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Why is the Virgin Mary the perfect “Orans”?

Icon of Mary and Jesus with Angels

Zvonimir Atletic | Shutterstock

Philip Kosloski - published on 02/26/24

The Catechism claims the Blessed Virgin Mary is the perfect "Orans." What does that mean?

There are a variety of unfamiliar terms used in the Catholic Church, and one is the Latin word “Orans.”

The word essentially mean “one who is praying,” and it also describes a particular posture for prayer in the early Church.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls Mary the “perfect Orans”:

Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends his Son to save all men. Like the beloved disciple we welcome Jesus’ mother into our homes, for she has become the mother of all the living. We can pray with and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope.

CCC 2679

She is the humble handmaiden of the Lord and teaches us how to be humble, honest and holy.

Her example of prayer and complete submission to God is the most perfect example we could ever aspire to imitate.

If we want to grow closer to Christ in prayer, one of the surest and easiest ways is to unite in prayer with Mary, the perfect “pray-er.”

CCC PrayerPrayerVirgin Mary
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