HomeQuestions & AnswersWhy do we love our Lady?
Questions & Answers

Why do we love our Lady?

Tags: Doctrine, Holy Spirit, Church, Jesus Christ, Our Lady, Year of Faith
Faith in the fact that God himself became man has been the joyful conviction of the Church from the very beginning. To come into the world, God chose to rely on the free cooperation of a human being, Mary, to be the mother of his Son through the work of the Holy Spirit. And the Church, from her beginnings, has honored Mary as the daughter of God the Father, mother of God the Son, and spouse of God the Holy Spirit. How did God choose Mary? How did she conceive the Son of God? Why do we call Mary Virgin and Mother?

How did Mary conceive the Son of God made man?
The historical event which God had foreseen from all eternity took place in a Nazareth, a village in Galilee, when the Angel Gabriel appeared to a young Jewish woman, “a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary” says St Luke in chapter 1 of his Gospel.

To come into the world God wanted the free co-operation of a creature, Mary, to be the mother of his Son. “The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother, so that just as a woman had a share in the coming of death, so also should a woman contribute to the coming of life.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 488, 504, 511.
Velazquez, <i>The coronation of the Virgin</i> (detail), <br>oil on canvas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.
Velazquez, The coronation of the Virgin (detail),
oil on canvas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

2. How did God choose Mary? What did the Angel Gabriel say to Mary in Nazareth, and what was her answer?
St Luke tells in the first chapter of his Gospel how the Angel Gabriel said to Mary, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” When she heard these words, she wondered what this greeting could mean. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. You will conceive and bear a son, and you will call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.”

Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary’s womb because he is the New Adam, who inaugurates the new creation: “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.” From his conception, Christ’s humanity is filled with the Holy Spirit, for God “gives him the Spirit without measure.” From “his fullness” as the head of redeemed humanity “we have all received, grace upon grace.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 504.

Contemplating the mystery
How would we have acted, if we could have chosen our own mother? I’m sure we would have chosen the one we have, adorning her with every possible grace. That is what Christ did. Being all-powerful, all-wise, Love itself, his power carried out his will.
Christ is Passing By, no. 171

Our Mother had meditated deep and long on the words of the holy men and women of the Old Testament who awaited the Saviour, and on the events that they had taken part in. She must have marvelled at all the great things that God, in his boundless mercy, had done for his people, who were so often ungrateful. As she considers the tenderness shown time after time by God towards his people, Mary’s immaculate Heart breaks out in loving words, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour, for he has looked graciously upon the lowliness of his handmaid.” The early Christians, children of this good Mother, learned from her; we can and ought to do likewise.
Friends of God, no. 141

3. Was Mary free to respond to God’s plans for her?
Mary was invited to conceive him in whom the fullness of the divinity was to dwell bodily, and she asked about what she did not understand – “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” God’s response to her question was, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you.” And she pronounced her “fiat”, yes, “Let it be to me according to your word,” in the name of all human nature.

The Virgin Mary, by her faith and free response, took up God’s plan for the salvation of mankind. By her obedience she became the new Eve, mother of the living.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 484, 511.

Mother, O Mother! With that word of yours – fiat, ‘be it done’ – you have made us brothers of God and heirs to his Glory. Blessed art thou!
Contemplating the mystery
Don’t forget, my friend, that we are children. The Lady of the sweet name, Mary, is withdrawn in prayer. You, in that house, are whatever you want to be: a friend, a servant, an onlooker, a neighbour... I, at this moment, don’t dare to be anything. I hide behind you; full of awe, I contemplate the scene: The Archangel delivers his message... Quomodo fiet istud, quoniam virum non cognosco? “How shall this be done since I know not man?” (Luke 1:34). Our Mother’s voice brings to my memory, by contrast, all the impurities of men.... mine too. And then how I hate the low, mean things of the earth...What resolutions! Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum. “Be it done unto me according to Thy word” (Luke 1:38). By the enchantment of this virginal phrase, the Word was made flesh. The first decade is about to end... I still have time to tell my God, before anyone else does: “Jesus, I love You.”
Holy Rosary, first joyful mystery

Mother, O Mother! With that word of yours – fiat, “be it done” – you have made us brothers of God and heirs to his Glory. Blessed art thou!
The Way, no. 512.

The Virgin did not merely pronounce her fiat; in every moment she fulfilled that firm and irrevocable decision. So should we. When God’s love gets through to us and we come to know what he desires, we ought to commit ourselves to be faithful, loyal – and then be so in fact. Because “not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven.”
Christ is Passing By, no. 173

4. What does it mean to say that Jesus was conceived by the work and the grace of the Holy Spirit?
It means that God became man without the intervention of a human father. Jesus has no Father except God (cf. Luke 2:48-49). It means that his Mother, Mary, was a virgin. Mary’s virginity manifests God’s absolute initiative in the Incarnation of the Word.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 503.

Contemplating the mystery
When the days of the Mother’s purification are accomplished, according to the Law of Moses, the Child must be taken to Jerusalem, to be presented to the Lord (Luke 2:22). And this time it will be you, my friend, who will carry the cage with the doves (Luke 2:24). Just think: She – the Immaculate! – submits to the Law as if she were defiled. Through this example, foolish child, will you learn to obey the Holy Law of God, regardless of any personal sacrifice?
Purification! You and I surely do need purification! Atonement, and more than atonement, Love. Love as a searing iron to cauterize our souls’ uncleanness, and as a fire to kindle with divine flames the wretched tinder of our hearts.
A just and God-fearing man has come to the temple, led by the Holy Spirit. It has been revealed to him that he will not die before he had seen the Christ. He takes the Messiah in his arms and says to Him: “Now, My Lord, Thou canst take Thy servant out of this world in peace, according to Thy promise... because my eyes have seen the Saviour” (Luke 2:25-30).
Holy Rosary, fourth joyful mystery

5. What is the connection between Eve and Mary?
Throughout the Old Covenant Mary’s mission was prefigured by that of many holy women (Sarah, who conceives a son in spite of her old age; Hannah, the mother of Samuel; Deborah; Ruth; Judith and Esther). At the very beginning there was Eve; despite her disobedience, she receives the promise of a posterity that will be victorious over the evil one.
After a long period of waiting the times are fulfilled in her, the exalted Daughter of Sion, and the new plan of salvation is established. Mary “stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently hope for and receive salvation from him.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 489.

Contemplating the mystery
If you and I had had the power, we too would have made her Queen and Lady of all creation. A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman with a crown of twelve stars upon her head, clothed with the sun, the moon at her feet (Apoc 12:1). Mary, Virgin without stain, has made up for the fall of Eve: and she crushed the head of the infernal serpent with her immaculate heel. Daughter of God, Mother of God, Spouse of God!
Holy Rosary, fifth glorious mystery

6. What does it mean to say that Mary is full of grace?
The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace”. In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace. Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.”
It means that she was conceived without original sin. Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854: “The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin” (Pius IX, Bull Ineffabilis Deus, DS 2803).
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 490-491.

Contemplating the mystery
There is no heart more human than that of a person overflowing with supernatural sense. Think of Holy Mary, who is full of grace, Daughter of God the Father, Mother of God the Son, Spouse of God the Holy Spirit. Her Heart has room for all humanity and makes no distinction or discrimination. Every person is her son or her daughter.
Furrow, no. 801

Mary, you are Queen of Peace, because you had faith and believed that what the angel announced would in fact happen. Help us to grow in the faith, to have a firm hope and a deeper love.
Christ is Passing By, no. 170

7. How can a woman be the Mother of God?
Mary is truly “Mother of God” since she is the mother of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God made man, who is God himself, as we are told by Sacred Scripture, God’s Revelation. This truth of faith has been proclaimed by Christians from the earliest times.

Think of Holy Mary, who is full of grace, Daughter of God the Father, Mother of God the Son, Spouse of God the Holy Spirit. Her Heart has room for all humanity and makes no distinction or discrimination. Every person is her son or her daughter.
The eyes of faith can discover in the context of the whole of Revelation the mysterious reasons why God in his saving plan wanted his Son to be born of a virgin. These reasons touch both on the person of Christ and his redemptive mission, and on the welcome Mary gave that mission on behalf of all men.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 509, 502.

Contemplating the mystery
Our mother is a model of correspondence with grace. If we contemplate her life, our Lord will give us the light we need to divinize our everyday lives. Throughout the year when we celebrate feasts dedicated to Mary and frequently on other days, we Christians can think of the Virgin. If we take advantage of these moments, trying to imagine how she would behave in our situation, we will make steady progress. And in the end we will resemble her, as children come to look like their mother.
Christ is Passing By, no. 173

Why is Mary also the Mother of Christians and Mother of the Church?
Jesus is Mary’s only son, but her spiritual motherhood extends (cf. Jn 19:26-27; Ap 12:17) to all men whom indeed he came to save: “The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren (Rm 8:29), that is, the faithful in whose generation and formation she co-operates with a mother’s love.”

St John, in chapter 19 of his Gospel, records the words spoken by Jesus to his Mother: standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!”

“The Virgin Mary is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and of the redeemer. She is ‘clearly the mother of the members of Christ’ since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head.” “Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 501, 963-967.

At once virgin and mother, Mary is the symbol and the most perfect realization of the Church: “the Church indeed (...) by receiving the word of God in faith becomes herself a mother. By preaching and Baptism she brings forth sons, who are conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of God, to a new and immortal life. She herself is a virgin, who keeps in its entirety and purity the faith she pledged to her spouse” (Lumen Gentium, no. 64).
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 507

Contemplating the mystery
Our mother, you brought to earth Jesus, who reveals the love of our Father God. Help us to recognize him in the midst of the cares of each day. Stir up our mind and will so that we may listen to the voice of God, to the calls of grace.
Christ is Passing By, no. 174

Seeing how so many Christians express their affection for the Virgin Mary, surely you also feel more a part of the Church, closer to those brothers and sisters of yours. It is like a family reunion. Grown-up children, whom life has separated, come back to their mother for some family anniversary. And even if they have not always got on well together, today things are different; they feel united, sharing the same affection.
Mary continually builds the Church and keeps it together. It is difficult to have devotion to our Lady and not feel closer to the other members of the Mystical Body and more united to its visible head, the pope. That’s why I like to repeat: All with Peter to Jesus through Mary! By seeing ourselves as part of the Church and united to our brothers in the faith, we understand more deeply that we are brothers of all mankind, for the Church has been sent to all the peoples of the earth.
Christ is Passing By, no. 139

Consolation, help, hope, Queen, and above all, Mother: “Mother! Call her again and again. She is listening, she sees you in danger perhaps, and with her Son’s grace she, your holy Mother Mary, offers you the refuge of her arms, the tenderness of her embrace. Call her, and you will find yourself with added strength for the new struggle.” The Way, no. 516.

9. What does the Assumption of our Lady into Heaven mean?
The Blessed Virgin, the Immaculate, was at the end of her earthly life raised body and soul to heavenly glory, and likened to her risen Son in anticipation of the future lot of all the just; and we believe that the Blessed Mother of God, the New Eve, Mother of the Church, continues in heaven her maternal role with regard to Christ’s members.
Credo of the People of God, 15.

We look to Mary to contemplate what the Church already is in her mystery on her own “pilgrimage of faith,” and what she will be in the homeland at the end of her journey. There, “in the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity,” “in the communion of all the saints,” the Church is awaited by the one she venerates as Mother of her Lord and as her own mother. “In the meantime the Mother of Jesus, in the glory which she possesses in body and soul in heaven, is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise she shines forth on earth until the day of the Lord shall come, a sign of certain hope and comfort to the pilgrim People of God” (Lumen Gentium, 68).
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 972

Mary continually builds the Church and keeps it together. It is difficult to have devotion to our Lady and not feel closer to the other members of the Mystical Body.
Contemplating the mystery
The Assumption of our Lady prompts us to acknowledge the basis for this joyful hope. Yes, we are still pilgrims, but our mother has gone on ahead, where she points to the reward of our efforts. She tells us that we can make it. And, if we are faithful, we will reach home. The blessed Virgin is not only our model, she is the help of Christians. And as we besiege her with our petitions — “Show that you are our Mother” — she cannot help but watch over her children with motherly care.
Christ is Passing By, no. 177

The divine Motherhood of Mary is the source of all the perfections and privileges with which she is endowed. Because of it, she was conceived immaculate and is full of grace; because of it, she is ever virgin, she was taken up body and soul to heaven and has been crowned Queen of all creation, above the angels and saints. Greater than she, none but God. ‘The Blessed Virgin from the fact that she is the Mother of God has a certain infinite dignity which comes from the infinite good, which is God.’ There is no danger of exaggerating. We can never hope to fathom this inexpressible mystery; nor will we ever be able to thank our Mother enough for bringing us into such intimacy with the Blessed Trinity.

10. Why does Our Blessed Lady hold a central place in Christian life?
“All generations will call me blessed”: these are our Lady’s words in the Magnificat, recognizing what God has worked in her. “The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship.” The Church rightly honors “the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of ‘Mother of God,’ to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs
This very special devotion differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration.” The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an “epitome of the whole Gospel,” express this devotion to the Virgin Mary.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 971

Contemplating the mystery
How do normal sons or daughters treat their mother? In different ways, of course, but always affectionately and confidently, never coldly. In an intimate way, through small, commonplace customs. And a mother feels hurt if we omit them: a kiss or an embrace when leaving or coming home, a little extra attention, a few warm words. (…) Many Christians have the custom of wearing the scapular; or they have acquired the habit of greeting those pictures — a glance is enough — which are found in every Christian home and in many public places; or they recall the central events in Christ’s life by saying the rosary, never getting tired of repeating its words, just like people in love.
Christ is Passing By, no. 142

If you feel proud to be a child of Our Lady, ask yourself: How often do I express my devotion to the Virgin Mary during the day, from morning to night?
The Forge, no. 433

Related articles

Video

Who taught you how to walk?

Our Lady is our Mother, explains St Josemaria, and as such she teaches us how to walk in the life of faith. The video was filmed in Valencia, Spain, on November 16, 1972.

Video

Pope Francis: 'If a Church no longer carries Jesus, then that is dead Church!'

Pope Francis focused his speech on the role of the Virgin Mary, who he described as the “first and most perfect disciple.” He added that Our Lady was a model for the Church because of her faith in God, her charity towards others, and her union with Jesus Christ.

Video

Our Lady of Peace, the prelatic church of Opus Dei

Video. On January 24 is celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Peace.
"Our Lady of Peace" is a place of prayer, housing the mortal remains of Saint Josemaría Escrivá. Millions of people throughout the world turn to Saint Josemaría's intercession to gain graces of every kind from God.

Documents

RSS