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Mary, Mother of God

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Mary, Mother of God

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January 1 Saint of the Day

January 1 Saint of the Day

Podcast © Franciscan Media
Mary’s divine motherhood broadens the Christmas spotlight. Hers role as mother of God places her in a unique position in God’s redemptive plan.

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Liturgy of the Hours - 2nd Reading

The Word took our nature from Mary

From a letter by Saint Athanasius, bishop
The Word took to himself the sons of Abraham, says the Apostle, and so had to be like his brothers in all things. He had then to take a body like ours. This explains the fact of Mary’s presence: she is to provide him with a body of his own, to be offered for our sake. Scripture records her giving birth, and says: She wrapped him in swaddling clothes. Her breasts, which fed him, were called blessed. Sacrifice was offered because the child was her firstborn. Gabriel used careful and prudent language when he announced his birth. He did not speak of “what will be born in you” to avoid the impression that a body would be introduced into her womb from outside; he spoke of “what will be born from you,” so that we might know by faith that her child originated within her and from her.
By taking our nature and offering it in sacrifice, the Word was to destroy it completely and then invest it with his own nature, and so prompt the Apostle to say: This corruptible body must put on incorruption; this mortal body must put on immortality.
This was not done in outward show only, as some have imagined. This is not so. Our Saviour truly became man, and from this has followed the salvation of man as a whole. Our salvation is in no way fictitious, nor does it apply only to the body. The salvation of the whole man, that is, of soul and body, has really been achieved in the Word himself.
What was born of Mary was therefore human by nature, in accordance with the inspired Scriptures, and the body of the Lord was a true body: It was a true body because it was the same as ours. Mary, you see, is our sister, for we are all born from Adam.
The words of St John, the Word was made flesh, bear the same meaning, as we may see from a similar turn of phrase in St Paul: Christ was made a curse for our sake. Man’s body has acquired something great through its communion and union with the Word. From being mortal it has been made immortal; though it was a living body it has become a spiritual one; though it was made from the earth it has passed through the gates of heaven.
Even when the Word takes a body from Mary, the Trinity remains a Trinity, with neither increase nor decrease. It is for ever perfect. In the Trinity we acknowledge one Godhead, and thus one God, the Father of the Word, is proclaimed in the Church.
 

Mary, Mother of God

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January 1

Today, Jan. 1, the octave of Christmas ends with the celebration of the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. It is a holy day of obligation, except the obligation for Catholics in the United States is lifted when the feast falls on a Saturday or Monday.

Jan. 1 also marks the Church’s commemoration of the World Day of Peace, first observed 50 years ago in 1968. It seems appropriate and fitting to be celebrated on a Marian feast day, for peace is only possible through total self-sacrifice and surrender — through total love and obedience to the will of God, of which Mary is an icon for the Church.

It bears noting that Jan. 1 previously had been known as the feast of the circumcision of the Lord, because Jewish ritual prescribes that Jewish males would have been circumcised on the eighth day after birth, in accordance with the covenant God made with Abraham. As a member of a pious, practicing Jewish family, Jesus would have received this ritual induction into the Abrahamic covenant (see Lk 2:21). (By Michael Heinlein)

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SOURCE: OSV Kids!

Saint Stories for all Ages

Mary in God’s plan

Way back in 431, there was a bitter controversy among theologians over the role of Mary in the Catholic Church. They debated the question: Who is Mary in God’s plan?
In the end, the bishops declared that Mary is really the mother of Jesus and Jesus is really God. So it must be said that Mary is the Mother of God.
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from Saints and Feast Days, by Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio
SOURCE: LoyolaPress.com

Britannica Kids

Britannica Kids

Through the many centuries of church history, the mother of Jesus achieved a status second only to Jesus himself in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and other churches. She has been the focus of much debate and the subject of some of the greatest art in the Western world. Many of the finest medieval cathedrals are dedicated to her—including the Gothic masterpiece in Chartres, France.
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