Q: What about the title of "domina"?


The Adoration of the Three Kings
4C. mosaic
St. Mary Major, Rome

A: The Latin title, "domina" (despoina, kyria), is a very early one: for some authors it is already contained in the etymological meaning of the name "Mirja, Mariam, Maria." The Sacara Onomastica (third c) (ed. P. de la Lagarde, 1887) offers Kyrieuousa and Kyria for Mary. Origen was the first to give Mary this title: "You are the Mother of my Lord, you are my Lady (su emae Kyria = domina)." (Hom VII in Luca). Many other sacred writers use the expression. The II Council of Nicaea calls her our immaculate lady (despoinaes, domina). The expression "Nostra Domina" becomes in various languages, Nuestra Senora, Nossa Senhora, Notre-Dame and Madonna. The idea of power and governing fades away but is resurrected in the expression Queen or Regina, which is the equivalent of "domina." Formulas of consecration in Marian Sodalities (Congregations) frequently use the expression: "The hodie in Dominam, Patronam, Advocatam eligo" (I have elected you as my lady (=domina), patroness and advocate).


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