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The special veneration due to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is substantially less than the cultus latria (adoration), which is due to God alone. But it is higher than the cultus dulia (veneration), due to angels and other saints. As the Church understands the veneration of Mary, it is to be closely associated but subordinated to that of her Son. "The various forms of piety towards the Mother of God, which the Church has approved within the limits of sound and orthodox doctrine according to the dispositions and understanding of the faithful, ensure that while the mother is honored, the Son through whom all things have their being and in whom it has pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell, is rightly loved and glorified and His commandments are observed" (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, VII, 66). (Etym. Latin hyperdulia, virtue of deep submission.)
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.