The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church

Mary Mother of the Church

Because the Blessed Virgin Mary’s maternal care for Jesus and his Church has been recognized for centuries, she has earned the title Mother of the Church.

Mary not only accompanied Jesus during the most important events in his life but worked alongside the Apostles to fulfill their mission after his Ascension into Heaven.

She accompanied the first Christians, praying and giving witness with them until her body and soul were assumed into Heaven where she continues to pray for us.

Pope Paul VI formally declared Mary as Mother of the Church in 1964 and Pope Francis established an obligatory memorial in 2018.

The Church celebrates The Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church on the Monday after Pentecost, one day after the Church was born.

Mary is the mother of the Body of Christ:

Mother of everlasting life:

When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, He said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

John 19: 26-27

The woman who is mother of all the redeemed:

Jesus gave his mother to the Church:

Her role in relation to the Church and to all humanity goes still further. “In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church 968

Mary is integral to the plan of God:

She is the image of what the Church should be:

After proclaiming Mary a “pre-eminent member”, the “type” and “model” of the Church, the Second Vatican Council says: “The Catholic Church, taught by the Holy Spirit, honours her with filial affection and devotion as a most beloved mother”. To tell the truth, the conciliar text does not explicitly attribute the title “Mother of the Church” to the Blessed Virgin, but it unmistakeably expresses its content by repeating a statement made in 1748, more than two centuries ago, by Pope Benedict XIV. In this document my venerable Predecessor, in describing the filial sentiments of the Church, which recognizes Mary as her most beloved mother, indirectly proclaims her Mother of the Church. This title was rather rarely used in the past, but has recently become more common in the pronouncements of the Church’s Magisterium and in the devotion of the Christian people. The faithful first called upon Mary with the title “Mother of God”, “Mother of the faithful” or “our Mother”, to emphasize her personal relationship with each of her children. Later, because of the greater attention paid to the mystery of the Church and to Mary’s relationship to her, the Blessed Virgin began more frequently to be invoked as “Mother of the Church”.

Pope John Paul II, General Audience, 17 September 1997

We have a relationship with Mary through Jesus:

We are all one Church and Mary is our mother:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Living in the habit:

Share this page with friends and family to start a conversation about your faith.

Don’t miss a post. Learn more about the Catholic Church and strengthen your Catholic faith.

Find more Fiercely Catholic video issues here.

Subscribe here.

Book a Fiercely Catholic program at your next conference, retreat, or other Catholic event.