Theo-what? 6 Reasons to Honor Mary, Mother of God – EpicPew

Theo-what? 6 Reasons to Honor Mary, Mother of God

The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, rounds out the Christmas octave, and typically is a holy day of obligation. While it falls on a Monday this time around (January 1, 2024) and the Mass requirement is dispensed, here are six facts about why today is still a solemnity worth commemorating. 

1. Shared Feasts

This particular Marian celebration, falling on the Octave of Christmas in addition to January 1st, shares celebrations with two other liturgical events. First, on the last day of the octave, the Church remembers Jesus’ circumcision and the day He was given His name. If the octave falls on a Sunday, Jesus trumps Mary and the Church celebrates the end of the Octave with the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph (which in most dioceses is celebrated the immediate Sunday after Christmas). Second, January 1st is the World Day of Peace – first instituted by Pope Saint Paul VI in 1968. 

2. Among the oldest on the calendar

Though it was not a formally recognized liturgical celebration, Mary, Mother of God has been celebrated since the 7th century.

3. “God bearer”

This Solemnity honors Mary’s title of Theotokos or God-bearer. Mary is the Mother of God because she is the Mother of Jesus. The Catechism confirms that “Mary is truly ‘Mother of God’ since she is the mother of the eternal Son of God made man, who is God himself” (509).

4. Divine motherhood

The Council of Ephesus declared on June 22, 431 the dogma of Mary’s Divine motherhood.

5. Renewed feast

On June 22, 1931 – the Council’s 15th centenary – Pope Pius XI formally established Mary, Mother of God, as a liturgical feast.

6. Well-chosen Gospel reading

The Gospel read at Mass is Luke 2:16-21; the Shepards arrival at the manger, to see the infant lying there. While not a specifically Marian gospel, it highlights Jesus’s divinity and therefore cements Mary’s title as Mother of God.

Sources/Further Reading:–the-holy-mother-of-god.html

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