This Is The Reason Why Catholics Call Mary “Mother of God”

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If you’ve ever attended a Catholic Mass or talked to a Catholic, chances are you’ve heard the term “Mother of God” used to describe Mary, the mother of Jesus. To some, especially those who are not Catholic, this title may seem confusing or even misleading. However, calling Mary the “Mother of God” is deeply rooted in Scripture and Tradition, and it holds a significant place in Catholic theology. In this article, we’ll explore why Catholics give Mary this unique title and what it means both for our understanding of Mary and of Jesus Christ.

The Biblical Basis

Jesus is God

Before we delve into Mary’s title, it’s crucial to clarify one thing: Jesus is God. John’s Gospel begins by stating, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Later in the same Gospel, Jesus Himself claims divine identity, saying, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). These statements affirm the divinity of Jesus, making Him not just a prophet or teacher, but God Himself.

Mary as the Mother of Jesus

Mary, being the mother of Jesus, therefore carries a unique role. The angel Gabriel announced to her, “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus” (Luke 1:31). She accepted this divine mission with her famous words, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). From that moment, Mary became the mother of Jesus, who is God.

Theological Explanation

Christ’s Dual Nature

Catholic theology teaches that Jesus is both fully human and fully divine. This belief was declared at the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD, where the Church combated the heresy of Nestorianism, which attempted to separate Jesus’ human and divine natures. The Council affirmed that Jesus has two natures but is one person. This is important because calling Mary the “Mother of God” confirms this doctrine. She didn’t just give birth to Jesus’ human nature; she gave birth to a Person who is both human and divine.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Catechism explains Mary’s title as “Mother of God” as rooted in her being the mother of Jesus, who is both human and divine. “Called in the Gospels ‘the mother of Jesus,’ Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as ‘the mother of my Lord'” (CCC 495). This makes it clear that Mary’s title is not just a sentimental term but an acknowledgement of Jesus’ divine identity.

The Importance of This Title

Christological Significance

Firstly, referring to Mary as the “Mother of God” safeguards the doctrine of Jesus’ dual nature. It’s a way of confessing that Jesus is fully God. To say otherwise would risk falling into the error of separating Jesus’ divinity from His humanity, which was the mistake Nestorianism made.

Mary’s Unique Role in Salvation History

Mary’s ‘yes’ to God made the Incarnation possible, thus opening the door for humanity’s redemption. Through her obedience, the Savior came into the world. Recognizing her as the “Mother of God” underscores her unique role in salvation history.

A Model for Christian Discipleship

Mary’s trust and obedience to God make her a model for all Christians. As the Catechism states, “By her complete adherence to the Father’s will, to his Son’s redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church’s model of faith and charity” (CCC 967).

Common Misunderstandings

Mary Is Not Divine

While Mary is called the “Mother of God,” this title does not imply that she is divine. The Church teaches that Mary is a creature, created by God like all human beings. However, she was preserved from original sin from the moment of her conception—a gift known as her Immaculate Conception—to prepare her for her unique role.

Not a Matter of Worship

It’s important to clarify that Catholics do not worship Mary. Worship is due to God alone. Mary is honored and venerated, not worshipped. As the Catechism clarifies, “The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship” (CCC 971).


The title “Mother of God” for Mary is deeply rooted in both Scripture and Tradition. It serves as an affirmation of Christ’s full divinity and humanity. Moreover, it highlights Mary’s unique role in salvation history and offers her as a model for Christian living. Like all teachings of the Catholic Church, the purpose behind this title ultimately points us towards a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, who is truly God and truly man.

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Note: While content aims to align with Catholic teachings, any inconsistencies or errors are unintended. For precise understanding, always refer to authoritative sources like the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Always double-check any quotes for word-for-word accuracy with the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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