Today is the Feast of the Maternity of the Blessed virgin Mary. October 11th each year the entire Catholic world celebrates this Feast.
How can the Blessed Virgin Mary be all these things? Especially how can She be the Mother of God?
In the first ages of the Church, the day sacred to our Blessed Lady, under her great title of Mother of God, was January 1. Evident traces of this devotion remain in the liturgy proper to the feast of the Circumcision, which is now kept on that day.
Many churches having petitioned for a special festival in honor of Our Lady's divine maternity, a day, usually in the month of October, was granted by the Holy See for it's celebration. By a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, April 24, 1914, the eleventh of October was assigned. Pius IX raised it to a double of the second class and extended it to the Universal Church.
All Catholics believe that Mary is the Mother of God. This does not mean that she is not a creature of God, nor that God did not exist before she was created. It means that He who was her Son was a Divine Person. In Christ there are two natures: the nature of God and the nature of man; but in Him there is only one Person, a Divine Person, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Hence all that may be predicated of either nature may with propriety be said of the Savior in the concrete form, without distinguishing the two natures. So we may say that God was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We then refer to the Person of the Son of God, Who is both God and Man. Christ, Who is God, was born according to His human nature of the Blessed Virgin. She is, therefore, truly the Mother of God.
From the Mass of this feast:
Behold, a Virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel. Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: because He hath done wonderful things. Glory be to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
O God, Who wast pleased that at the angel's message Thy Word should take flesh in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, grant to Thy suppliants that, believing her to be truly the mother of God, we may be assisted by her intercessions with Thee. Through the same Our Lord Jesus Christ Who liveth, and reigneth with Thee, in the Unity of the Holy Ghost, God, World without end. Amen.
As the vine I have brought forth a pleasant odor, and my flowers are the fruit of honor and riches. I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue. Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits; for my spirit is sweet above honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb. My memory is unto everlasting generations. They that eat me, shall yet hunger; and they that drink me, shall yet thirst. He that harkeneth to me shall not be confounded, and they that work by me shall not sin. They that explain me shall have life everlasting.
There shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him. Alleluia, alleluia. O Virgin Mother of God, He whom the whole world cannot contain, being made man, imprisons Himself in thy womb. Alleluia.
At that time, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem; and His parents knew it not. And thinking that He was in the company, they came a day's journey, and sought Him amongst their kinsfolks and acquaintance. And not finding Him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking Him. And it came to pass that after three days they found Him in the temple sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His wisdom and His answers. And seeing Him, they wondered. And His mother said to Him: Son, why hast Thou done so to us? Behold Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing. And He said to them: How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business? And they understood not the word that He spoke unto them. And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth: and was subject to them.
When His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Through Thy mercy, O Lord, and the intercession of blessed Mary, ever a virgin, the Mother of Thine only-begotten Son, may our oblation profit us for eternal and for present prosperity and peace. Through the same....
Blessed is the womb of the Virgin Mary that bore the Son of the eternal Father.
May this communion, O Lord, purge away our guilt and, by the intercession of blessed Mary the Mother of God, make us companions of Him, Who is our heavenly healing. Through the same Our Lord Jesus Christ Who liveth, and reigneth with Thee, in the Unity of the Holy Ghost, God, World without end. Amen.
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