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The Blessed Virgin in the Early Church

How important was the Blessed Virgin to the faith of the early Church? She was essential. Writing in the middle of the third century, Origen of Alexandria evoked the scene at the cross, as the Beloved Disciple stood with Mary, and Jesus said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother,” and said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son” (John 19:26–28).

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Mary Is the Hinge of History

Mary is the hinge of doctrine because she is the hinge of history. God awaited her yes at the pivotal moment. Thus, St. Irenaeus in the second century called her the “cause of salvation, both to herself and the whole human race.”9 She was not the Savior, but she was indeed the “cause of salvation” and the first to be saved. Mary’s place in history, doctrine, and devotion is extraordinary, exceptional, unique. Her vocation was distinctive and singular, and she responded with unfailing fidelity.

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