Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Last updated

The Blessed Virgin Mary, Meter Theou (Meter Theou, "Mother of God"), is poetically called Platutera ton ouranon (Platytera ton Ouranon, "More spacious than the heavens"), because she bore in her womb the Creator of the universe. Prayer Mother Mary.jpg
The Blessed Virgin Mary, Μήτηρ Θεοῦ (Meter Theou, "Mother of God"), is poetically called Πλατυτέρα τῶν οὐρανῶν (Platytéra ton Ouranon, "More spacious than the heavens"), because she bore in her womb the Creator of the universe.

The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God is a feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the aspect of her motherhood of Jesus Christ, whom she had circumcised on the 8th day, according to the biblical and Jewish Law. Christians see him as the Lord, the Son of God. [1] It is celebrated by the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church on 1 January, the Octave (8th) day of Christmastide. The solemnity is a Holy Day of Obligation in areas that have not abrogated it.

Contents

Christians of Byzantine Rite and of all West Syriac and East Syriac rites celebrate Mary as the Mother of God on 26 December and the Coptic Church does so on 16 January. [2] The Eastern Orthodox Church, [3] Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Church observe the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ on 1 January. [4]

Significance

The feast is a celebration of Mary being the mother of Jesus. The English title "Mother of God" is a literal translation of the Latin title Mater Dei, which in turn is a rendering of the Greek title Θεοτόκος ( Theotokos ), meaning "Bearer of God" dogmatically adopted by the First Council of Ephesus (431) as an assertion of the divinity of Christ. [5]

History

The Second Vatican Council stated: "Clearly from earliest times the Blessed Virgin is honoured under the title of Mother of God." [6] and at an early stage the Church in Rome celebrated on 1 January a feast that it called the anniversary (Natale) of the Mother of God. [2] When this was overshadowed by the feasts of the Annunciation and the Assumption, adopted from Constantinople at the start of the 7th century, 1 January began to be celebrated simply as the octave day of Christmas, the "eighth day" on which, according to Luke 2:21, the child was circumcised and given the name Jesus. [7]

In the 13th or 14th century, 1 January began to be celebrated in Rome, as already in Spain and Gaul, as the feast of the Circumcision of the Lord and the Octave of the Nativity, while still oriented towards Mary and Christmas, [7] with many prayers, antiphons and responsories glorifying the maternity of Mary. [2] Pope John XXIII's 1960 rubrical and calendrical revision removed the mention of the circumcision of Jesus and called 1 January simply the Octave of the Nativity. [8]

Feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary was first granted, on the petition of King Joseph Manuel, to the dioceses of Portugal and to Brasil and Algeria, 22 January 1751, together with the feast of the Purity of Mary, and was assigned to the first Sunday in May. In the following year both feasts were extended to the province of Venice, in 1778 to the kingdom of Naples, and 1807 to Tuscany. In the Roman Breviary the feast of the Maternity was commemorated on the second, and the feast of the Purity on the third, Sunday in October. At Mesagna in Apulia it was kept 20 February in commemoration of the earthquake, 20 February 1743. This particular feast was not included in the universal calendar of the church, but a number of diocesan calendars had adopted it. [9] By 1914, the feast was established in Portugal for celebration on 11 October and was extended to the entire Catholic Church by Pope Pius XI in 1931. [10] [11]

S Agostino Madonna del Parto S Agostino Madonna del Parto.jpg
S Agostino Madonna del Parto

Madonna del Parto

In Rome, in the Basilica of S. Augustine, the feast of the "Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary" was celebrated with an octave, in honour of the miraculous statue of the Madonna del Parto by Jacopo Sansovino. For centuries, the people of Rome and its environs have invoked the intercession of the Madonna before this statue asking for safe deliveries and healthy babies. The statue is laden with thank-offerings and always surrounded by offerings of flowers and candles, and often photographs of smiling infants and toddlers, "visual evidence of faith in holy intercession". [12]

Our Lady of Good Remedy

This feast was also the titular feast of the Trinitarians. [9] In 1198, John of Matha founded the Order of the Most Holy Trinity with the mission of ransoming captive Christians. To this end, he placed the order's fund-raising efforts under the patronage of Mary. In gratitude for her assistance, he then honored Mary with the title of "Our Lady of Good Remedy" (also known under the invocation of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios). [13] Her feast day is now celebrated on 8 October. [14]

Mysterii Paschalis

The 1969 revision of the liturgical year and the calendar states: "1 January, the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord, is the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, and also the commemoration of the conferral of the Most Holy Name of Jesus." [15] It removed the 11 October feast, even for Portugal, stating: "The Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated on 1 January in the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God." [16] The 11 October feast is now celebrated only by some Traditionalist Catholic individuals and groups.[ citation needed ]

Marialis Cultus

In his Apostolic Letter Marialis Cultus , Pope Paul VI explained: "This celebration, placed on January 1 ...is meant to commemorate the part played by Mary in this mystery of salvation. It is meant also to exalt the singular dignity which this mystery brings to the 'holy Mother...through whom we were found worthy to receive the Author of life.' It is likewise a fitting occasion for renewing adoration of the newborn Prince of Peace, for listening once more to the glad tidings of the angels (cf. Lk. 2:14), and for imploring from God, through the Queen of Peace, the supreme gift of peace." [17]

See also

Related Research Articles

Liturgical year Annually recurring fixed sequence of Christian feast days

The liturgical year, also known as the church year or Christian year, as well as the kalendar, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches that determines when feast days, including celebrations of saints, are to be observed, and which portions of Scripture are to be read either in an annual cycle or in a cycle of several years.

In the Catholic Church, holy days of obligation are days on which the faithful are expected to attend Mass, and engage in rest from work and recreation, according to the Third Commandment.

Twelve Days of Christmas Period between 25 December and 5 January

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a festive Christian season celebrating the Nativity of Jesus. In some Western ecclesiastical traditions, "Christmas Day" is considered the "First Day of Christmas" and the Twelve Days are 25 December to 5 January, inclusive, with 6 January being a "thirteenth day" in some traditions and languages. However, 6 January is most often considered Twelfth Day/Twelfth Night with the Twelve Days "of" Christmas actually after Christmas Day from 26 December to 6 January. For many Christian denominations—for example, the Anglican Communion and Lutheran Church—the Twelve Days are identical to Christmastide, but for others, e.g., the Roman Catholic Church, Christmastide lasts longer than the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Presentation of Mary

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known in the East as The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple, is a liturgical feast celebrated on November 21 by the Catholic, Orthodox Churches, and some Anglo-Catholic Churches.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception Christian feast on December 8 and public holiday in some countries

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the belief in the sinless lifespan and Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, celebrated on December 8, nine months before the feast of the Nativity of Mary, celebrated on September 8. It is one of the most important Marian feasts in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church celebrated worldwide.

Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus is a feast of the liturgical year celebrated by Christians, on varying dates.

Nativity of Mary Christian feast day for the birth of Mary

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Nativity of Mary, the Marymas or the Birth of the Virgin Mary, refers to a Christian feast day celebrating the birth of Mary, mother of Jesus.

Visitation (Christianity) Christian story and feast of Mary visiting Elizabeth

In Christianity, the Visitation is the visit of Blessed Virgin Mary, who was pregnant with Jesus, to St. Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist, as recorded in the Gospel of Luke, Luke 1:39–56.

Holy Family Jesus, Mary and Saint Joseph

The Holy Family consists of the Child Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph. The subject became popular in art in the early 16th century, but veneration of the Holy Family was formally begun in the 17th century by Saint François de Laval, the first bishop of New France, who founded a confraternity.

Feast of the Circumcision of Christ

The Feast of the Circumcision of Christ is a Christian celebration of the circumcision of Jesus in accordance with Jewish tradition, eight days after his birth, the occasion on which the child was formally given his name.

This article lists the feast days of the General Roman Calendar as they were at the end of 1954. It is essentially the same calendar established by Pope Pius X (1903–1914) following his liturgical reforms, but it also incorporates changes that were made by Pope Pius XI (1922–1939), such as the institution of the Feast of Christ the King, and the changes made by Pope Pius XII (1939–1958) prior to 1955, chief among them the imposition of the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary upon the universal Church in 1944, the inscription of Pius X into the General Calendar following his 1954 canonization, and the institution of the Feast of the Queenship of Mary in October 1954.

The General Roman Calendar is the liturgical calendar that indicates the dates of celebrations of saints and mysteries of the Lord in the Roman Rite, wherever this liturgical rite is in use. These celebrations are a fixed annual date; or occur on a particular day of the week ; or relate to the date of Easter. National and diocesan liturgical calendars, including that of the diocese of Rome itself as well as the calendars of religious institutes and even of continents, add other saints and mysteries or transfer the celebration of a particular saint or mystery from the date assigned in the General Calendar to another date.

"Octave" has two senses in Christian liturgical usage. In the first sense, it is the eighth day after a feast, reckoning inclusively, and so always falls on the same day of the week as the feast itself. The word is derived from Latin octava (eighth), with dies (day) understood. In the second sense, the term is applied to the whole period of these eight days, during which certain major feasts came to be observed.

Feast of the Annunciation

The Feast of the Annunciation, contemporarily the Solemnity of the Annunciation, also known as Lady Day, the Feast of the Incarnation, Conceptio Christi, commemorates the visit of the archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, during which he informed her that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is celebrated on 25 March each year. In the Roman Catholic Church, when 25 March falls during the Paschal Triduum, it is transferred forward to the first suitable day during Eastertide. In Eastern Orthodoxy and Eastern Catholicism, it is never transferred, even if it falls on Pascha (Easter). The concurrence of these two feasts is called Kyriopascha.

This article lists the feast days of the General Roman Calendar as approved on 25 July 1960 by Pope John XXIII's motu proprioRubricarum instructum and promulgated by the Sacred Congregation of Rites the following day, 26 July 1960, by the decree Novum rubricarum. This 1960 calendar was incorporated into the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, continued use of which Pope Benedict XVI authorized in the circumstances indicated in his 7 July 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.

Marian feast days are specific holy days of the liturgical year recognized by Christians as significant Marian days for the celebration of events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her veneration. The number of Marian feasts celebrated, their names can vary among Christian denominations.

The Ranking of liturgical days in the Roman Rite is a regulation for the liturgy of the Roman Catholic church. It determines for each liturgical day which observance has priority when liturgical dates and times coincide, which texts are used for the celebration of the Holy Mass and the Liturgy of the hours and which liturgical color is assigned to the day or celebration.

Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Feast of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary is an optional memorial celebrated in the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church on 12 September. It has been a universal Roman Rite feast since 1684, when Pope Innocent XI included it in the General Roman Calendar to commemorate the victory at the Battle of Vienna in 1683. It was removed from the Church calendar in the liturgical reform following Vatican II but restored by Pope John Paul II in 2002, along with the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus.

Feast of the Conception of the Virgin Mary

The Feast of the Conception of the Virgin Mary is a liturgical holiday celebrated on December 9 by the Orthodox Church and a number of Eastern Catholic Churches. It is also the name given in the Catholic Tridentine Calendar for 8 December. In the present General Roman Calendar, the feast is called the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the holy day was once called the Feast of Conception of Saint Anne.

Mysterii Paschalis is an apostolic letter issued motu proprio by Pope Paul VI on 14 February 1969. It reorganized the liturgical year of the Roman Rite and revised the liturgical celebrations of Jesus Christ and the saints in the General Roman Calendar.

References

  1. "The Four Marian Dogmas", Catholic News Agency
  2. 1 2 3 Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 84
  3. "Online Chapel – Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America". www.goarch.org. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  4. Pfatteicher, Philip H. (23 September 2013). Journey into the Heart of God: Living the Liturgical Year. Oxford University Press. p. 113. ISBN   9780199997145. The Anglican and Lutheran churches retain the medieval association of the octave with the circumcision and the giving of the holy Name.
  5. Fenelon, Marge (29 December 2013). "Start the New Year With the Holy Family and Mary". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  6. Pope Paul VI, Lumen gentium, 66
  7. 1 2 Adam, Adolf (1990). The Liturgical Year. Liturgical Press. pp. 139–140. ISBN   978-0-81466047-8.
  8. Longenecker, Fr. Dwight (29 December 2016). "Catholics have three chances, not one, to celebrate New Year's". Crux. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  9. 1 2 Holweck, Frederick George (1913). "Feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary"  . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  10. Masters, Ed (11 October 2016). "Feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary". Regina Magazine. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  11. Lefebvre, Dom (12 October 2018). "Feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary". SSPX.org. Society of Saint Pius X. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  12. Jacobs, Fredrika H., Votive Panels and Popular Piety in Early Modern Italy, Cambridge University Press, 2013 p. 23, ISBN   9781107023048
  13. "Trinitarian Devotions", The Trinitarians
  14. "Our Lady of Good Remedy". www.ewtn.com. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  15. Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, 35 f
  16. Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 142
  17. Pope Paul VI, Marialis Cultus, §5, February 2, 1974, Vatican

Wikisource-logo.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary". Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.