God 'determined to call together in the holy Church those who believe in Christ'

Lumen Gentium

Creed

Our Lady

 

Our Lady (the Blessed Virgin Mary) is the Mother of God.

Mary is the only person to have been preserved from Original Sin, so she is called the immaculate Conception.

She gave birth to Jesus while remaining a virgin, so she is called the Blessed Virgin Mary.

She was assumed body and soul into heaven at the end of her earthly life, and so did not die. This is known as the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Being endowed with these “glories”, Our Lady has a particular part to play in God’s plan of salvation. She is a creature just like any of us, yet because she was preserved free from Original Sin, she was given the grace to remain open to God’s will at every moment of her life. In this regard she acts as a model for sanctity.

She if of course the highest of all creatures and indeed, the highest of all saints, above every saint in heaven. The Church teaches that veneration of Mary points to Christ and gives Him glory and thus brings many blessings. It is important to remember that true and authentic devotion to Mary is always Christo-centric. She always points to Christ, so it is good to keep her own words in mind when we think of her and ask for her prayers. She tells us, as she told the servants at Cana, “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2,1-11).

But Mary is not simply a model, unattainable and lofty. On the contrary: in order to help us here on earth, Jesus gave us his Blessed Mother when dying on the cross, saying, “Woman, here is your son”. Here, the son was St John, who represents us. Our Lord told St John: “Here is your Mother” (John 19,27). The Church has always held this moment as pivotal in her understanding of the role of Mary in our lives: she is our Advocate, because she intercedes to God on our behalf, and is known to as Mediatrix of all Grace.

It is right and proper then to have devotion to Mary and to call upon her as our Mother. She has many titles: Queen of Heaven, Our Lady of the Rosary, Virgin of Virgins, Immaculate Heart of Mary, to name just a few. She is there for us, ready and waiting to hear the prayers of her children as she powerfully intercedes for them. The Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the most popular devotion and many people throughout the centuries have testified to its power and grace in people’s lives. Also, reciting the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary and novenas like “Our Lady of Mount Carmel” are very powerful prayers as well as giving Our Blessed Mother the honour she deserves as Christ’s Mother and as ours.

Over the years Our Lady has appeared in various places around the world to encourage people in their faith. Places such as Lourdes (France), Fatima (Portugal) and Guadalupe (Mexico) attract hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year.

We are called to imitate Christ and pursue holiness and union with Him and likewise we should also imitate the holy manners of the Blessed Virgin in her devotion to her Son, her humility and obedience to God.