The Solemnity of Mary-Mother of God

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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  Today, Roman Catholics celebrate the liturgical feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The honoring of Mary as the Mother of God can be traced back to the Council of Ephesus in 431.  Mother of God or in Greek Theotokos, is the highest title ever to be given to Mary. The Council taught that Jesus’ humanity and divinity could not be separated and therefore Mary rightly deserved the title Mother of God.  Mary brought Jesus into the world and so she truly is God’s mother, since Jesus is the second person of the Trinity.

By the 7th century, January 1st was observed as a celebration of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  In the 13th century, the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ had come to replace the feast honoring Mary; however in 1751, after a push in Portugal for an official feast day celebrating Mary’s divine maternity, Pope Benedict XIV allowed Portugal’s churches to devote a feast to Mary on the first Sunday in May.  Eventually, the feast extended to other countries and in 1914 began to be observed on October 11.  In 1931, Pope Pius XI extended the feast to the entire church and in 1974, Pope Paul VI removed the feast of the Circumcision of Christ from the liturgical calendar and replaced it with the feast of the “Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God”, bringing Mary’s feast day back to the first day of the year.

 

Bartolomé_Esteban_Murillo_-_Virgin_and_Child_in_Glory_-_Google_Art_Project

Artwork by:  Bartolome Esteban Murillo-Virgin and Child in Glory 1673

 

On this day, we are reminded of the role that the Blessed Virgin played in the plan of our salvation.  Through the Holy Spirit, God the Father prepared Mary to be the dwelling place where His Son and His Spirit could dwell among men. Bearing Christ, she bore the fullness of the Godhead within her.  Jesus’ birth was made possible by Mary’s fiat or sanctioning of God’s plan with her words, “Be it done to me according to thy word”.  Calling Mary “Mother of God” is the highest honor we can give to her.  Just as Christmas honors Jesus as the “Prince of Peace”, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God honors Mary as the “Queen of Peace”.  New Year’s Day is also designated as the “World Day of Peace”.

A popular prayer for this is the famous Prayer of St. Francis:
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

As we begin another year, we draw inspiration from the selfless love of the Theotokos, who never hesitated to do the will of God. And we trust in her prayers to God for us, that we might, as the years pass, become more like her. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

 

 

Taken from the Benedictine Sisters of Florida:

10 Resolutions for a More Wholesome  Life 

  1. You shall not worry. It’s unproductive.
  2. You shall not be fearful. Most things we fear never happen anyway.
  3. You shall not cross bridges before you come to them.
  4. You shall only handle one problem at a time.
  5. You shall not take problems to bed. They make poor bedmates.
  6. You shall not borrow other people’s problems.
  7. You shall not try to relive yesterday. Focus on what is happening right now and be happy now!
  8. You shall be a good listener because some people do know more than you do.
  9. You shall not become bogged down by frustration, for 90 percent is rooted in self-pity.
  10. You shall count your blessings including the small ones.

 

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This well-known artwork has been widely reproduced on Christmas cards, holy cards and other objects. The original was painted by Roberto Ferruzzi, who was a familiar sight in Italy during the final years of the Victorian era in 1897.

Although Ferruzzi called the painting “Madonnina,” it is better known today as “Madonna of the Streets.”

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12 thoughts on “The Solemnity of Mary-Mother of God

  1. Thank you for this beautiful gift. Mary has held me and guided me throughout my life. This past year was particularly difficult . I found myself at the Mary statue praying for her assistance. Mary has never let me down and has held me in her loving arms throughout periods of sorrow. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to Mother Mary.

    • You are very welcome Susan! I ask for Mary’s help all the time. There is never a day that goes by that I don’t think of her. She and our Lord will never fails us or abandon us. I like to say a quick prayer throughout my day that goes as follows: ‘Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!’ This was given to Sr. Maria Consolata Bertrone a Poor Clare Capuchin (1903-1946) by Jesus. He told her, “It contains all: Love for Me, love for my Mother Mary and love for souls whom I came to redeem. ‘This Act of Love’ includes all souls: the souls in Purgatory, the innocent, the suffering, the sinful, the dying and even your own poor soul.”
      Jesus said,”Offering Mary a continual ‘Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!’ Will be giving her everything!” Jesus told the sister that He doesn’t demand heroic acts from anyone, but merely trifles; only they must be offered with all your heart!
      I hope you have a lovely New Year!
      God bless you and your family,
      LuAnn

  2. Thank you LuAnn.i think I will adopt that prayer. If you get a chance take a look at Petersboat.net. There is a beautiful tribute by my local priest and pastor at my daughters high school to the Blessed Mother.
    It is so nice to find and follow someone who shares my love of decorating as well as my faith.
    May you have a beautiful and blessed new year,

  3. LuAnn, thank you for sharing this most beautiful and inspirational post–made my heart feel light with just the reading of it. I try to live by the 10 resolutions you posted–makes life so much easier and calmer. Wishing you and yours all good things in the New Year, and looking forward to your 2018 posts. Hugs!

  4. Hi Bobbi! You are very welcome for the share! Mary can also help make our lives easier and calmer and of course Jesus can too, but He loves it when we involve His Mother. All we need to do is ask! She helps me! If I may, there’s another prayer I say everyday and goes like this: How we complain about insignificant things in our life. How upset we get when things seem to go wrong. But you, Mother, enduring all with joy for the love of God. Pray, that we may accept the things that befall us with your same attitude. So that in all things, I may rejoice with you and say: “My soul does magnify the Lord for He has done great things for me”. May I always see God’s hand in everything and may I seek Him in all things. Blessed by the name of the Lord.
    I wish you and your family a very healthy and happy New Year! I’m looking forward to hearing from you dear friend during 2018!
    Hugs back!
    LuAnn

  5. Thank you, LuAnn, for sharing this prayer with me. I can’t tell you how very much I appreciate it, nor how appropriate it is for me at this time. I am dealing with two major health issues right now and I am so thankful that I have God, Jesus, and Mary all in my corner. You just never know how beneficial your posts may be to someone in need–it certainly helped to calm my fears, dear friend. Hugs!

  6. In her Magnificat, Mary declares: “All generations shall call me blessed, because the Almighty has done great things for me.” The Greek word Luke chooses for ‘blessed’ is makarizó, which implies favours or blessings that extend from one supreme privilege, that being Mary’s Divine Maternity. Thus, these “great things” God has done for Mary, because she is the mother of our Lord, primarily include her Immaculate Conception and glorious Assumption body and soul into heaven. The Fourth Commandment states: “Honour thy father and thy mother.” The Hebrew word for ‘honour’ is kavod, meaning in this case “to bestow glory.” Our Lord has done these great things for his blessed mother Mary in honour of her. He glorified his blessed mother when she was conceived in the womb and at the time of her dormition. So, we too must honour her together with Jesus, first and foremost because she is his mother, and secondly because she is ours as well, we being members of Christ’s Mystical Body which originated in the Blessed Virgin’s womb. She conceived and gave birth to the Head and the Body, who is Jesus, in which we belong. Mary truly is our spiritual mother, so we mustn’t forget her or take her for granted on this solemnity and holy day of obligation. From the top of our lungs and with heartfelt devotion, let’s all cry out from the rooftops: “Ave Maria, gratia plena!”

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