The veneration and adoration of Mary are as ancient as the church itself. The earliest record of Mary’s veneration likely comes from the Third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus in A.D. 431. The church fathers affirmed Mary as the God-bearer, the Mother of God.

This indication of Mary as the mother of God is really at the foot of Catholic veneration. Mary is the connection between our broken humanity and the boundless divinity present in God, the Trinity. Mary is redeemed because she is human, but she is also taken to have an extraordinary and unique relationship with God, as she shares DNA with Christ. Mother Teresa once reminded us that Mary gave Jesus his body, and his body is what saved us.

In many years, Mary has come to occupy a powerful place in the spirituality of the Catholic. She has many faces and countless names, among them, are Our Lady of Guadalupe, Who Ripens the Wheat, Queen of Angels, and the Light Cloud of Heavenly Rain. She is said to be always visible in occasion, mostly to children or others who are weak, disempowered, or on the margins of society. She is said, in some cases, to obtain miracles. Some have even said that in the last days, Mary will lead the army of angels in the final battle against evil.

But all of the titles and all of the miracles are known to be a result of Mary’s close relationship with her son, Jesus. Moreover, as the mother of the King of Kings, she is the saint of saints. And because the church is the body of Christ, and Mary is the mother of Christ, she is also the mother of the church. This means that because she have a special relationship with Jesus, Mary also has a special relationship with the church. She accepts the church and the church accepts her.

So any time we pray the rosary or bow our heads during the creed, we honor our mother and the mother of our Lord. Although she is not God, she has earned our respect and devotion.

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