Mother of the Church

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Simplified

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From Conception to Cross to Ascension (964-965)

Mary's role flows directly from Christ. She stood at the cross, consented to the immolation of her Son and then received the beloved disciple at Jesus' Words, ‘Woman, behold your son" (Jn 19:26-27). After Jesus' Ascension, she aided the early Church by her prayers and implored the gift of the Spirit who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation.

Being Assumed into Heaven (966)

Pope Pius XII declared Mary's Assumption. "When the course of her earthly life was finished, she was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory." The Assumption is Mary's unique participation in Christ's Resurrection and an anticipation of our resurrection. "In your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life" (Byzantine Liturgy).

A Unique Member (967-968)

Mary adhered to the Father's will, to her Son's work and to the Spirit's promptings. She is a wholly unique member of the Church. By fully cooperating in the redemption "she is a mother to us in the order of grace" (Second Vatican Council).

Annunciation to Assumption (969-970)

This motherhood began by her consent at the Annunciation which she unwaveringly sustained at the cross. Her motherhood continues until the fulfillment of all the elect. She has never set aside this saving office of intercession and is invoked as Advocate, Helper, and Mediatrix. (Second Vatican Council).

Mary's function does not diminish Christ's unique mediation. As the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways, so the unique mediation of the Redeemer has many cooperators.

Devotion to Mary (971)

Mary said that "all generations will call me blessed" (Lk 1:48). From ancient times the Church has honored her as "the Mother of God." The Church has special devotion to Mary which differs essentially from the adoration given to the Trinity. Her liturgical feasts and the rosary ("the epitome of the whole Gospel") express this devotion.

Mary - What We Will Be (972)

In Mary we can see what the Church will someday be when she arrives home after a long journey. In heaven, the Church is awaited by her Mother. In the meantime, Mary is the beginning of a Church to be perfected on earth and hope to God's people.

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