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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Yearly Archives: 2015

“If anyone does not believe that Holy Mary is the Mother of God, such a one is a stranger to the Godhead.”
—St. Gregory Nazianzen (c. 329–390), Father and Doctor of the Church

On January 1 we celebrate the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. Although this title sometimes baffles non-Catholics, it makes complete sense once we acknowledge that Mary is the mother of Jesus:

Jesus is both man and God, the second person of the Holy Trinity. If Jesus is God and Mary is His mother, she is also Mother of God.

Despite this inarguable logic, a major theological battle was waged nearly 16 centuries ago over Mary’s being called Mother of God.

It took an ecumenical council for the Church to sort out the arguments pro and con and make a definitive statement.

Here are eight intriguing facts about what happened:

1. Mary was officially proclaimed Mother of God in 431 A.D. during the Council of Ephesus, near present-day Selçuk in Turkey.

2. Ephesus was a city renowned for the veneration of Mary.

3. During that council—which officially opened on June 7, Pentecost Sunday—she was acknowledged as Theotokos, a Greek word that means God-bearer (the one who gave birth to God). The title Theotokos itself was already well-established but had become a point of controversy.

4. The council was called in large part to deal with the claim of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, that Mary should be called Christokos—Christ-bearer—but not God-bearer. Nestorius did not believe Jesus was consubstantial with the Father.

5. Nestorius himself had requested that a council be convened to prove his orthodoxy. The opposite occurred: the Council of Ephesus condemned his teaching as heresy.

6. The council affirmed that Jesus was one person—fully human and fully divine—not two separate people.

7. Unfortunately, a major schism within the Church followed the council’s decisions. It wasn’t until 1994 that agreement was reached between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East. In that year the two bodies expressed their common understanding concerning the divinity and humanity of Christ.

8. Even Protestant reformer Martin Luther acknowledged Mary as Mother of God: “St. Paul says, ‘God sent His Son born of a woman.’ These words, which I hold for true, really sustain quite firmly that Mary is the Mother of God” (Martin Luther’s Works, volume 7).

And here’s one more for good measure: the feast day of St. Gregory Nazianzen (and St. Basil the Great) is celebrated January 2, the day after the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.



Father John Murray appears on Pat Robertson’s 700 Club to talk about his healing. View the video.


The Redemptorists have joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that celebrates generosity and gives individuals and organizations a special way to make a difference for good.

We hope you’ll join us!

This year’s event is set for December 1—the Tuesday following the popular shopping days known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Four years ago the 92nd Street Y in New York City came up with the concept of holding an annual day to focus on charitable giving rather than consumer spending, and the idea took off. Last year about 30,000 organizations in 68 countries were part of #GivingTuesday.

We hope you’ll join us in #GivingTuesday 2015 by making a gift to help the people the Redemptorists serve.

Like our founder, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Redemptorist priests and brothers live to serve the poorest and most abandoned of God’s people:

We run inner-city churches in impoverished neighborhoods, preach the Good News of the mercy and love of Jesus Christ in parish missions throughout the country, work in many of the poorest countries of the world, serve as military chaplains, minister to men and women in prison, help immigrants build new lives, and conduct more than 200 ministries that feed, clothe, and give hope to the poor.

Since 1866 we have promoted and spread devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help—the mother of Jesus and our mother as well.

Our #GivingTuesday theme for 2015 comes straight from Jesus’ words in Mark 14:7:

“The poor you will always have with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them.” How about today?

How your gift can grow

When you make an online gift on #GivingTuesday, you will also have the chance to share the invitation to give via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail with just one click.

Every time someone you have shared with also makes a gift, you’ll get an e-mail notice telling you how your initial gift has grown.

With your help, our goal is to raise at least $5,000 on #GivingTuesday.

Can we count on you?

As the day draws near, you’ll find information and updates on our Facebook page.

Would you like to be kept up to date by e-mail? Just enter your name and e-mail address below, and we’ll remind you about #GivingTuesday.


May God bless you!