New Year’s Catholic Solemnity

The Oldest hymn to Mary Mother of God

The hymn, known as “Beneath Thy Protection” in English, perhaps the oldest hymn to Mary, has been found on a papyrus dating back to 250 AD, meaning it was already used in the liturgy at the time, specifically the Christmas liturgy of the Coptic Church. This also means that this hymn to the Theotokos (“God-bearer” or “Mother of God”) long predates the official declaration of Mary as Theotokos at the Council of Ephesus in 431.


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