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If Peter told Cornelius not to kneel before him, should Catholics kneel before a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary?

Full Question

Should Catholics kneel before a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary? After all, in Scripture Peter rebuked Cornelius for kneeling before him.

Answer

The passage in question states: “When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshipped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, ‘Stand up; I too am a man’” (Acts 10:25–26).

The act of kneeling does not always mean that the person kneeling is performing an act of worship. Catholics kneel in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary to show her respect and honor and to pray for her intercession; they are not kneeling to worship her.











27 comments

  1. Damien J Reply

    Disobeying God is sin , right then how do you make a statue and call it Mary or any other saints? God never compromise His commandments, when He says do not make any images or carved images and worship it. Not only Peter but also the angle said do not kneel before me I am a servent of God like you to John.

    1. lisa Reply

      Kneeling does not have to be worship, it is also a way to show reverence and respect. We do not worship Mary but we do show reverence and respect for her. Big Difference

      1. Amaladoss Gnanapragasam Reply

        You are right! We worship the Lord the only God but we venerate Mary and other Saints. Knelling warrants humility but the intentions differ. Before the Lord it is adoration/worship whether before image or no image
        . Images are meant to remind you of God to adore. Still you adore only God not the image..Images cannot replace or supplement God. They are only reminders/ external signs to turn to God. ; turn to Saints for salutations/veneration/ reverence. Simply kneeling before images should not be equated to worship as pointed out by some brothers of other Christian denominations. If you are able to venerate a saint without an image, it is a sign you have reached a higher order of devotion.

      2. Daniel Bosh Reply

        When you kneel before Mary you are not kneeling because of her your kneeling to God at the same time asking for the Blessed Mothers intercession ,I suggest when you kneel before a statue you should realize who you are worshipping thinking of Jesus not Mary while you pray ,it’s not the statue it’s Jesus who should be on your mind,my opinion not saying I’m right just telling what I do.

    2. Patrick Reply

      “God never compromise His commandments, when He says do not make any images or carved images and worship it.” This is true. But theses statues aren’t worshipped as if they are gods. They reminders that even though they were just average men and woman the good Lord used them as willing instrument of his love to share his word to all, even to there death.
      As for not making status, the Lord never said to not make images he said do not worship them. The Lord himself told Moses to make one in Num 21:8-9.

    3. Patdjm7 Reply

      To be completely honest, I kind of agree with Damien. I am a Catholic however. At the same time, I agree with the explanation mentioned in the article. That sounds contradicting but please hear me out.

      I go to the church Our Lady of The Angels. Consequently, there is a statue of Mary situated outside of our chapel. I often go there, kneel, and pray. Sometimes I pray for Mary’s intercession. BUT, what’s important for me to keep in mind is that I am ALWAYS and ONLY praying TO GOD. I may pray WITH other Saints and or Mary. But not once, never, will I ever, pray to a Saint, person, or Mary.

      When I pray with the saints, I am praying with them just as I would friends at Church or in my Youth group.
      I feel that many Catholics who use the phrase “I prayed to ____ Saint for ____ reason” mislead those who aren’t Catholic.

      What they really mean is: ” I prayed with that saint for intercession to help me because they have a better relationship with God than I do, and just as I would ask my friend to pray for me, I would ask Saint ______. ”

      I may kneel and pray around icons, but those icons merely remind me of who I am praying to, God. I’m a Catholic and I really don’t like when people use the phrase, especially Catholics: “I prayed to ___ Saint.” Because that’s not really what we’re doing. Rather, we are praying with them to our one and only Holy Father because Saints do have a better relationship with our father in heaven. We are always praying to God.

      1. Patrick Andrew Marin Reply

        @Patdjm7
        It sounds like that you think the words pray and worship are synonymous with each other. But they are not, pray simply means to ask, when people say “I pray that person is alright” they are not saying I will worship the Lord for that person to be alright. Or when someone say “I pray your joking” they are not saying I will worship the Lord for your statement to be a joke. Pray means to ask not to worship, but a lot of people mistakenly think they mean the samething.

    4. Lea Leger Reply

      @Daniel, Read the Bible, the Saints are to be honored and have faith in them. Col. 1 v 4 For we have heard of your faith in Christ and of the love of saints. col.1 v 26 the mystery has been hidden through out the ages and generations but has now revealed to his saints. col. 1 v 12 giving thanks to the father, who has enabled you to share the inheritance of the saints in the light. The saints are not gods as you think. They are saints of God, they are members of the mystical body of Christ, the Church. we pray for them for intercessions because they are in heaven with God. Revelation 21 v 27 and living with God in heaven (the patriarch, the apostles and other holy men and women. Luke 20 v 38 that holy men and women who have died are as alive as they were on earth. James 5 v 18 the fervent prayer of a righteous man is very powerful. All the members of the body of christ pray each other. If you can pray for your bros and sis then the saints can pray for us because they are in heaven with God. The saints are not among the dead. You got it?

    5. stephen Reply

      I know Rome claims its members do not actually worship the images of mary and scores of other church saints,but simply pray to them”to keep us from distraction and to help our memories to think of heavenly things”.No matter what you may believe about the origin of these practices,Romanistic tradition is robbing Christ of his rightful place as Head of the Church.This is idolatry!

  2. Corrine Janitelli Reply

    I can’t kneel anymore. I’m trying to save my knees. I don’t want any more operations

  3. Meka Reply

    @ Daniel j ask ur self this question didn’t the Ark of convenant contain an image? The image of two seraphs? Exodus 20

    1. Catholicbutnotroman Reply

      Maybe you should ask this question as well. Did God told the Israelites to kneel before the Ark of the Covenant with an image? Can’t you pray without kneeling before an image?

      You claim to be apostolic. Why is there no examples to be found in scripture on the first century?

      Are you aware that this is the same line of reasoning by pagans: that they do not worship the image but the one represented by the image?

      Are you aware that most of the pagan doctrines and practices were later Christianized to bring pagans to church. E.g. the pope’s title is Sovereign Pontiff, but pagan high priests have also the same title (Maximus Pontificus).

      1. syncan Reply

        And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads. Joshua 7:6

        He prostrated before the ark, he must have committed Idolatory by your standard.

      2. Luke Reply

        I’m sure titles will be similar since they come from the same language… Pontifex is Latin for “priest”

  4. Cathoic is my middle name Reply

    I’ll bet you own a nativity set……same meaning.

  5. Carlos Reply

    STATUES TO THE LORD: Isaiah 19:19 New International Version (NIV)

    19 In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the heart of Egypt, and a MONUMENT to the Lord at its border.

    HUMAN FACES CARVED INSIDE THE TEMPLE: Ezekiel 41:19 King James Version (KJV)

    19 So that the FACE OF A MAN was toward the palm tree on the one side, and the face of a young lion toward the palm tree on the other side: it was made through all the house round about.

  6. Cherryl Reply

    The time was different there were no high tech ..In simple modern day time we have pictures of our parents who are no longer with us we show these pic to our friends n even our children ‘s children .. It the statue is a reminder of what Mary did by saying yes does not mean we a worshipping Mary any knowledgable Catholic would very well know this Mary did not died for us..JESUS her son did .. We Catholic ‘s honor JESUS ‘s Mother Mary ..

  7. Frances Reply

    Solomons Temple -2 Chronicles 2:5 – The temple I’m going to build will be beautiful. That’s because our God is greater than all other gods, — 2 Chronicles 3:10 – For the Most Holy Room, Solomon made a pair of carved cherubim. He covered them with gold. 11The total length of the cherubim’s wings from tip to tip was 30 feet. One wing of the first cherub was seven and a half feet long. Its tip touched the temple wall. The other wing was also seven and a half feet long. Its tip touched the wing tip of the other cherub.

    12In “the same way one wing of the second cherub was seven and a half feet long. Its tip touched the other temple wall. The other wing was also seven and a half feet long. Its tip touched the wing tip of the first cherub. 13So the total length of the wings of the two cherubim was 30 feet from tip to tip. The cherubim stood facing the main hall.” (Read -1 Kings 6:23)

    Having images are not prohibited worshiping them as God is, and if anyone says that we do, that’s their opinion, we are not guilty of doing such.

  8. Olga Sequeira Perera Reply

    To me, kneeling down is a form of reverence to one that is Holy. I believe Jesus, Mary and Joseph, our Guardian angel and all the angels and saints are with us, all around us. Babies see them, the aged and dying see them, by faith we believe they are here with us every moment of every day. Does that mean we go falling to our knees all over the place? Of course not! But when we do behold a holy image of them, it reminds us that they are indeed with us, and so we kneel before the image. They may be right beside us, touching us, but we don’t see them, we don’t feel them(some do), so we reverence what our human eyes perceive to be them. If we witness a horrific accident and someone lays bleeding, dying on the road, one might instinctively offer a prayer. A more devout person or a family member may even fall to his/her knees in prayer. Are we worshipping the injured person, the vehicles? No we fall to our knees in a desperate prayer to the ones we know are there whom we cannot see. We implore their help and their prayers. No statue, no picture is there, but faith tells us they are there.

  9. Kat Reply

    When you twist scripture, you can make it say anything you want. God is very clear on this, whether you call it worship, reverence, or whathaveyou.

  10. zubeir Reply

    if a single person doing this then i would say that’s fine its your nature , but you are giving a lesson to followers so you should concerns that your act has been followed by other Christians , so in this case your words and your acts should be very clear and same as it Holly BIBLE said us to do , it should not your personal believe or what you think is better because your education , your thinking your judgement could be wrong but Holly Bible single word will never ,

  11. Arnold Ting Reply

    will kneeling change a man’s view to a person…….i have a lot of friend kneeling for solemnity not because of worship….will that change anything a real believer do not question nor bash the act/belief of others………respect is all it needs for everybody to understand what they believe in. the same with my belief that i came from adam and eve (humans) and not through ape (animal) parent… do you.

  12. jeff m Reply

    What it boils down to is.. When it comes to scripture you can’t always look at it at exactly the way it’s written. Its written in Leviticus to not round the edges of your beard or shave the temples of your head, so basically you have to remember the times a lot of scripture was written.

  13. Ntumwa Gilbert Reply

    No wonder we say “Hail Mary Pray for for us”

  14. MERICAL GOGBOR Reply

    I CAME TO REALIZED THAT ONLY 10 % OF PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY STUDY THE BIBLE,IF YOU ARE THINK YOU CAN DEPAND ON THE PASTOR,PRIEST TO TELL YOU ABOUT GOD ALMIGHTY ONLY ON SUNDAY YOU ARE JOKING, BECAUSE YOU WON’T LEARN ANY THING.GOD SAID MY PEOPLE ARE parching BECAUSE LACK OF KNOWLEDGE, THE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY THAT READ AND WRITE IN THE USA IS 99% .FOR THE OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN THE Catholic CHURCH, PLEASE GO IN THE BIBLE AND CHECK FOR YOURSELF IF GOD ALLOW US TO BOW DOWN TO ANY OTHER THING EXCEPT HIM.
    CHICK YOUR HOLY BIBLE AND READ THIS FOR YOURSELF.THE ONLY THING I CAN TELL ANYONE WHO WANT TO REALLY SEARVE GOD ALMIGHTY IS STUDY YOUR ONE OR TWO SCRIPTURES EVERYDAY, SPEAK TO GOD ALMIGHTY EVERYDAY. SINCE I CAME TI THE US,THROUGH THE GRACE OF GOD I TRIED DOING IT,AND IT HAS GREAT IMPART IN MY LIFE BOTH PHYSICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY. I DON’T DEPAND ON MY PASTOR BUT ON GOD’S WORDS. YOU CAN DO THE SAME, GOD BLESSED US ALL AMEN.

  15. Emily Reply

    Merical, “Bible Alone” is a creation of Protestantism. Don’t believe me? Check out this post from catholicbible101.com

    “Just for fun, let’s use the King James Bible and the tradition of “The Bible Alone,” and see what we come up with. We won’t use any other reference sources, because to do so is to admit that “The Bible Alone” is not true.

    Numbers 24:8: The Lord brought him out of Egypt; he hath the strength of a UNICORN.

    — Using “the Bible Alone” theory, we can conclude that unicorns are real creatures, not imaginary.

    2 Thessalonians 2:15: Therefore brethren, hold fast to the traditions ye have been taught, by word or by epistle.

    — Using “The Bible Alone” theory, we can conclude that traditions are good, whether they are written or whether they were orally taught.

    James 2: 20: But will you know, o man, that faith without works is dead?

    — Using “the Bible Alone” theory, we can conclude that good works are a necessary component of our faith, and are not “useless.”

    Romans 2:6: For God will render to every man according to his deeds.

    — Using “the Bible Alone” theory, we can conclude that God will judge us according to our deeds.

    Revelation 20:13: And the sea gave up the dead in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

    — Using “the Bible Alone,” we can conclude that the dead will be judged according to their works.

    Luke 1:5-6: There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

    — Using “the Bible Alone,” we can conclude that there are indeed righteous people in the New Testament besides Jesus.

    Hebrews 10: 26-29: For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour them. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much worse punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

    2 Peter 2:20-22: For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter is worse with them than the former. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog returned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

    — Using “the Bible Alone,” we can conclude that people can indeed lose their salvation after having been “saved,” and the “once saved, always saved” philosophy is unbiblical and a tradition of man.

    Acts 8: 26-31: And the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, “Understandest thou what thou readest?” And he said, “How can I, except some man should guide me?” And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

    — Using “the Bible Alone,” we can conclude that scripture is hard to understand, and we need someone from the Church to explain it to us.

    Romans 11:26: And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written,” There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:”

    — Using “the Bible Alone,” we can conclude that every Israeli ever born, including Caiaphas and Judas, will be saved. All means all, after all!

    1 Corinthians 3:13-15: Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall disclose it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

    — Using “the Bible Alone,” we can conclude that on our judgment day, some will be saved after undergoing a trial by fire, and some will go directly to heaven with no purifying fire.

    Acts 7:2: And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,

    — Using “the Bible Alone,” we can conclude that it is OK to refer to men as a “father.”

    2 Corinthians 1:1:Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:

    2 Corinthians 2:13: I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.

    — Using “the Bible Alone,” we can conclude that Timothy and Titus were the blood brothers of Paul.

    Hebrews 13:10: We have an altar, that they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.

    — Using “the Bible Alone,” we can conclude that a church must have an altar and a tabernacle, which provides sacred food that unbelievers do not have a right to eat.

    1 Corinthians 10: 16-21: The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the alter? What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.

    — Using “the Bible Alone,” we can conclude that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ and not symbolic, and it is a sacrifice akin to the altar sacrifices of the Jews and the Gentiles. Otherwise, Paul would not have compared it to them.

    This is just a sampling of what “the Bible Alone” theory offers. Most protestants will tell you that what YOU have come with using “the Bible Alone” is erroneous, while what they came up with using “the Bible Alone” is of course infallible. But that argument fails on two counts – first, if “the Bible Alone” is true, then whatever one comes up with is true, since the Holy Spirit is guiding that person, and second, if no person is infallible, like they claim about the Pope, then how can what they come up with be infallible?”

  16. chukwuemeka Reply

    Sometimes i cry for some people because they are blinds.

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