St. Justin the Martyr writing in the 2nd Century shows how early in Church history Christians were contemplating the Virgin Mary and her role in salvation.
“The Son of God became human by the virgin, in order that the disobedience which proceeded from the serpent might receive its destruction in the same manner in which it derived its origin. For Eve, who was a virgin and undefiled, having conceived the word of the serpent, brought forth disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy when the angel Gabriel announced the good tidings to her, ‘the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God‘; and she replied, ‘Let it be to me according to your word‘ [Luke 1:35, 38].” ( A Patristic Treasury: Early Church Wisdom for Today, Kindle Loc. 877-81)
Christians right into the 21st Century have continued to reflect on Mary’s significance to each Christian today. Lutheran Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber says:
“Images of Mary remind us of God’s favor. Mary is what it looks like to believe that we already are who God says we are.” ( Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People, Kindle Location 1042-1043)