What place does the Virgin Mary occupy in the  eraly Church in the first centuries? We can answer this question by considering both the nature of the cult of Mary and the writings of the Church Fathers on the question. The Church Fathers had a clear view of the relationship existing between Our Lady and her Son. If they speak of Mary, they do so because they see in her the Mother of the Incarnate God. By virtue of His birth from Mary, Christ is truly man, but because of His eternal generation from the Father, He is truly God.
Moreover, in early Christianity the Virgin Mary was set up especially as a model for virgins. In the same century, St Ambrose exhorts Christian virgins to have recourse to Mary, the Virgin par excellence. The Fathers also insisted on the imitation of Mary. Thus St Ambrose asserted, “the life of Mary is itself a school for everyone,” and so exhorts everyone to imitate her.


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