In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death. Byzantine Liturgy, Troparion, Feast of the Dormition, August 15th
- The perpetual virginity of Mary: The perpetual virginity of Mary of Nazareth is expressed in 3 parts: in her virginal conception of Christ; in giving birth to Christ, and her continuing virginity after His birth:
The usage of this triple formula to express the fullness of this mystery of faith became standard with St. Augustine [AD 354-430], St. Peter Chrysologus [c. AD 400-450], and Pope St. Leo the Great [440-461]. See CCC # 496-507; 964. CCC # 499: The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary's real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ's birth "did not diminish his mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it." And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the "Ever-virgin."
- virginitas ante partum: virginity before birth [CCC # 396; 510]
- virginitas in partu: virginity during birth [CCC # 510]
- virtinitas post partum: virginity after birth [CCC # 510]
[Note: The so called "brothers" of Jesus mentioned in Scripture are His kinsmen. In Hebrew there was no designation for siblings, or half-brothers, or step-brothers. The Greek word used to designate Jesus' brothers adelphos is the same word used for kinsmen, brothers like St. James and John Zebedee, and all "brothers" in the faith].
- Mary the Mother of God: That Mary was the mother of Jesus who is God was defined as dogma at the very city where Mary had lived for several years—at the Council of Ephesus in AD 431. CCC # 495: 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," In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity, Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God (Theotokos). Also # 509.
- Immaculate Conception of Mary: That Mary of Nazareth was conceived without original sin was defined as dogma by Pope Pius IX in 1854. See CCC# 491-492; 508. CCC# 508: From among the descendants of Eve, God chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of his Son. "Full of grace," Mary is "the most excellent fruit of redemptions" (SC 103): from the first instant of her conception, she was totally preserved from the stain of original sin and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her life.
- Assumption of Mary into heaven: That Mary's body did not experience corruption but entered into heaven was defined as dogma by Pope Pius XII in 1950. See CCC # 966, 974. CCC # 974: The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven, where she already shares in the glory of her Son's Resurrection, anticipating the resurrection of all members of his Body.
Michal Hunt, Copyright © 2000 (The Feast of the Immaculate Conception) Agape Bible
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