Message from Fr. Mike
Father Mike’s Presentations for Mary’s Month
The topics of Fr. Mike’s talks were taken from the beautiful prayer, “The Divine Praises,” represented in the stained-glass windows in our church.
“Blessed Be the Great Mother of God, Mary Most Holy.” (Mother of God)
“Blessed Be her Holy and Immaculate Conception.” (Immaculate Conception)
“Blessed Be her Glorious Assumption.” (Assumption)
“Blessed Be the Name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.” (Virgin and Mother)
The Dogma of MARY, THE MOTHER OF GOD.
One of the titles of Mary is “Mother of God” (Theotokos). On Friday May 8, 2020, we discussed the origin and the process the Church went through to arrive at that title. In the 4th and 5th Centuries, the central question in the Christian world was this: is Mary Mother of God (Theotokos) or Mother of Christ (Christotokos)? While Patriarch Cyril of Alexandria said that Mary is Theotokos, Patriarch Nestorius of Constantinople said that Mary is Christotokos. The argument went on for a long time. The issue was somehow resolved in 431 by the third Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in favor of Mary Mother of God. Mary is not the source of the existence of the divine nature of Jesus, who existed with the Father from all eternity, or of her Son’s divinity. An unknown author puts it this way, “Mother of God has not been understood, nor been intended to be understood, as referring to Mary as Mother of God from eternity — that is, as Mother of God the Father — but only with reference to the birth of Jesus, that is, the Incarnation.”
We celebrate this feast on January 1. We also celebrate it in hymns and prayers.
The Dogma of MARY, THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION.
This is another title of Mary. We discussed the evolution of this title on Friday, May 15. This has to do with Mary and Original Sin, it was proposed by St. Augustine and accepted by the Church. The belief is that we are all born with Original Sin. Was Mary born with Original Sin? Everyone said, no. Monk Pelagius said no, for a different reason. He denied the existence of Original Sin.
In 1431, the Council of Florence declared Mary’s Immaculate Conception a “pious opinion” consistent with faith and scripture. In 1830, St. Catherine Labouré had a vision of Mary as the Immaculate Conception.
In 1849, Pope Pius IX asked the bishops of the church for their views on whether the doctrine should be defined as dogma. Ninety percent of those who responded were supportive. In 1854, Pope Pius IX declared the Immaculate Conception of Mary a dogma through the papal bull “Ineffabilis Deus.” He said; “We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of Original Sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.”
Four years later, Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes in southern France, to announce that she was the Immaculate Conception. We celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary on December 8. We also celebrate it in our songs and prayers.
God bless you. Stay safe,
Fr. Mike Ume.