At the first papal Mass of 2023, thousands of Catholics gathered in St. Peter’s Basilica prayed for the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who died on New Year’s Eve at the age of 95.
The title “Mother of God” goes back to the third or fourth century, but the Greek term Theotokos (“The God-bearer”) was officially consecrated as Catholic doctrine at the Council of Ephesus in 431, thus becoming the first Marian dogma. At the end of the Council of Ephesus, crowds of people marched through the streets shouting: “Praised be the Theotokos!”
The Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrated annually on November 21st, commemorates the presentation of the Blessed Virgin as a child by her parents in the Temple in Jerusalem.
Pope Francis’ first public act of 2022 was to offer Mass for the Solemnity of Mary, Holy Mother of God.
On Aug. 15, Catholics around the world mark the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, commemorating the end of her earthly life and assumption into Heaven.
Pope Francis called on all Catholics to pray for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life on Good Shepherd Sunday, the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
The way to heaven is difficult and the gate to enter small, but Jesus’ mother, Mary, who herself entered through the narrow gate, will help those who ask, Pope Francis said Sunday.