Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Happy New Year to all and a blessed Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God!
On this first day of the new year, eight days after the birth of Christ, we remember the Blessed Virgin Mary by celebrating her divine motherhood. We call Mary Theotokus, or “God-Bearer” because she is the Mother of God. When Catholics celebrate the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God Incarnate, we are not only honoring Mary, who was chosen among all women throughout history to bear God, but we are also honoring our Lord, who is fully God and fully human.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the “perfect woman” — hand-picked and created by God to be His mother. She is the “highly favored one.” She knows the fullness of God’s love and passes this beautiful blessing onto to us. For, she is not only God’s mother, but our mother, too. She is the gentle, concerned mother who watches over us day and night, and cares for our every need. Every pain, every worry, every joy we feel she wants us to share it all with her. The love that God manifests toward her, she shares abundantly with us. The Holy Spirit dwells within her heart, and she is a conduit of love, grace, and tender mercy for us. She also serves as a wonderful model of love to emulate.
Just as Christmas honors Jesus as the “Prince of Peace,” the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God honors Mary as the “Queen of Peace”. Like the holy infant, we are forever safe within her arms.
A plenary indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who, in a church or in an oratory, are present in a recitation or solemn chant of the hymn Veni Creator on the first day of the year, imploring divine assistance for the whole of the coming year. This hymn is traditionally sung for beginnings of important undertakings, solemnly calling upon the Holy Spirit in prayer before endeavoring something new. “Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest, and in our souls take up Thy rest; come with Thy grace and heavenly aid to fill the hearts which Thou hast made. O comforter, to Thee we cry, O heavenly gift of God Most High.”