Happy New Year to all! Let’s start the year with some happy and beautiful things.
1. This is the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord, and Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. Get your liturgical calendar for 2014 (for the United States) from the USCCB, linked here.
2. Did you know that the title of Mary as Theotokos, God-bearer, goes back to about 60 AD? There is also an ancient and beautiful hymn, We Fly to thy Protection, or Sub Tuum Praesidium, that goes back to about 250 and includes the Theotokos title.
3. There are so many wonderful depictions of Mary in art. There is also a legend that Luke was an artist and painted a portrait of Our Lady. Here is a discussion of this story and some icons and paintings associated with it.