About a year and a half ago, I wrote the article The Logos: A Perfect Man’s Odyssey Through Science Fiction and Fantasy, in which I compared the character of Jesus Christ with popular characters in fantasy and science fiction, such as Star Trek, Star Wars, select superheroes and The Lord of the Rings. My conclusion was that if he was considered merely as a literary figure, even in that limited sense, Jesus is a singular character in all of history, one that beats all other heroes at their own game. That is because he is portrayed as the Logos himself, a being incapable of making mistakes—but even more so—the model of perfection itself with unlimited, infinite power. No other figure comes even close—because, as I posited, it’s hard for mere humans to even grasp the existence of someone like that.

I now return with another comparable character, and one who is considered to be the greatest creature of all of God’s creation. Only the Logos, who is God and not a creature, is greater. And he is her son.

Imagine a woman who is incapable of thinking, saying or doing even the slightest bad thing. I’m sure we can all think of examples of women in our own lives who are or were almost too good to be true. In my own life, I knew of one such person, my Great Aunt Mary. A daily mass attendee, she was a humble, little spinster who made beautiful wedding cakes in my grandparents’ bakery. I can’t think of a time ever where she said anything bad about someone else or committed even the smallest little sin. In fact, the only thing I can remember her ever complaining about anything was when a cake order specified blue-colored roses. This she found annoying as there’s no such thing as blue roses.

And yet, she went to Confession just like any other good Catholic, and she had things to tell the priest, I am certain. That’s because good people have a greater awareness of their own sinfulness. There is no one ever born who could not find something to admit to in a confessional.

But that’s actually not so. Christians believe that in history there was one human creature who was born who did not sin, and that was Christ’s own mother, the Blessed Mother of God, the Ever-virgin Mary. Known primarily as the mother of God, she is the true Wonder Woman.

Mary as a Literary Character

However, let us get to the study of Mary as merely a literary character. With the exception of her own son, Mary’s story and character attributes are greater than any other literary character in history, male or female. Here are some for your consideration.

She Has a Royal Pedigree

Though born in humble circumstances, Mary has royalty in her blood; she comes from the line of David, the greatest King of Israel. She and her husband Joseph are of the same line. Though Joseph’s adoption and Mary’s biology, Jesus is made the heir of David. This is in fulfillment of the prophesies of old—that an heir from the line of David would come as the Messiah, or savior.

Mary is also mother to a king, the greatest king of all, the King of Heaven. Jesus said to Pilate at his trial: “My kingdom does not belong to this world.” In short, Mary comes from a royal line on Earth and is also the mother of the King of Heaven. And after dying and arriving in her son’s heavenly Kingdom, Mary is crowned the Queen of Heaven, and is placed above all other creatures, including the angels.

There are many stories about girls who are born or become princesses and queens, but needless to say, Mary’s story is at a level infinitely higher than a mere princess or queen on Earth.

She was Created for a Great Purpose

Mary was created for a very special and unique purpose—the greatest purpose in history: to be the mother of the Living God himself in human form. She was the human vessel of the incarnate God. There is a type of her in the Old Testament: The Ark of the Covenant, the container of the fragments of the Ten Commandments and pieces of manna, the bread-like food that fed the Israelites in the desert after their escape from Egypt.

For this great purpose, she was conceived in her mother’s womb without the stain of Original Sin, of which every other human is born with due to the effects of Adam and Eve’s fall in the Garden of Eden. That’s why she is called the Immaculate Conception. Every other human is born with the tendency to commit sin, called concupiscence. Mary was preserved from that.

In sum, Mary was granted a special grace. She is full of grace, in fact. A unique power from God indeed. One that no other human character in literature (or history) has received.

She’s the Ever-Virgin Mother of God

Mary is the mother of God, and her spouse is the Holy Spirit himself—the third person of the Holy Trinity. Through the Holy Spirit, she conceived the God-man, the only time in history this occurred. As the vessel of God himself, no man could ever touch her carnally (just as no man could touch the Ark of the Covenant without dying). It would be the greatest of sacrileges.

Can there be a greater human character? Her spouse is the Holy Spirit and her son is the Word of God. She has direct access to her son’s ear and will intercede on our behalf. Certainly no greater allies exist.

She is the Second Eve, the Mother of all the Living

Mary is the second Eve. The first Eve was created without sin as well. Yet in her sinless condition, the first Eve succumbed to temptation and along with her husband, Adam, brought sin and death into the world. Mary was mankind’s second chance. She, born without sin just like Eve, does not ever succumb to temptation like our first mother. And as the second Eve, Mary also took on the role as mother to us all. Jesus, just before dying, gave her to mankind to be our mother.

As a character, she is not only a mother, she is the perfect mother to us all.

Mary Shares in Christ’s Mission as Savior

Her son came into the world to save mankind from sin and death and the devil, and Mary chose to join in and share in that cause. Her response to the Angel Gabriel when told of her coming adventure was fearless and without hesitation: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to thy word.” She had freewill just like the rest of us, and she freely chose to fulfill her role in the mission.

Mary helped launch Christ’s mission by facilitating a miracle at the Wedding at Cana (where Jesus turned water into wine and thus revealed himself for the first time as the Son of God). But sharing in the adventure was not an easy journey. As any loving mother knows, she had to share in her son’s sufferings. But, unlike most of Jesus other companions, she stayed with him as he suffered his passion and death.

Her character is like all other mothers who must share in their children’s ups and downs. But of course, Mary takes it a step further by sharing in the mission to save us all.

She was Bodily Assumed into Heaven

Mary’s son would not allow her body to suffer any corruption from death, so after she died, her body was assumed into Heaven. She is one but a few whom we are told about to have their physical bodies in Heaven. Others include Christ himself and the Prophet Elijah. The rest of us must wait until the end of time to get back our bodies after we die.

So, Mary is immortal and retains her perfect, physical body. She is described by visionaries as being absolutely, heavenly beautiful.

Her Fight Goes On

Mary continues her battle with the Father of Darkness to this day. She is credited with helping the greatly outnumbered Catholic naval forces to defeat the Turkish fleet at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. Pope Saint John Paul II credited her with saving his life from an assassin’s bullet in 1981.

Mary is the inspiration and devotion of many a saint and knight throughout history. She has also come back to Earth on many occasions. The Catholic Church has confirmed as authentic her apparitions at several locations throughout the world; the three best known are Guadalupe, Mexico (in 1531), Lourdes, France (in 1858) and Fatima, Portugal (in 1916). In her prophesies, she has given us warnings about bad things that will happen if we continue down a particular path of evil. At Fatima, she warned us about World War II and that Russia would spread her errors throughout the world. At Lourdes, a water spring was revealed that continues to heal dying people to this day.

Could there be a better superhero? Mary, as a character, not only hears our cries for help and intercedes for us with God himself, she often returns physically to Earth to help, sometimes with direct physical, life-saving aid.


Part 2: Next week, Comparing Mary with Characters in Star Trek and Star Wars

Part 3: Two weeks, Comparing Mary with Fantasy Characters

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