Book Snippets

If the child and the dragon in Revelation 12 are the devil and Jesus, why is the woman not Mary?

1 min • Digitized on May 7, 2023

From A Defense of the Teachings of Mary, page 62
By St. John Henry Newman

No one doubts that the “man-child” spoken of is an allusion to our Lord: why then is not “the Woman” an allusion to His Mother?

This surely is the obvious sense of the words; of course it has a further sense also, which is the scope of the image; doubtless the Child represents the children of the Church, and doubtless the Woman represents the Church; this, I grant, is the real or direct sense, but what is the sense of the symbol? who are the Woman and the Child? I answer, They are not personifications but Persons. This is true of the Child, therefore it is true of the Woman.

But again: not only Mother and Child, but a serpent is introduced into the vision. Such a meeting of man, woman, and serpent has not been found in Scripture, since the beginning of Scripture, and now it is found in its end. Moreover, in the passage in the Apocalypse, as if to supply, before Scripture came to an end, what was wanting in its beginning, we are told, and for the first time, that the serpent in Paradise was the evil spirit.

If the dragon of St. John is the same as the serpent of Moses, and the man-child is “the seed of the woman,” why is not the woman herself she, whose seed the man-child is? And, if the first woman is not an allegory, why is the second? if the first woman is Eve, why is not the second Mary?

Latest book snippets