Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Mary, Mother of God

On New Year's Day the Church celebrates the feast of Mary, the Mother of God. The date of this feast is not chosen to mark the beginning of the year; rather, it marks the end of the Christmas Octave. Christmas is marked by eight days of special celebration, beginning on 25 December and ending today (though the Christmas season continues until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord). Today's feast recalls a title given to Mary at the Council of Ephesus in 431. There she was proclaimed Theotokos - God-bearer - as a way of showing that Jesus Christ is truly God. By being born of Mary His human nature was guaranteed; by this title of Mary, His divine nature is also assured.