The meaning of the celebration
+ To honor Mary as the Theotokos, the Mother of God, is to celebrate the unique role that she played (and continues to play) in God’s plan of salvation.
+ The Solemnity of Mary Mother of God—the Octave Day of Christmas—also recalls the circumcision and naming of Jesus on the eighth day after his birth (see Luke 2:21).
Since 1968, the Church has also celebrated the World Day for Peace on January 1. In his Message for the first World Day of Peace, Blessed Pope Paul VI declared, “It is Our desire that, every year, this commemoration [of “The Day of Peace”] be repeated as a hope and as a promise… that Peace with its just and beneficent equilibrium may dominate the development of events to come.”
“Hail, Holy Mother, who gave birth to the King,
who rules heaven and earth for ever.”—Entrance Antiphon for the Mass for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
O God, who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary
bestowed on the human race
the grace of eternal salvation,
grant, we pray,
that we may experience the intercession of her,
through whom we were found worthy
to receive the author of life,
our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.