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The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers Saint Mary the Virgin, Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Mother of Our Lord is certainly the most remembered and most important of the saints, considering her very special relationship to Jesus. Early in Christian history, when some people denied that Jesus Christ was truly a man, Christians pointed to the fact that he was born of a woman and inserted the phrase “born of the Virgin Mary” into the creed to emphasize Jesus’ humanity. Later, when others denied that Jesus was God the Son, Greek Christians began calling Mary Theotokos, the “Bearer of God,” to emphasize Jesus’ true Godship. One’s understanding of Christ governs one’s understanding of Mary and vice versa.

Mary is often seen as representative of the church, the special vehicle or bearer of God to humankind. She is seen as the ideal mother who patiently cared for her little son and quietly accepted the highly unusual circumstances of his birth, life, death, and resurrection. In the Daily Offices, the church continually remembers her in The Magnificat, the canticle attributed to her by Luke. She is particularly honored on five special feasts in the Christian year.* Perhaps her cousin, Elizabeth, best summed up the feeling of the faithful toward Mary when she said, “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Almighty God, we give you thanks for the life and work of Mary the Godbearer. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

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