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January 1, Feast of Mary, Theotokos

January 1, Feast of Mary, Theotokos

On January 1, the Virgin Mary is celebrated by the Catholic Church under the name of "Mother of God". Mary of Nazareth is indeed the one who gave birth to Jesus, son of God, thus becoming the mother of God. This is why, in 431, the Council of Ephesus called her the "Theotokos": in her and by the Holy Spirit, Christ took human form!


The solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, is one of the great Marian feasts that honor the Virgin. Learn all about this celebration, and the worship rendered to Mary by her divine motherhood! Trust in Mary, Mother of God, and she will lead you to her son, Jesus!



Why is Mary said to be the mother of God?

Mary is known to all as the mother of Jesus Christ. But how is it that the Catholic Church attributes her the title of Theotokos, "Mother of God"? Is it possible that God, creator of heaven and Earth, has a mother?


During the celebration of January 1, the opening prayer of the Mass explains this mystery to us in a simple way: "It was through Mary's virginal motherhood that the Word became flesh. By worshiping the son of God made man in the child of Bethlehem, we recognize that Mary is the Mother of God”.


This mystery is part of that of the Holy Trinity: God who is both father, son and Holy Spirit! The divinity of Jesus, son of Mary, both true God and true man, is indeed the same as that of God the father, as well as that of the Holy Spirit. Each of the three persons is God in his entirety!



The Feast of Mary, Mother of God

Origin and liturgical calendar of the celebration

The title of "Mother of God" attributed to the Blessed Virgin dates back to the Council of Ephesus, in 431: "At the Council of Ephesus, the Fathers acclaimed Theotokos, because, in her, the Word took flesh and the Son of God dwelt among men, He, the prince of peace, to whom was given the name above all name." (Roman Martyrology)


The Church then officially instituted the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, on January 1, in order to dedicate a day of Christmastime to honor the Mother of Christ. The celebration thus closes the octave of the birth of Jesus Christ. After celebrating the incarnation of Christ on December 25, we celebrate his mother eight days later, through whom Jesus became flesh!


January 1 is also the day of the circumcision and naming of Jesus, a tradition dating back to the Latin Church in the fourth century.

Liturgy of The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

On January 1, the texts of the Mass lead us to meditate on the letter of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Galatians in the second reading, evoking God's plan of salvation for all humanity: "But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship." (Galatians 4:4-7).


The gospel evokes the circumcision and naming of Jesus, eight days after his birth: "On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived."  (Luke 2:21).

Devotion to Saint Mary, Mother of God

The Worship of Mary, Mother of God

The most holy Virgin Mary holds a unique place in the Catholic Church and is thus honored under many names, each revealing to us an aspect of her holiness.


How great the mystery is that surrounds her divine motherhood! The name of Mary, Mother of God, is indeed an opportunity for us to meditate around her title of Mother of Christ. During the announcement made to Mary, the angel Gabriel revealed the plan of God: “the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35).

Mary thus gave birth to Jesus, both true God and true man. Truly Theotokos, mother of a person who is God, she gave him humanity.


Mary, Mother of God is also mother of the Church and mother of all men. As a mother, she is particularly close to us, she guides us on the way to holiness and protects us as a mother does with her children. She is our most fervent advocate with God, a loving, gentle and consoling female figure.


Saint John Paul II also exclaimed about her: “If Jesus is Life, Mary is the Mother of Life. If Jesus is Hope, Mary is the Mother of Hope. If Jesus is Peace, Mary is the mother of Peace."

Pray to Mary, Mother of God and our Mother!

"O beloved Mother, you who know so well the ways of holiness and love, teach us to raise our minds and hearts often to the Trinity, to fix our respectful and loving attention on it. And since you are walking with us on the way of eternal life, do not remain a stranger to the weak pilgrims whom your charity is willing to welcome; turn your merciful eyes towards us, draw us into your light, flood us with your sweetnesses, carry us away in light and love, carry us ever further and very high in the splendors of heaven. May nothing ever disturb our peace or bring us out of the mind of God; but may each minute carry us further into the depths of the unfathomable mystery, until the day when our soul, fully blossomed in the illuminations of divine union, will see all things in eternal love and unity.”

Marthe Robin

Pray to the Holy Mother of God with Hozana!

Mary, Mother of God, is the one through whom all graces are poured out. "Pray to her with fervor and constancy," said Archbishop Le Tourneau, "like a child who sometimes addresses his mother to ask her for the moon, without questioning the possibility of having his requests answered."


Pray to the Holy Family thanks to the beautiful communities of prayer that Hozana offers you!


Association Hozana - 8 rue du Palais de Justice, 69005 Lyon

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