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date: 17 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The earliest apparent piece of evidence for giving Our Lady the title Theotokos is a papyrus in the John Rylands Library originally dated to the third century; recent research, however, suggests a date many centuries later. It has also been asserted that the First Council of Ephesus (431) formally defined that Our Lady is Theotokos; in fact, no such decree was issued. Although early Fathers had used the title as a matter of course, St Cyril of Alexandria was the first champion of its dogmatic status. But he did nothing to promote a cult of Our Lady, involving prayer for her intercession. This was because he bestowed on Our Lady a greater dignity than that of mere patron saints, namely an indispensable role as the collaborator of Our Lord in the work of salvation.

Keywords: Co-Redeemer, Council of Ephesus, Cyril of Alexandria, Miracles of Our Lady, Nestorius, Origen, Sub tuum praesidium, Theotokos

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