We get used to living in a society that claims to be able to do without God, in which parents do not teach their children how to pray or how to make the sign of the Cross. This inurement to forms of behaviour that are not Christian, that are the easy way, anaesthetise the heart!” He asked the faithful present, “Do your children know how to make the sign of the Cross? Do they know how to pray the Our Father or the Hail Mary?”.The Marian devotion is sad but unsurprising. Still, the blatant emphasis on something so purely external as making the sign of the cross should really be shocking to people who think that the focus of Roman Catholicism is the same as that of Christianity.
And again, on the same day, Francis is reported as saying that people should:
... invoke with particular trust the protection and help of the Virgin Mary, so that she, the first believer in Christ, might accompany us in days of intense and penitential prayer, to allow us to celebrate, purified and renewed in spirit, the great Paschal mystery of her SonMary was not the first believer in Jesus Christ. Recall that Jesus himself said:
John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.Likewise, in recounting the martyrs, Jesus said:
Luke 11:51 From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.Similarly, Hebrews recounts the examples of faith in the Old Testament up to Sara and says:
Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.But the errors don't stop there. There is no reason to supposed that Mary can provide protection or help. There is no reason to suppose that Mary can accompany us. Furthermore, Mary's permission or help is not needed for us to celebrate the paschal mystery.