Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Friday 23 February |
Saint of the Day: St. Polycarp
Aleteia logo
Spirituality
separateurCreated with Sketch.

The ancient feast of Our Lady of O on December 18

MADONNA DEL PRATO

Public Domain

Philip Kosloski - published on 12/17/23

The feast of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is sometimes called the feast of Our Lady of O, because of its celebration during the O Antiphons.

Advent is a special Marian liturgical season, as it focuses on Mary’s role in salvation history, culminating in her giving birth to the Savior of the world.

For many centuries the Church celebrated a special Marian feast on December 18 called the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

As Dom Prosper Guéranger explains, “The faithful were requested to consider, with devotion, what must have been the sentiments of the Holy Mother of God during the days immediately preceding her giving him birth. A new Feast was instituted, under the name of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin’s Delivery.”

He goes on to say, “This Feast, which sometimes goes under the name of Our Lady of O or the Feast of O on account of the Great Antiphons which are sung during these days and in a special manner of that which begins O Virgo Virginum, which is still used in the Vespers of the Expectation together with the O Adonaï the Antiphon of the Advent Office, is kept with great devotion in Spain.”

The following O Antiphon was recited or sung on this day:

O Virgin of virgins! How shall this be?
For never was there one like thee
nor will there ever be.
Ye daughters of Jerusalem,
why look ye wondering at me?
What ye behold is a divine mystery.

The feast has been removed from the universal calendar of the Church, but can still help our final preparations for Christmas.

It reminds us of those final days and invites us to imagine what it would have been like for Mary, patiently waiting to give birth to the Savior.

Tags:
Advent
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

jour1_V2.gif
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.