*HYPERDULIA (Mariology 101)

hyperdulia [ˌhaɪpədjʊˈlɪə]

the veneration offered by Roman Catholics to the Virgin Mary as the most exalted of human beings.

[from Latin hyper- + Medieval Latin dulia service] 

The special veneration due to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is substantially less than the cultus latria (adoration), which is due to God alone. But it is higher than the cultus dulia (veneration), due to angels and other saints. As the Church understands the veneration of Mary, it is to be closely associated but subordinated to that of her Son. "The various forms of piety towards the Mother of God, which the Church has approved within the limits of sound and orthodox doctrine according to the dispositions and understanding of the faithful, ensure that while the mother is honored, the Son through whom all things have their being and in whom it has pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell, is rightly loved and glorified and His commandments are observed" (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, VII, 66). (Etym. Latin hyperdulia, virtue of deep submission.)


The differences between veneration and worship. The technical terms that are used seem appropriate for the explanation. The chief ones are dulia, hyperdulia, and latria. Dulia is a Greek term meaning the veneration or homage, different in nature and degree from that given to God, that is paid to the saints. It includes, for example, honoring the saints and seeking their intercession with God. Related to dulia is Hyperdulia, the special veneration accorded the Blessed Virgin Mary because of her unique role in the mystery of Redemption, her exceptional gifts of grace from God, and her pre eminence among the saints. Hyperdulia is not adoration; only God is adored. Such adoration reserved exclusively for God is termed latria, a Greek-rooted Latin term that refers to that form of praise and worship due to God alone. 

photo:The Martinengo Altarpiece is a painting by the Italian High Renaissance painter Lorenzo Lotto, finished in 1516. It is housed in the church of Santi Bartolomeo e Stefano in Bergamo in northern Italy.

Artist Lorenzo Lotto
Year 1513–1516
Type Oil on panel
Dimensions 520 cm × 250 cm (200 in × 98 in)
Location Santi Bartolomeo e Stefano, Bergamo 

Description:The subject of the painting is a Holy Conversation, with the Virgin and the Child sitting on a throne surrounded by saints. The scene is set in a majestic architecture perhaps inspired by Bramante style. In the center, where the dome should be, is the tholobate, whose pendentives decorated with Mark and John the Evangelists. Two angels are watching from a balaustrade, perhaps inspired by Mantegna's Camera degli Sposi. Two other angels fly over Mary holding her crown.

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