The title “Mother of God” is the Western church’s equivalent of the ancient Eastern title Theotokos, which means “God-bearer.” In 431, the Council of Ephesus sanctioned the title Theotokos for Mary as a way of declaring and protecting the divinity of Christ. The title declares the most important truth about Mary: She is the Mother of God.
When we celebrate this feast, we honor not only Mary but Jesus, true God and true man. We proclaim the glorious truth that in Mary’s womb the Second Person of the Trinity united himself completely with our humanity. “Taking a body like our own, because all our bodies were liable to … death, he surrendered his body to death in place of all… . Through this union of the immortal Son of God with our human nature, all were clothed with incorruption” (St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation, 8,9).
In Mary, we see the portrait of one who knew God’s shining face upon her, filling her with grace (Numbers 6:25). Looking upon her with love and showering her with divine blessings, God prepared her to say yes to his plan that she bear his Son into this world.…
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