Q.1 I am not Catholic. I frequently hear some of my Catholic friends speaking of the "blessed" Virgin Mary. Where do they get this from that the Virgin Mary is blessed?
A. 1 Reference to the Virgin Mary as being blessed in found in the Holy Bible. The first instance is in Luke 1:28 when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce to her that she would be the mother of the Lord Jesus.
"And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." [Lk. 1:28]
The next instance is when Elizabeth was with the Holy Spirit, she stated that Mary was blessed.
"And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb." [Lk. 1:42]
Then there is when Mary sang the Magnificat that is found in Luke 1:46-55.
"Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed." [Lk. 1:48]
Finally, there is another reference during the ministry of Jesus when a woman raised her voice in the crowd and said,
"Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!"
"And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck." [Lk. 11:27]
Q. 2 So, what exactly does it mean that Mary is blessed?
A. 2 In Luke 1:48, the Virgin Mary said, "Henceforth all generations shall call me blessed." This reference of being called blessed throughout every generations can imply two different meanings.
First of all, it can mean that when every generation considers the fact that the Virgin Mary was chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus, the Temple of the Most Holy of holies, overcome with the awe of this wonder, they will be left speechless, only being able to say, "Truly, she was blessed."
Secondly, the reference to every generation calling Mary "blessed" can surpass the blessing that relates to the incarnation of God and the motherhood of Jesus. It can literally mean, over and above the aforementioned, as history has shown through her endless worldwide apparitions and miraculous cures through her intercession, that the Virgin Mary shall be blessed throughout every generation. While the mystery of the Incarnation is without doubt the greatest of all the blessings of the Virgin Mary, all other blessings that have been received to this date serve to affirm that truly, all generations shall call the Virgin Mary "blessed."