Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Octave, Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God

By Randy Sly
Catholic Online (

What better way could Catholics begin the New Year than by celebrating the divine order and plan established by God?

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) - This Holy Day of Obligation is not just a remembering of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It addresses her most fundamental attribute. On this day we remember that she was, in fact, the “theotokos” in the Greek, the Mother of God. This day is about Jesus and Mary.

In the early fifth century a time of intense heresy visited the Church concerning both the divinity and the humanity of Christ. One heresy in particular, Nestorianism, was rampant especially in the East. Simply put, Nestorius, who was the Patriarch of Constantinople at the time. Whether it was he or some of his followers,a teaching emerged casuing confusion over the human and divine natures in the one person of Jesus Christ.

Nestorians would even say that Mary gave birth to the Christ but not to God the Son and that only the man Christ suffered on the cross. St. Cyril of Alexandria was noted as saying that the Nestorians had “split Jesus in half.”

To combat this heresy, the Council of Ephesus was convened in 431 A.D., where the bishops gathered to settle the issue, once and for all, that Jesus Christ was one person with two natures, divine and human. In condemning the followers of Nestorius, they also re-emphasized that the Blessed Virgin Mary gave birth to a son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who was fully God and fully man from the moment of His conception. The Council also reaffirmed the creed established by the first Council of Nicea as the essence of Christian Faith.

She was the Theotokos!

Today we remember the mystery of the incarnation in a beautiful dimension, in which God became man and dwelt among us. His Mother, by divine intervention, gave birth to God's only begotten Son.


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