Why do we refer to Mary as "Our Lady"?


#1

… I have my own ideas, but I do not recall reading anything authoritative.

Maybe there are some Church documents that address the question? (I would also be interested in hearing how/when this title came into use)

Cheers!


#2

It may come from her name itself, Mary, based on its meaning in Chaldaic. Haydock’s commentary on Luke 1:27 says, “The word Miriam, or Mary, is expounded by St. Jerome from different etymologies, to signify in Hebrew, star of the sea, and in Chaldaic, lady.” (link)

The article on “The Name of Mary” in the Catholic Encyclopedia seems to say something similar.


#3

For the same reason that we call her Mary, Our Queen.
We have Our Lord, so naturally, we have Our Lady.
Jesus is King, and every king has his queen…in our case, it’s the mother of Jesus.


#4

Lord and Lady are titles.

Lord: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord
Lady: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady

-Tim-


#5

Exactly!

Moreover, in ancient Israel, the King often had numerous wives, so his “wife” was not the Queen, his mother was. Only one mother. Our “Lord” has a mother. So . . . she is our Lady.


#6

The actual title was gebirah, ‘mistress’ (the term was used as a feminine equivalent of 'adon ‘lord’; the feminine form of 'adon is not used in Hebrew).

Gebirah was an official rank in the southern kingdom of Judah. (We have no evidence of a position equivalent to that of the Judahite gebirah in the northern kingdom of Israel. The mother’s name is never given in the introductions to the reigns of Israel as they are for the Judahite kings; not to mention that the institution itself presupposes a dynastic stability usually not found in the north.) And as you mention, the title was not applied to the king’s wife or his concubines, but the king’s mother, or in the case of King Asa (1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chronicles 15:16), his grandmother.


#7

Good replies! Thanks!


#8

Interestingly enough, Asa also deposed her from the position, which seems to indicate that the position isn’t purely hereditary but may also have had an appointed element to it.


#9

A few titles of Mary which begin with “Our Lady” are
Our Lady of Abundance
Our Lady of Bethlehem
Our Lady of Compassion
Our Lady of Grace
Our Lady of Abundance (Prosperity)


#10

I mean, Jesus is “Our Lord” so it logically follows, I do suppose.


#11

The president’s wife is called the First Lady. It is a title of respect.


#12

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