How important was the Blessed Virgin to the faith of the early Church? She was essential. Writing in the middle of the third century, Origen of Alexandria evoked the scene at the cross, as the Beloved Disciple stood with Mary, and Jesus said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother,” and said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son” (John 19:26–28). Origen commented that no one could understand the gospel—no one could be Jesus’s “beloved disciple”—“unless he has reclined upon the breast of Jesus and received from Jesus Mary to be his mother, too.”11 When the Fathers preached about Mary, they preached in a memorable way. They called her Spouse of Joseph, Mother of Christ, Mother of Jesus, Mother of God, Mother of the Church, Mother of All Living, Ever Virgin, Virgin Mother, and New Eve. All of those titles emerged from the piety of the ancient Church.
— from the book Keeping Mary Close: Devotion to Our Lady Through the Ages by Mike Aquilina