The Blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother of Christ holds a very special role in the Catholic Church. She is venerated not only because of Church-instituted dogmas but also because of writings, reports, and testimonies of her divine motherhood and intercessory powers through prayer. The Blessed Virgin Mary is not only considered as the Mother of Jesus Christ who accepted her role as the woman selected to bring forth the Savior to the world but also as the Mother of the Church.
Mary’s parents are Anne from Bethlehem and Joachim from Nazareth. Both her parents eventually were proclaimed as saints. Even before Mary was given her special mission to give birth to Jesus, she was already betrothed to Joseph.
The role of Mary in today’s world is that of an intermediary of man to God. She is believed to be the most powerful intercessor in time of need for protection, refuge, compassion, and even miracles. Marian devotions continue to grow while the Catholic Church continues to develop the general direction of the Marian culture. The praying of the rosaryis considered a Marian devotion.
Mary is also known by many other names as a result of these devotions. Aside from being called Mary, Mother of God, she is also referred to as Mary, the Immaculate Conception, Queen of Heaven, Mother of all Sorrows, Mediatrix, Mother of Mercy, and Mother of Perpetual Help. Some titles related to a specific place which chose to honor her or a specific event credited to her include Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Czestochowa, and Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, among others.
Feasts held in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary are numerous. There are at least three Marian solemnities considered as Holy Days of Obligation by the Catholic Church. These are the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, the Feast of Mary, Mother of God on January 1, and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15. Other commonly observed Marian feasts include the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 8, the Queenship of Mary on August 22, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13, the feat of Our Lady of Lourdes on February 11, and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12.