January 1, 2021 – Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

December 31, 2020 |

“Mary is More Mother than Queen.”  

Have you noticed in Carmelite depictions of Mary there is no crown?  A well-known quotation from Saint Therese of Lisieux explains this: “Mary is more mother than queen.”  She is sister; she is mother; she is family.  The Greek title of today’s feast is “theotokos”, which means “Mother of God.”  Carmelites would add “you-tokos” and “me-tokos” and “us-tokos” because Mary is more mother than queen – your mother, my mother, our mother.




This first Carmelite image of Mary, called ‘La Bruna,’ was carried to Europe from Mount Carmel by the first Carmelites. Note: there is no crown.



Prayer to Mary, Star of the New Evangelization

Mary, Virgin and Mother,
you who, moved by the Holy Spirit,
welcomed the word of life in the depths of your humble faith:
as you gave yourself completely to the Eternal One,
help us to say our own “yes” to the urgent call, as pressing as ever,
to proclaim the good news of Jesus.
Filled with Christ’s presence, you brought joy to John the Baptist, making him exult in the womb of his mother.
Brimming over with joy, you sang of the great things done by God. Standing at the foot of the cross with unyielding faith,
you received the joyful comfort of the resurrection,
and joined the disciples in awaiting the Spirit
so that the evangelizing Church might be born.
Obtain for us now a new ardor born of the resurrection,
that we may bring to all the Gospel of life which triumphs over death. Give us a holy courage to seek new paths, that the gift of unfading beauty may reach every man and woman. Virgin of listening and contemplation,
Mother of love, Bride of the eternal wedding feast,
pray for the Church, whose pure icon you are,
that she may never be closed in on herself
or lose her passion for establishing God’s kingdom.
Star of the new evangelization,
help us to bear radiant witness to communion,
service, ardent and generous faith, justice and love of the poor,
that the joy of the Gospel may reach to the ends of the earth, illuminating even the fringes of our world.

Mother of the living Gospel,
wellspring of happiness for God’s little ones,
pray for us.

Amen. Alleluia!
-Pope Francis

Gregory Houck, O. Carm.
Fr. Gregory Houck, O.Carm., is currently on sabbatical and studying Communications and studying Spirituality at Loyola University Chicago. He has a Carmelite preachers blog at http://fathergreg.com .
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