Variety of titles describes the essence of Mary
If you go to Wikipedia and look for the titles and honors bestowed upon Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, you would find a long list. All of these titles, honors and distinctions have been given to her to describe some aspect of her royal power, authority and influence.
This same principle is at work with the titles of Mary. The different titles point out different aspects of who she is. These can be grouped into categories.
The first category has to do with the paradox of who Mary is. She is a simple Jewish girl who had a grand vocation. She was called to be the mother of the Incarnate Son of God. With such a grand vocation, it is nearly impossible to sum up this reality in one title. Titles that fall into this category include Mother of Christ, Mother Most Pure and Chaste, Mother of Divine Grace and so on.
The second category has to do with Mary in her intercessory role. Mary is a powerful intercessor with Christ as His mother, and Christians throughout the centuries have turned to her with their intentions. Many titles about Mary have to do with her power as an intercessor. Examples of these include Good Counsel, Help of the Sick and Mother of the Domestic Church.
The third category has to do with geography and culture. Since Mary is our mother, many people in different places have decided to attach the name of a particular geographical place to make Mary more personal to them.
The fourth has to do with places that she has appeared to people. These apparitions are first approved by the Church, before being ascribed to Mary's name. Examples of these titles are Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of Guadalupe.
All of these titles help us to better understand who Mary, our Mother, is. As we grow in knowledge and love of her through these different titles, may we also never fail to invoke her to help us in our hour of need, so that we may be with her one day in heaven.
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