Mary in Christian Tradition
The Protestant Reformation
The Protestant reformers of the 16th century attacked the low standards that began to mar European devotion to Mary in late medieval times. They condemned superstitious practices exaggerating Mary's power and position, some of which seemed to place her above Christ himself. Luther or Calvin never rejected veneration of Mary totally. They saw her as a model whose humble faith Christians could imitate. Yet the reformers discouraged Marian pilgrimages and shrines, suppressed her feasts, and forbade prayers for her intercession.
The Catholic Church, while acknowledging abuses in devotion to Mary, upheld the privileges and practices which long-standing Christian tradition accorded her as the Mother of Jesus.