The dogma defined by the Council of Ephesus (431) is that the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of God. Nestorius, whose heresy implied the denial of this doctrine, was deposed and the Council solemnly proclaimed that Mary should be given the title “Theotocos” (God-bearing). Through the operation of the Holy Spirit she conceived and gave birth to God when He assumed human nature in her womb.
This title had been explicitly accorded Mary by practically all the great Fathers who had preceded Nestorius, e.g. Origen, Athanasius, Basil. Our Lady’s motherhood of God is the foundation of all her other privileges, e.g. Immaculate Conception, Assumption. The feast of the motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated on October 11.
* In Metro Manila, Philippines, the feast of The Divine Maternity has been adopted as the feastday of Our Lady of La Leche ( Patroness of mothers and mothers to-be).
Theotokos is a title of our Lady (Greek meaning “God-bearing”) The Nestorians’ refusal to grant the Blessed Virgin this title pinpointed their heresy which implicitly denied her divine maternity. In defining this doctrine, the Council of Ephesus solemnly declared that Mary should be given the title “Theotokos.” Since, through the operation of the Holy Spirit she conceived and gave birth to God when He assumed a human nature in her womb this title had been explicitly accorded Mary by practically all the great Fathers of the church who preceded Nestorius. Since the holiness of Mary is superior to that of any other creature, we pay her a special veneration known as “hyperdulia.”