The meaning of the celebration
+ On March 3, 2018, Pope Francis declared this new memorial be added to the Church’s Universal Calendar, assigning it to the day after Pentecost Sunday.
+ This memorial highlights Mary’s role as Mother of Christ and, therefore, she is also the mother of his Body, the Church.
+ Saint Luke tells us that Mary was with the Apostles on that Pentecost day when the Holy Spirit descended upon them and she was a witness of the early ministry of the Apostles.
+ Pope Francis has observed that he wants to promote devotion to Mary, Mother of the Church, to “encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as growth of genuine Marian piety.”
+ Inspired by the Second Vatican Council’s document Lumen Gentium, the title “Mother of the Church” was decreed by Pope Saint Paul VI in 1965.
For prayer and reflection
“We earnestly implore the protection of the most Blessed Mary, the Mother of Christ and therefore called by us also Mother of the Church. With one voice and with one heart we give thanks and glory to the living and true God, to the one and sovereign God, to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.”—Pope Saint Paul VI, Address During the Last General Session of the Second Vatican Council
Benedictine Monks of Mary, Mother of the Church Abbey (Richmond, VA): www.richmondmonks.org
Poor Clare Nuns of the Monastery of Mary, Mother of the Church (Alexandria, VA): www.poorclaresofalexandria.org
O God, Father of mercies,
whose Only Begotten Son, as he hung upon the Cross,
chose the Blessed Virgin Mary, his Mother,
to be our Mother also,
grant, we pray, that with her loving help
your Church may be more fruitful day by day
and, exulting in the holiness of her children,
may draw to her embrace all the families of the peoples.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.