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146 • Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed

Finally, in Mary we behold what the Church is already like during

her pilgrimage of faith—and what the Church will become at the end of

the journey. “Mary figured profoundly in the history of salvation and in

a certain way unites and mirrors within herself the central truths of the

faith” (LG, no. 65).


At the beginning of the third session of the Second Vatican Council, Pope

Paul VI announced that Mary would be honored under the title “Mother

of the Church.”

From Christ’s conception until his death, Mary was united to her

Son in his work of salvation. From the Cross, Jesus entrusted his beloved

disciple to Mary, telling him to see her as his own mother (Jn 19:27).

When the Apostles and disciples gathered to pray after the Ascension of

Jesus, Mary was with them praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Mary continues to pray before God for the Church and all humanity.

Like Mary, the Church has a maternal role, giving birth to people in

Christ. The Church can never cease to look at Mary, who gave birth to

Jesus Christ. The Church contemplates Mary’s motherhood in order to

fulfill her own calling to be mother of the members of Christ’s Mystical

Body, the Church. Also like Mary, the Church is virginal. The descrip-

tion of the Church as virginal is used here in the spiritual sense of the

undivided heart and of fidelity in its most luminous form. God calls all

the members of the Church to fidelity to the union with him begun at

Baptism and continued in the other Sacraments.


In our culture, there can be a discomfort with praying for Mary’s inter-

cession on our behalf. This seems to be a mediating role that crosses a

line set out in the First Letter to Timothy: “For there is one God. / There

is also one mediator between God and the human race, / Christ Jesus,

himself human / who gave himself as a ransom for all” (1 Tm 2:5). So

Jesus Christ is the one and only mediator. Jesus alone is the Savior.