Our Catholic faith teaches us that Mary was a virgin her entire life, both before and after the birth of Jesus. Virgins were looked down on in the Jewish society of that time. The birth of the Savior to a virgin living in an obscure village was a powerful sign of God’s special love for the lowly people of the world.
When Mary was asked to be the mother of the Savior, she was completely free to accept or reject the offer. Her response, “Let it be done to me,” was a great act of faith. Because she did not understand what was happening, she must have known that there would be difficulties ahead.
Because she replied yes to the angel’s announcement and agreed to become the mother of Jesus, the Church has declared Mary to be the Mother of God. Because she was the first to say yes to the Messiah, the Church has declared her to be the Mother of the Church.
Mary is very special to Catholics. We feel a closeness to her because of her role in salvation history and because of her closeness to Jesus. We venerate Mary because we know that she can bring us closer to God.