By the 13th century, with the influence of Francis of Asissi and Bernard of Clairvaux The Catholic Church began to make the veneration of Mary a large part of Christianity. It was in the 13th century that the phrase “Hail Mary, full of grace” was first used. These are the facts, despite what your Catholic friend said. How the Church prays communicates what we believe. The prayers, gestures, vestments, and art work that make up the solemn rites of the Church make visible before our eyes the timeless truths of the Church. Devotion to the saints, and the veneration of their relics, play an important role in the life and liturgy of the Church.

Mary, also known as St. Mary the Virgin, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Mary, Mary Mother of God or the Virgin Mary is believed by many to be the greatest of all Christian saints. The Virgin Mother "was, after her Son, exalted by divine grace above all angels and men." Mary is venerated ...The Catholic Church during the Council of Trent (1545-1563) issued a clear statement concerning images and statues. ... At least for Mary, our honor to her is in imitation of Jesus, her Son (1 Cor ...The Church has defended the veneration of relics since the very beginning. A letter written after the martyrdom of Saint Polycarp in 156 AD explains how the faithful venerated his bones and took ...