Catholic Pocket Dictionary – Mary

detail of a stained glass rose window of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception; date unknown, artist unknown; Saint Nicholas Catholic Church, Zanesville, Ohio; photographed on 31 December 2014 by Nheyob; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

The daughter or Joachim and Anne, received the highest dignity possible to a mere creature. She was not merely the passive instrument of the Incarnation. By the free use of her own will she co-operated in our salvation, and was associated with her divine Son. She was not indeed the mother of the Godhead, but she was the mother of God, for the simple reason that Christ her Son was God and man in one Person. True, her Son did not take his divine nature from her, any more than a son who is mere man receives his soul from his mother. The soul is infused by God, but as body and soul are united in one human person, we reasonably speak of a woman as the mother of her son, not merely as the mother of a human body. And granting this, it is strange that sincere Christians should stumble on the language in which the Church speaks of Mary. She is exalted above the angels, for surely God’s mother is nearer to Him than the angels who stand before the throne. From her Christ took the blood He was to shed for her and for us all. Moreover, whereas the two great dignities of virginity and maternity are, according to God’s ordinary law, incompatible, in Mary’s case they were united. Joseph “took unto him his wife, and he knew her not until she brought forth her first-born son: and he called his name Jesus” (Matthew 1:24,25).

MLA Citation

  • Father James J McGovern. “Mary”. Catholic Pocket Dictionary, 1906. CatholicSaints.Info. 4 November 2019. Web. 26 February 2021. <>