How Different Titles of Mary Can Fuel Our Devotion
Queen of Heaven, Virgin Mary, Madonna, Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of God, Immaculate Conception. There are so many names that we as Catholics use to address the mother of Jesus. Even the most learned Mariologist would struggle to list every name that we have for Mary. No saint has as many titles as Mary, but there is truly no saint like Mary! So it makes sense that she has so many. An entire book could be written breaking down every single one of Mary’s titles, which I don’t have the luxury of doing today. But in looking at a list of them all (which can be easily found online), many of the titles of Mary (not all) can be broken down into four categories. Out of these, we can be inspired to grow in devotion and love with her.
No matter how you address her, she is our beautiful intercessor, our heavenly mother who loves us and wants to draw us closer to her Son. Let’s thank God for that gift.
Titles from Dogma
A dogma is a truth that the church teaches revealed to us through divine revelation. Some examples of dogma the church teaches are that Jesus is the Son of God, the Holy Spirit is present at baptism, Jesus was crucified and resurrected from the dead, and Jesus is the present in the Eucharist.
The Church has declared four major dogmas about Mary:
We have a ton of wonderful articles on the Cora Evans blog about each of these dogmas, so I will allow them to break down each of them.
But in sum, these dogmas reveal to us Mary’s role in salvation history and her personal relationship with God. Out of these, titles like Mother of God, the Immaculate Conception, Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Assumption, etc. are founded. The Church has recognized the truth of these titles and we acknowledge her as such.
Titles for Her Intercession
If there is one person on this earth that I know prays for me, it’s my mom. She prays and intercedes for me and her prayers are powerful. Anytime I have an intention, I know to take it to my mom.
The relationship between the body of Christ and Mary can be summed as one of mother and child. The Blessed Virgin Mary loves us so much. We are her children. So as we go to our earthly mother’s for advice, we go to our heavenly mother for her intercession.
Prayer to Our Blessed Mother for her intercession has been present since the earliest days of the Church. Mary’s role from her heavenly seat is to pray and intercede on our behalf. This is an incredible gift from our Lord himself. Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Mother of Good Counsel, Comforter of the Afflicted--these titles give her honor for the help that she has given to us.
Titles for Her Apparitions
Throughout the years, Mary has appeared to us in various apparitions across the world. Some of these are very well known, others are hidden gems that are worth discovering.
Mary appears to us in these apparitions in love and concern for her children. She comes to remind us to live the gospel fully and to pray, pray, pray, especially for those who are suffering.
Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, Our Lady of the Pillar in Spain, and Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal are just a few examples of the numerous titles she has from these apparitions.
You can see a huge breakdown of some of these apparitions here.
Titles from Her Litany
The Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary was approved by Pope Sixtus V in 1587. It goes through several different titles: six that extol her virginity, 13 from the Old Testament, four calling on her as an advocate, and 13 that name her as queen.
Some of these include Mother Most Chaste, Ark of the Covenant, Morning Star, Seat of Wisdom, Queen of Angels. In June of 2020, Pope Francis added three new invocations to the litany: Mother of Mercy, Mother of Hope, and Solace of Migrants.
These titles are a continual reminder of her role in our lives and how she can intercede for us. Let us continue to run to Mary with trust and love as she continues to bring our intentions and sufferings to our Lord.
Want to learn more about the significance of Mary in the Christian Life?
Read "Mary and the Importance of the Color Blue".