou art pleased to intercede in favor of a sinner his case is in sure hands; there is no danger of refusal on the part of Heaven when thy mediation appears in his behalf." "Thou art the great mediatrix between God and man, obtaining for sinners all they can ask and demand of the blessed Trinity." Another book in common use The Glories of Mary, Mother of God, prepared by Liguori (q.v.), is full of similar passages. We extract only the following prayer: "holy Virgin! deign to manifest your generosity towards me, a miserable sinner. If you grant me your aid, what can I fear? No, I shall no longer apprehend either my sins, since you can repair them; or the devils, since you are more powerful than hell; or your Son, justly irritated, since one word from you will appease him. I shall only fear myself, and that, forgetting to invoke you, I may be lost. But this will not be the case. I promise you today to recur to you in all my wants, and that, curing life and at my death, your name and remembrance shall be the delight of my soul. Amen." See Cumming and French, Protestant Discussion (London, 1856, 12mo), p. 288 sq.; Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca, Venerat. Sanct. § 34-39; Elliott, Delineation of Romanisms, bk. 4. ch. 4. (See Mariolatry).