Mary as Mother of God

Father Christopher Zugger

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Synaxis of Theotokos

I always say that we continue to learn until death, and this feast is a good example of that. We commemorate Mary today as the Mother of God, the God-bearer, the Theotokos.  I was taught in seminary that the word Theotokos was coined in 431 AD for Our Lady at the council of Ephesus. We now know that is not true at all, which is important both for ecumenical dialogue and for our own understanding of Mary.

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We now know that this word Theotokos, and all it implies, was in popular use very early on. The famous scrap of papyrus paper on which the prayer Sub Tuum Praesidium, Under Your Protection, was found has been dated to come from the 200s.
We hasten to thy protection, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O…

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