"What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ." ~CCC 487
Many times I have had people comment to me something along the lines of "I don't understand how Catholics can make so much out of Mary when there is so little of her in the Bible."
I am not going to attempt to address that whole topic in this post, but instead have a project to offer that helps stretch our understanding of Mary.
If I said that Jesus was nowhere in the Old Testament, most Christians would disagree with me. Although the Incarnational Christ was not physically present at the events in those books of the Bible, he certainly was included in "types" that pointed to the kind of Messiah God was going to send. You can see types of Christ in Adam, in Noah, in Abraham, in David. Everything points to Christ and His Father's plan for salvation.
On the same notion, you can see other types of people or things to come with the Messianic fulfillment. You can see types of the Church, types of John the Baptist, types of Peter.
And you can also see types of Mary. This makes sense to me, because if God had been planning for thousands of years to send His Son, He is going to do it at just the right time and place, with the right group of people, speaking a certain language, living within certain economic, cultural, political and religious standards. All of those factors were determined by one thing: the Woman God chose to be His Mother. If God had been planning for this Woman since the Fall in the Garden, then I think he would be pointing to her throughout Salvation History, giving people a taste of the story to come.
So, I created some cards with 20 examples of Old Testament figures that connect to Marian Typology.
So, what do you do with these? I would use them with Middle Schoolers on up, and here are a few ideas:
1. Give each kid a set of their own cards and challenge them to explore the Old Testament stories about Mary to help them become more familiar not only with the Mother of God, but with the stories of the Old Testament.
2. Use the cards for classroom jigsaw activities. Jigsaw activities are an easy concept that helps teachers cover lots of material in a less time consuming way, and it gets kids involved. Instead of teaching the whole "puzzle" you give each of the kids a "piece." For example, you could give each student a card and a Bible and challenge them to look up at least one Scripture verse on each side. After having time to work, the kids each briefly tell the rest of the class one reason why Mary connects to that Old Testament type. After all of the kids have shared their jigsaw answer, the whole class can see the bigger "puzzle" put together.
3. After the kids are more familiar with the stories. Have them draw a card out of the deck and share the story without looking it up in the Bible.
4. Use the cards to generate questions and discussion about what the Church believes about Mary.
5. I can think of lots more ways...but I am sure that you can too. I think that these cards would be great to have on hand as reference material for when the opportunity comes up to discuss Marian Typology.
Click on the images below to be taken to actual documents. There is a black and white set and a color set. Each document is six pages long. Five of the pages have the information side of the card, and the sixth page is the back of the cards, which is in the picture below.