Church Fathers and the BVM as our Mother


#1

Need some assistance here, I am trying to find quotes from the Early Church Fathers referencing Mary as our Mother or Mother of the Church. I have found quotes from the Fathers for just about every other Marian title and dogma, but I am coming up dry on this one. What is funny is that there is strong Scriptural support for Mary’s title as Mother of the Church (Revelation 12), but haven’t seen anything in the writings of the Fathers.


#2

[quote=arieh0310]Need some assistance here, I am trying to find quotes from the Early Church Fathers referencing Mary as our Mother or Mother of the Church. I have found quotes from the Fathers for just about every other Marian title and dogma, but I am coming up dry on this one. What is funny is that there is strong Scriptural support for Mary’s title as Mother of the Church (Revelation 12), but haven’t seen anything in the writings of the Fathers.
[/quote]

Check this out. :slight_smile:
catholic.com/library/Mary_Mother_of_God.asp


#3

[quote=Mickey]Check this out. :slight_smile:
catholic.com/library/Mary_Mother_of_God.asp
[/quote]

Well, these only speak to her title of Mother of God. I understand that she is the mother of the Mystical Body of Christ, and that it makes logical sense that if she is the mother of Christ and we are members of His Body through baptism that it would necessitate that Mary is our spiritual mother. However, I am being nit-pickey and looking for a solid quote from an Early Church Father. Maybe the title was a later doctrinal development (and I am ok with that) but I am just curious as to when the title first cropped up.


#4

[quote=arieh0310]Well, these only speak to her title of Mother of God. I understand that she is the mother of the Mystical Body of Christ, and that it makes logical sense that if she is the mother of Christ and we are members of His Body through baptism that it would necessitate that Mary is our spiritual mother. However, I am being nit-pickey and looking for a solid quote from an Early Church Father. Maybe the title was a later doctrinal development (and I am ok with that) but I am just curious as to when the title first cropped up.
[/quote]

I thought you were looking for church father quotes referencing the title “Mother of God”? I am confused as to what you are seeking. The earliest use, I believe, was from a very old prayer called the sub tuum written on papyrus and discovered in Alexandria in approximately the year 250.

Sub tuum praesidium confugimus,
Sancta Dei Genetrix.
Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus nostris,
sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper,
Virgo gloriosa et benedicta.
Amen.

We fly to thy patronage,
O holy Mother of God;
despise not our petitions in our necessities,
but deliver us always from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Amen.


#5

[quote=Mickey]I thought you were looking for church father quotes referencing the title “Mother of God”? I am confused as to what you are seeking.
[/quote]

I am looking for a Early Church Father, in reference to Mary, using the words “our Mother” or “Mother of the Church”.

I did find this:

“Give milk, Mother to him who is our food, give milk to the bread coming down from heaven … give milk to him who made you such that he could be made fruitfulness in conception and in birth, did not take from you the ornament of virginity.” Augustine,Sermon 369:1(AD 430)

But I am just assuming that Augustine is calling Mary his mother and not just Christ’s mother.


#6

Neither human tongue nor angelic mind is able worthily to praise her through whom it is given to us to look clearly upon the Lord’s glory. What then? Shall we be silent through fear of our insufficiency? Certainly not. Shall we be trespassers beyond our own boundaries, and freely handle ineffable mysteries, putting off all restraint? By no means. Mingling, rather, fear with desire, and weaving them into one crown, with reverent hand and longing soul, let us show forth the poor first-fruits of our intelligence in gratitude to our Queen and Mother

(Excerpt from St. John of Damascus: Sermon I on the Dormition)


#7

Perfect, thank you!!


#8

I also find it helpful to point to people the utility of simple logic when dealing with Marian titles, et cetera.

God is our Father.
Jesus is His Son.
Therefore, Jesus is our Brother.
The Virgin Mary is Jesus’ mother.
Therefore, she is our mother.

– Mark L. Chance.


#9

[quote=mlchance]I also find it helpful to point to people the utility of simple logic when dealing with Marian titles, et cetera.

[/quote]

Therein lies the rub, not everyone is suceptible to logic. That is why I am looking for a historical reference for my Protestant friends.


#10

[quote=arieh0310]Therein lies the rub, not everyone is suceptible to logic. That is why I am looking for a historical reference for my Protestant friends.
[/quote]

As if everyone is also susceptible to history. :wink:

– Mark L. Chance.


#11

[quote=arieh0310] That is why I am looking for a historical reference for my Protestant friends.
[/quote]

Personally, I think that John 19: 26-27 is the best historical reference. :slight_smile:

When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!"
Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own [home.]


#12

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