In the paintings of the catacombs more particularly, we appreciate the exceptional position that she began, from an early period, to occupy in the thoughts of the faithful.Some of these frescoes, representing the prophecy of Isaias, are believed to date from the first half of the second century.No one again disputes that the clause "born of the Virgin Mary" formed part of the primitive redaction of the Creed, and the language of Tertullian, Hippolytus, Origen, etc., is in thorough conformity with that of Irenaeus; further, though writers like Tertullian, Hevidius, and possibly Hegesippus disputed the perpetual virginity of Mary, their more orthodox contemporaries affirmed it.
Catholic dating a non virgin
Similarly, certain interpolated passages found in the Sibylline Oracles, passages which probably date from the third century, show an equal preoccupation with the dominant role played by the Blessed Virgin in the work of redemption (see especially II, 311-12, and VIII, 357-479).
The first of these passages apparently assigns to the intercession "of the Holy Virgin" the obtaining of the boon of seven days of eternity that men may find time for repentance (cf. Further, it is quite likely that the mention of the Blessed Virgin in the intercessions of the diptychs of the liturgy goes back to the days before the Council of Nicaea, but we have no definite evidence upon the point, and the same must be said of any form of direct invocation, even for purposes of private devotion.
The earliest unmistakable examples of the "worship" we use the word of course in the relative sense of the saints is connected with the veneration paid to the martyrs who gave their lives for the Faith.
From the first century onwards, martyrdom was regarded as the surest sign of election.
Irenæus more especially who has deserved to be called the first theologian of the Virgin Mother.
Thus he has drawn out the parallel between Eve and Mary, urging that, "as the former was led astray by an angel's discourse to fly from God after transgressing His word, so the latter by an angel's discourse had the Gospel preached unto her that she might bear God, obeying His word.
Be this however as it may, the firm theological basis, upon which was afterwards reared the edifice of Marian devotion, began to be laid in the first century of our era.
It is not without significance that we are told of the Apostles after the Ascension of Christ, that "all these were persevering with one mind in prayer with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren" (Acts ).
Let the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost be adored, but let no one adore Mary" ().