Why does Mary have so many titles?

My 13-year-old grandson is now just learning about our religion and attends Mass with us. He asked why the Blessed Mother had so many names (e.g., Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Guadalupe, etc.). Also, I would appreciate any reading material you can refer me to, that I can share with him.

The many titles of Mary are either meant to point out different aspects of who she is (e.g., Mother of God, Blessed Virgin, Immaculata); special intentions for which her intercession is sought (e.g., Our Lady of Peace, Our Mother of Sorrows); prophetic attributes (e.g., Tower of Ivory, Star of the Sea); or devotional piety (e.g., Mystical Rose).

You could point out to your grandson that just as certain public figures are given titles that denote who they are (e.g., President, Governor, Admiral) or nicknames that recall aspects of their personalities (e.g., William “The Refrigerator” Perry, “Mean” Joe Green), so human beings give such titles and nicknames to holy people as a sign of respect and love. The Blessed Mother has the most because of her universal importance to Christians as the Mother of Jesus.

Recommended reading:

Mary & the Saints
Meeting Mary, Our Mother in Faith (Learning Guide) by Kenneth J. Howell
Meeting Mary, Our Mother in Faith (Evangelization Guide) by Kenneth J. Howell
Beginning Apologetics 6: How to Explain and Defend Mary by Jim Burnham and Fr. Frank Chacon
Refuting the Attack on Mary by Fr. Mateo

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.