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Mary the Mother of God – Theotokos


From our early Church father, Bishop Cyril of Alexandria:

The Catholic Church affirmed the declaration of Mary to be the Mother of God (Theotokos in Greek) at the Third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus in 431 AD. Cyril of Alexandria, an early Church Father, elaborated on the rightful recognition of Mary as Mother of God in his second letter to Nestorius of Constantinople. He stated: “”the holy fathers… have ventured to call the holy Virgin Theotokos, not as though the nature of the [W]ord or his divinity received the beginning of their existence from the holy Virgin, but because from her was born his holy body, rationally endowed with a soul, with which [body] the [W]ord was united according to the hypostasis, and is said to have been begotten according to the flesh”. (Hypostasis refers to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity: three distinct persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in one God).  Since Mary is Jesus’ mother, and Jesus is God, the second person of the Blessed Trinity,  it must be concluded that she is also the Mother of God.

From the The Catechism:

The Catechism of The Catholic Church defines Mary’s divine motherhood in paragraph 495, “Called in the Gospels “the mother of Jesus”, Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as “the mother of my Lord”. In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father’s eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly “Mother of God” (Theotokos).”

From Pope John Paul II:

Pope John Paul II in his Wednesday audience on September 13, 1995 gave this further catechesis in “Mary Is The Virgin Mother of God”. He stated “In Lumen gentium, the Council states that “joined to Christ the head and in communion with all his saints, the faithful must in the first place reverence the memory ‘of the glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of our God and Lord Jesus Christ'” (n. 52). The conciliar Constitution uses these terms from the Roman Canon of the Mass, thereby stressing how faith in the divine motherhood of Mary has been present in Christian thought since the first centuries.”

Reflection: We honor Mary as the mother of Jesus and mother of God in our daily prayer of intercession. We come to her as our mother to ask her to help us on our path to holiness. We seek to know and love Jesus with a heart as meek, mild, humble, and kind as the heart of The Blessed Mother of God. What a wonderful way to pray to Mary to intercede with her dear Son, Jesus, as we look upon her loving face personified in this beautiful Mary and Child statue.

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