Mary, the Blessed Virgin

It is right that we honour and give thanks for our earthly mothers, especially remembering them on special anniversaries such as their birthday and on special occasions such as Mothering Sunday.· And we do the same for Mary, the Mother of Our Lord – Our Lady.· Innumerable Anglican churches are dedicated to St Mary the Virgin and in Norfolk we have the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

In the catacombs of Priscilla in Rome there is a painting which is the oldest preserved image of Our Lady in the West. The fresco can be dated back to 230-240 AD and it depicts Mary with the Holy Child on her knees.· The image also shows a prophet who is pointing at a star to refer to the messianic prediction. (1,2)

Some important feasts of Mary are the:

  • Annunciation of Our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary (a feast of Our Lord and Our Lady) – 25 March;
  • Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth – 02 July (Book of Common Prayer) or 31 May (Common Worship);
  • Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 15 August;
  • Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 08 September;
  • Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (the Immaculate Conception) – 08 December.

The liturgical colour for feasts of Our Lady is white, symbolising purity.

References

1. The Roman Curia (not dated) Catacombs of Rome.· Available from:
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_commissions/archeo/inglese/documents/rc_com_archeo_doc_20011010_catacroma_en.html#Roma (Accessed 29 July 2011) (Internet).

2. The Roman Curia (not dated) The catacombs and the Mother of God.· Available from:
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_commissions/archeo/inglese/documents /rc_com_archeo_doc_20011010_cataccrist_en.html#Madre (Accessed 29 July 2011) (Internet).

Short talks

Short talks, Queen of Heaven and The Visitation, are available in this section of the Holy Faith website.  See also Mary in the series Major Passion Characters.