Can you guess which famous character in history made these statements? Here's a clue - they were all said and recorded by the same person in the sixteenth century, after the Reformation started.
“Christ our Savior was the real and natural fruit of Mary's virginal womb. . . This was without the cooperation of a man, and she remained a virgin after that.”
“The veneration of Mary is inscribed in the very depths of the human heart.” (September 1, 1522)
“One should honor Mary as she herself wished and as she expressed it in the Magnificat. She praised God for his deeds. How then can we praise her? The true honor of Mary is the honor of God, the praise of God's grace . . . Mary is nothing for the sake of herself, but for the sake of Christ . . . Mary does not wish that we come to her, but through her to God.” (1521)
“It is a sweet and pious belief that the infusion of Mary's soul was effected without original sin; so that in the very infusion of her soul she was also purified from original sin and adorned with God's gifts, receiving a pure soul infused by God; thus from the first moment she began to live she was free from all sin.” (1527)
If you were thinking of Martin Luther as the author of these sermons, you are absolutely correct. Most Protestants today do not realize that the founders of the Reformation, (Martin Luther, John Calvin and Zwingli) each affirmed the Catholic doctrines that Mary is the Mother of God and a Perpetual Virgin.
Hear what John Calvin had to say:
"There have been certain folk who have wished to suggest from this passage [Matt 1:25] that the Virgin Mary had other children than the Son of God, and that Joseph had then dwelt with her later; but what folly is this! For the Gospel writer did not wish to record what happened afterwards; he simply wished to make clear Joseph's obedience and to show also that Joseph had been well and truly assured that it was God who had sent His angel to Mary. He had therefore never dwelt with her nor had he shared her company…. And besides this Our Lord Jesus Christ is called the first-born. This is not because there was a second or a third, but because the Gospel writer is paying regard to the precedence. Scripture speaks thus of naming the firstborn whether or not there was any question of the second” (John Calvin, Sermon on Matthew 1:22-25, 1562).
And Ulrich Zwingli:
“I firmly believe that Mary, according to the words of the gospel as a pure Virgin brought forth for us the Son of God and in childbirth and after childbirth forever remained a pure, intact Virgin” (Ulrich Zwingli, Zwingli Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Volume 1, 424).
Maybe you can use these quotes in your next conversation with a Protestant when you find yourself defending the Marian doctrines of the Catholic Church. If their own founding fathers believed it, why don't they? If Protestants argue that the three founding fathers of the Reformation must have been wrong to believe in these doctrines and that's why it's no longer believed today, then you could argue that maybe, just maybe, they were wrong about everything else.