Our Boosters are matching gifts up to $45,000. We have $32,417 to go. Your gift today will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

MOTHER OF THE CHURCH

A title of the Blessed Virgin, formally recognized by the Second Vatican Council (Lumen Gentium, 60-65) and solemnly proclaimed by Pope Paul VI at the closing address of the third session of the Council on November 21, 1964. Mary is Mother of the Church by a fivefold title: 1. she gave human life to the Son of God, from whom the whole People of God receive the grace and dignity of election; 2. Christ on the Cross explicitly extended his Mother's maternity, through the disciple John, to all the faithful; 3. the Holy Spirit came upon her, together with the Apostles, when on Pentecost Sunday the Church was born in visible form; 4. since then all generations of Christ's followers, such as John, spiritually took Mary as their Mother; 5. she continues to exercise her maternal care for the Church by her presence and powerful intercession in heaven before the throne of God.

Pope John Paul II further identified Mary's motherhood of the Church with her Immaculate Heart. "This heart," he said, "the heart of both a virgin and a mother, has always followed the work of her Son and has gone out to all those whom Christ has embraced and continues to embrace with inexhaustible love" (Redemptor Hominis, 22).

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Contentious Spirits, Beware! 19 hours ago
And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs October 29
How not to be persuasive October 29
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28
Clarifying what it might mean for a pope to wish to change Catholic doctrine October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6