Friday, November 21, 2008

Mary, "Mother of the Church"

When he proclaimed the Dogmatic Constitution "Lumen Gentium" at the Second Vatican Council on November 21, 1964, Pope Paul VI declared the Virgin Mary "Mother of the Church." Here is the official text of the pontifical declaration during the Council: "By the promulgation of today's Constitution, which has as its crown and summit a whole chapter dedicated to Our Lady, we can rightly affirm that the present session ends as an incomparable hymn of praise in honor to Mary. It is the first time, in fact--and saying it fills our souls with profound emotion--that an Ecumenical Council presents such a vast synthesis of the Catholic Doctrine regarding the place which the Blessed Virgin Mary occupies in the mystery of Christ and of the Church.

"(...) Very many Council Fathers made their own, pressing for an explicit declaration at this Council of the motherly role of the Virgin among the Christian people. To achieve this aim, We have felt it opportune to Consecrate in this very public Session a title which was suggested in honor of the Virgin from various parts of the Catholic world and which is particularly dear to us because it sums up in an admirable synthesis the privileged position reorganized by the Council for the Virgin in the Holy Church.

"Therefore, for the glory of the Virgin Mary and for Our own consolation, We proclaim the Most Blessed Mary Mother of the Church, that is to say of all the people of God, of the faithful as well as of the Pastors, who call her the most loving Mother. And We wish that the Mother of God should be still more honored and invoked by the entire Christian people by this most sweet title."

Pope Paul VI
Saint Peter of Rome, November 21, 1964

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