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Mary, the Mother of God

Question: We know that Mary is the mother of Jesus. But Catholic doctrine is that Mary is, considering the unity of the Trinity, the mother of God the Father and the mother of the Holy Spirit as well. How can a created person be the mother of an uncreated one?

Answer: Roman Catholics are not alone in calling Mary the Mother of God. All Christian churches who follow the teaching of the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (431 A.D) honor her with the title. right: Virgin and Child - Bellini

SpacerThe Council of Ephesus repudiated Nestorius, the patriarch of Constantinople, for refusing to honor Mary as the "Mother of God." He refused because he denied that Jesus Christ was both God and man. The council therefore saw Mary's title "Mother of God" as safeguarding Christian belief in the mystery of the Incarnation: Jesus is God and man.

SpacerThe council did not call Mary the mother of the Holy Trinity. Nor does the Catholic Church. She can be called Mother of God, however, because Jesus who was born from her is truly Son of God from all eternity.

SpacerThe Catholic Catechism teaches the following:

"Called in the Gospels 'the mother of Jesus,' Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as 'the mother of my Lord.' In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly 'Mother of God' (Theotokos)" (495)

Much more about Mary

This "Ask a Catholic" response written by Fr Victor Hoagland, C.P. and Fr Anthony Behan, C.P.,
with consultation from Fr Paul Francis Spencer, C.P., and Fr Paul Zilonka, C.P.

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