This is a Holy Day of Obligation.
In the words of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, ‘The Mother of God is the first of the blessed, and it is she who bears the blessing; she is the woman who received Jesus into herself and brought him forth for the whole human family. In the words of the liturgy: ‘without losing the glory of virginity, [she] brought forth into the world the eternal light, Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Preface I of the Blessed Virgin Mary). Mary is the mother and model of the Church, who receives the divine Word in faith and offers herself to God as the “good soil” in which he can continue to accomplish his mystery of salvation.’
On this feast day we celebrate Mary, the Mother of God, who was declared ‘Theotokos’ – God-bearer – at the Council of Ephesus in the fifth century. The Virgin Mary was given the most honorable title of ‘Mother of God’ early on in the history of the Church, as this name reflects our Christian belief in the Incarnation. Through Mary, Jesus, the second Person of the Holy Trinity, took on human flesh (John 1:14). In 407, St. John Chrysostom wrote, ‘It is truly just to proclaim you blessed, O Mother of God, who are most blessed, all pure and Mother of our God…You who, without losing your virginity, gave birth to the Word of God. You who are truly the Mother of God.’