Mary and God the Father: Mother of God©

The charts below are direct quotes from Post-Vatican II Magisterial Documents concerning the theme, Mother of God. These teachings of the Catholic Church may prove useful to include in talks, in homilies or for research. For the full title and document data, click on the abbreviation code (for example, BYM leads you to the document, Behold Your Mother). This will also lead you to the complete document on this website, or assist you in locating it elsewhere.

For an index of the documents used in the study see: List of Magisterial Documents
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Documents I. Mary and God the Father / 4. Mother of God
Lumen Gentium, 1964
  • The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother. 56
  • predestination of Blessed Virgin as Mother of God 61
  • [as gift and role from the Father] the Mother of God is a type of the Church... 63
  • exalted...as most holy Mother of God who was involved in the mysteries of Christ [therefore cult] 66
  • Christi Matri Rosarii, 1968 [articles using the term as a title: 13, 15, 19, 20, 22]
    Signum Magnum, 1967
  • was accorded a special "role...in the mystery of the Incarnate Word and the mystery of the Mystical Body," [LG 54] that is, "in the economy of salvation." [LG 55] 5
  • privileges (her role as Mother of God being the pre-eminent one) 6
  • chosen by God to be the spotless Mother of his only begotten Son 17
  • General Catechetical Directory, 1971
  • Because she is the Mother of God and "mother to us in the order of grace" (LG, 61) 68
  • Basic Teaching for Catholic Education (USA), 1973
  • [ special gift from God] being Mother of God 24
  • Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973
  • Mary of Nazareth, the "predestined mother" who would not merely "contribute to life" but bring into the world the One who is Life itself and who renews all things. 20
  • Blessed be the great Mother of God (Divine Praises) 10
  • The merciful Father intervenes in human history to send the new Adam, born of the Virgin Mary through the power of the Spirit. 24
  • eternally predestined, in conjunction with the Incarnation of the divine Word to be the Mother of God" (LG 61, repeating Pope Pius IX) 55
  • In the liturgy "we honor Mary the ever-virgin Mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and God" (Eucharistic Prayer 1); "Mary, the virgin Mother of God" (Prayers 11 and 111); and "the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God." (Prayer IV) 62
  • the title "Mother of God," which was declared to be the faith of the Church at the Third Ecumenical Council, held at Ephesus, in 431 AD 62 [See also 106]
  • no other formula makes so evident the intimate link between devotion to the Virgin Mary and belief in the Incarnation 62
  • prayer, "We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God" [maybe 3 c] 62
  • By God's call and her free response in the power of his grace, Mary became the Mother of Jesus, Son of God made man, and thus truly "Mother of God." 114
  • More on Mother of God 63-64, 106
    [especially Constantinople, Ephesus 431, Chalcedon 451, II Constantinople 553 and a further quote of St. Cyril of Alexandria]
    • Mother of God [use in eastern liturgy] 90
    Marialis Cultus, 1974
  • [1 Jan, liturgical celebration of, one of four Marian solemnities in revised liturgy] 5, 6, 11
  • [liturgy, doctrinal theme] 11
  • Sharing the Light of Faith (USA), 1979
  • Special gifts bestowed on her by God include her vocation as mother of God. 106
  • Redemptor Hominis, 1979
  • Nobody has been brought into it [the mystery of the Redemption] by God himself as Mary has. It is in this that the exceptional character of the grace of the divine Motherhood consists.
  • Not only is the dignity of this Motherhood unique and unrepeatable in the history of the human race, but Mary's participation, due to the Maternity, in God's plan for man's salvation through the mystery of the Redemption is also unique in profundity and range of action. Final paragraph.
  • Catechesi Tradendae, 1979
  • Mother of God [listed as: give full place (to this teaching)] 30
  • Dominum et Vivificantem, 1986
  • In the magnificent confession of the fatherhood of God, Jesus of Nazareth also manifests himself, his divinity "I:" for he is the Son "of the same substance," and therefore "no one knows who the Son is except the Son," that Son who "for us and for our salvation" became man by the power of the Holy Spirit and was born of the virgin whose name was Mary. 21
  • Redemptoris Mater, 1987
  • "The Father of mercies willed that the consent of the predestined Mother should precede the Incarnation." (LG 56) 13
  • For it must be recognized that before anyone else it was God himself, the Eternal Father, who entrusted himself to the Virgin of Nazareth, giving her his own Son in the mystery of the Incarnation. 39 [See C. Neumann, S.M., MS, 1988, 162: relied on; not entrusted]
  • The VM in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation, 1988
  • [Creed] The first symbols of the faith and, successively, the dogmatic formulas of the Councils of Constantinople (381), of Ephesus (431) and of Chalcedon (451) are - evidence of the developing appreciation of the mystery of Christ, true God and true man, - at the same time of the progressive discovery of the role of Mary in the mystery of the Incarnation, a discovery which led to the dogmatic definition of Mary's divine and virginal motherhood. 2
  • Mary, therefore, who, by her condition, was the Handmaid of the Lord [relationship to the Father] (cf. Lk 1:38,48), "received the Word of God in her heart and in her body, and gave life to the world," becoming by grace " Mother of God." (cf. LG 53). 6
  • For Christ, and therefore also for the Church, God willed and predestined the Virgin from all eternity. 9
  • post-conciliar debate to a more suitable illustration of dogmas brought about in: ... on the Incarnation of the Word (dogma of the virginal conception of Christ, dogma of the divine maternity) ... 12
  • Mulieris Dignitatem, 1988
  • The particular union of the "Theotokos" with God - which fulfills in the most eminent manner the supernatural predestination to union with the Father which is granted to every human being (filii in Filio) - is a pure grace and, as such, a gift of the Spirit. [see also free will] 4
  • This divine motherhood ... is an altogether unforeseen response to the human expectation of women in Israel; it comes to Mary as a gift from God himself. ... it is a sign of eschatological hope. 20
  • Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 1994
  • The Father chose her for a unique mission in the history of salvation: that of being the Mother of the long-awaited Savior. 54
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994
    Fidei Depositum, 1992
  • 466, 467, 469, 495, 509, 529, 975, Creed, 1138
  • Novo Millennio Ineunte, 2001
    • Yes, Jesus is true God and true man! Like the Apostle Thomas, the Church is constantly invited by Christ to touch his wounds, to recognize, that is, the fullness of his humanity taken from Mary, given up to death, transfigured by the Resurrection: "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side." (Jn 20:27) 21
    Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002
    • If it is the Father's plan to unite all things in Christ (cf. Eph 1:10), then the whole of the universe is in some way touched by the divine favor with which the Father looks upon Mary and makes her the Mother of his Son. 20
    • The first part of the Hail Mary, drawn from the words spoken to Mary by the Angel Gabriel and by St. Elizabeth, is a contemplation in adoration of the mystery accomplished in the Virgin of Nazareth. These words express, so to speak, the wonder of heaven and earth; they could be said to give us a glimpse of God's own wonderment as he contemplates his "masterpiece" - the Incarnation of the Son in the womb of the Virgin Mary. If we recall how, in the Book of Genesis, God "saw all that he had made," (Gen 1:31) we can find here an echo of that "pathos with which God, at the dawn of creation, looked upon the work of his hands." (Letter to Artists, April 4, 1996) The repetition of the Hail Mary in the Rosary gives us a share in God's own wonder and pleasure: in jubilant amazement we acknowledge the greatest miracle of history. 33
    Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2003
    • It is not by chance that the Eastern Anaphoras and the Latin Eucharistic Prayers honor Mary, the ever-Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and God, the angels, the holy apostles, the glorious martyrs and all the saints. 19
    • In a certain sense Mary lived her Eucharistic faith even before the institution of the Eucharist, by the very fact that she offered her virginal womb for the Incarnation of God's Word. The Eucharist, while commemorating the passion and resurrection, is also in continuity with the incarnation. (2-2) 55
    • Mary was asked to believe that the One whom she conceived "through the Holy Spirit" was "the Son of God." (Lk 1:30-35) In continuity with the Virgin's faith, in the Eucharistic mystery we are asked to believe that the same Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary, becomes present in his full humanity and divinity under the signs of bread and wine. (3-1, 6-2b) 55


    © This material has been compiled by M. Jean Frisk.
    Copyright is reserved for The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.

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