Belief in the incarnation of God the Son through Mary is the basis for calling her the Mother of God. This expression is found in prayers such as the Sub tuum praesidium dated from the third or no later than the fourth century, and was declared a dogma at the Council of Ephesus in 431. At the Second Vatican Council and in Pope John Paul II's encyclical Redemptoris Mater, she is spoken of also as Mother of the Church.
Growth of Roman Catholic veneration of Mary and Mariology has often come, not from official declarations, but from Marian writings of the saints, popular devotion, and at times reported Marian apparitions.
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