Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Pope Francis

9/5/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Church is mother. The birth of Jesus in Mary's womb, in fact, is a prelude to the rebirth of every Christian in the womb of the Church, since Christ is the firstborn of many brethren (cf. Rom 8:29).

The Church is our mother because she has delivered us in Baptism. Whenever a child is baptized, he becomes a son of the Church, from that day, he is in the Church which cares for him as a caring mother, she makes us grow in faith and shows us, with the power of the Word of God, the way of salvation, defending us from evil.

St. Peters

St. Peters

Highlights

By Pope Francis

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/5/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Church, Holy Mother Church, ecclesiology, Pope Francis, Vatican, St Peters


VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - On Wednesday, September 3, 2014, Pope Francis continued his beautiful teachings on the nature of the Church to the faithful gathered in St Peters Square. This installment is on the Church as Mother. We offer the complete teaching below.

******

The Church as Mother
Pope Francis


Dear brothers and sisters,

In the previous catechesis, we were able to point out several times that you don't become Christian by yourself, through your own efforts, on your own, but by being born and nurtured in the faith in the midst of the People of God, that is the Church.

In this sense the Church is a true mother, our mother Church - it's nice to say so, eh? - a mother who gives us life in Christ and in the communion of the Holy Spirit, brings us into a common life with all our brothers and sisters.

1. In this, her motherhood, the Church has as its model the Virgin Mary, the highest and most beautiful model that can be. The first Christian communities have already highlighted this and the Second Vatican Council expressed it in an admirable way (cf. Const. Lumen Gentium, 63-64). Mary's motherhood is certainly unique, singular, and was accomplished in the fullness of time, when the Virgin gave birth to the Son of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit.

And yet, the Church's motherhood places you right in continuity with that of Mary, as its prolongation in history. The Church, in the fruitfulness of the Spirit, continues to generate new children in Christ, always listening to the Word of God and in obedience to his plan of love.

The Church is mother. The birth of Jesus in Mary's womb, in fact, is a prelude to the rebirth of every Christian in the womb of the Church, since Christ is the firstborn of many brethren (cf. Rom 8:29).

And our first brother is Jesus, born of Mary, who is the model for all of us born into the Church. We understand, then, how the relationship that unites Mary and the Church is as deep: looking to Mary, we find the most beautiful and tender face of the Church; looking to the Church, we recognize the sublime features of Mary. We Christians are not orphans, we have a mom, we have a mother and this is great. We are not orphans. The Church is mother, Mary and mother.

2. The Church is our mother because she has delivered us in Baptism. Whenever a child is baptized, he becomes a son of the Church, from that day, he is in the Church which cares for him as a caring mother, she makes us grow in faith and shows us, with the power of the Word of God, the way of salvation, defending us from evil.

The Church has received from Jesus the precious treasure of the Gospel, not to keep it for herself, but giving it generously to others - as a mother does. In this service of evangelization the maternity of the Church is shown in a particular way -- committed, as a mother, offering her children the spiritual nourishment that feeds and makes fruitful the Christian life.

All, therefore, are called to welcome with an open mind and heart the Word of God that the Church dispenses every day, because this Word has the ability to change us from the inside. Only the Word of God has this capacity to change us for the better from the inside out, from our deepest roots -- this powerful Word of God. And who gives us the Word of God?

The mother Church, she gives her children this word, raising us throughout our whole life with this word. And this is great, it's mother Church who, with this word, really changes us from the inside. The words that mother Church gives us transform us, making our humanity beat not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

In her motherly care, the Church strives to show believers the way to go to live a fruitful existence of joy and peace. Illuminated by the light of the Gospel and upheld by the grace of the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, we can orient our choices towards the good and pass, with courage and hope, moments of darkness and more tortuous paths.

The path of salvation, through which the Church guides us and accompanies us with the power of the Gospel and the support of the Sacraments, gives us the ability to defend ourselves from evil.

The Church has the courage of a mother who knows that she must protect her own children from the dangers resulting from the presence of Satan in the world, to bring them to the encounter with Jesus. This defense also consists of a call to vigilance: be on guard against the deception and seduction of evil.

Because even if God has conquered Satan, his temptations always return. We know this, we are all under attack. It is not for us to be naďve, but to be vigilant and stand firm in the faith, not to resist the advice of a mother, resist the help of mother Church. A good mother always accompanies her children in difficult moments.

3. Dear friends, this is the Church: this is the Church that we all love, the Church that I love. A mother who has at heart the welfare of their children, that has the capacity to give life to her children. We must not forget, however, that the Church is all the baptized - not just priests or bishops, no we all are.

We are all in the Church, we are all children, also other Christians .We, all the baptized, men and women, together are the church. How many times in our life do we not give witness to this motherhood of the Church, to this maternal courage of the Church! Let us entrust ourselves to Mary, then, because she will teach us to have her same maternal spirit towards our brothers and sisters, with the sincere ability to accept, forgive and inspire confidence and hope.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Europe

SCARY POLL: One in four Germans favors shooting illegal immigrants at borders Watch

Image of A political storm brewed last week after Alternative for Germany - or AFD party leader Frauke Petry [not pictured] advocated the right of border police to gun down migrants.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Growing weary of accommodating refugees from such trouble spots as Syria and Iraq, the German people have expressed a rather shocking sentiment in a recent poll. According to the survey - one in four Germans favors shooting illegal immigrants at their nation's ... continue reading


Seven suspects arrested in Spain for smuggling weapons to ISIS - disguised as humanitarian aid Watch

Image of Eighty-two suspects have been arrested in connection with suspected terrorist activities in Spain since the beginning of 2015.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Seven people have been arrested in Spain and North Africa on suspicion of supplying bomb-making equipment to Islamic State leaders in Syria and Iraq - under the phony pretense of sending humanitarian aid. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Six men were arrested ... continue reading


REVEALED: Pope Pius XII's secret efforts to overthrow Hitler Watch

Image of In the late 1990s, debate over whether Pius XII did enough to counter the Nazis reached a high point with the publication of the deeply controversial book,

By Kevin J. Jones, CNA/EWTN News

Pope Pius XII's secret support for the attempted overthrow of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler is the subject of a new book that draws on wartime documents and interviews with the American intelligence agent who wrote them. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "This ... continue reading


Germany cannot take in 'all the world's needy,' Catholic Church says Watch

Image of The anti-Islamic group Periga has encouraged fellow Europeans to join them in marches for

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Charity has limits, church officials in Germany say. Taking in the majority of the world's Syrian refugees, representatives from the Catholic Church now say that resources are being stretched to the limits, and new refugees must be controlled. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Remains of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, St. Leopold Mandic arrive in Rome for Jubilee of Mercy Watch

Image of The relics of the two saints were welcomed to St. Lawrence with a large celebration and procession into the basilica (CNS/Reuters).

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

The partially incorrupt body of Padre Pio has arrived to Rome for the first time ever alongside that of another friar, St. Leopold Mandic, as a special initiative for the Jubilee of Mercy. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - Urns containing the relics of Saint Padre ... continue reading


Seeking reconciliation, Pope Francis, and Russian Orthodox leader to meet in Cuba - for first time, ever Watch

Image of The meeting comes after years and decades of previous outreach efforts, which has prevented papal visits to Russia (AFP).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In the hopes of repairing a schism within Christianity, that dates back as far as the 11th Century, Pope Francis will meet with the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church in Cuba. The two branches have been estranged because of disagreements over papal authority - as ... continue reading


Woman takes toddler to join ISIS Watch

Image of Tareena Shakil took her toddler to Syria to join ISIS (PA).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Twenty-six-year-old Tareena Shakil told her family she would be vacationing in Turkey with her 14-month-old son. The next time her family heard from her, Shakil and her son were in Syria - and had joined the terrorist organization ISIS. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


Evidence of the Yeti? Footprints in Himalayan snow said to be of abominable snowman Watch

Image of Among the most elusive of all crypto-zoological creatures, the Abominable Snowman has had several eyewitness accounts. Some Russian fans here pose with an elaborate mock-up of the snowy creature (Lenta).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The abominable snowman, or Yeti, remains one of the world's most elusive crypto-zoological figures. There have been many eyewitness reports of the hairy giant throughout the mountain ranges of the Himalayas for many years. A British man, on vacation in Bhutan, ... continue reading


'I should never have smiled at him': Nightclub owner bans migrants from club when language barrier leads to sexual harrassment Watch

Image of When women began to report migrants harassing them at his nightclub, Jensen decided to take action (Mads Flackner).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Tom Holden Jensen, the owner of a Danish nightclub, decided to ban all migrants who don't speak Danish, English or German from his Buddy Holly club in Søenderborg. The controversial decision was made after several women claimed they felt threatened and intimidated by ... continue reading


'Covering St.Peter's in an enormous box?' - Italians react to veiling of classical art for alien religion Watch

Image of Statues were covered in advance of Rouhani's visit to Rome, but not all of them.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Italians are upset that state officials covered ancient Roman statues to avoid offending Hassan Rouhani's sensibilities during his visit to Rome. The president of the Islamic Republic is on a tour of Europe to drum up trade following the lifting of sanctions on Iran. ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Readings for Tuesday, February 09, 2016
  • Can you answer these four challenging questions about Lent?
  • Pope Francis' message for Lent (FULL TEXT: ENGLISH)
  • St. Apollonia: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, February 09, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 HD Video
  • 10 important things to consider during Lent
  • Stations of the Cross - Series HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Kings 8:22-23, 27-30
22 Then, in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel, Solomon stood ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5, 10, 11
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a nest to place its ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 7:1-13
1 The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 9th, 2016 Image

St. Apollonia
February 9: St. Apollonia, who died in the year 249, was ... Read More