Posted On 6. March 2018 In Church - Francis - Movements, Dilexit ecclesiam

Official feast throughout the Church: “Mary, Mother of the Church”

UNIVERSAL CHURCH, editorial team•

An unexpected surprise was published on Saturday, 3 March: In a Decree from the Congregation for Divine Worship, the Vatican established that the memorial of the Virgin Mary as “Mother of the Church” will be celebrated every year on the Monday following the Feast of Pentecost. In countries like Argentina and Poland, this feast day is already included in the calendar “approved according to the norm of particular law, in the future it may continue to be celebrated in the same way.”


The decree begins with these words: “The joyous veneration given to the Mother of God by the contemporary Church, in light of reflection on the mystery of Christ and on his nature, cannot ignore the figure of a woman (cf. Gal 4:4), the Virgin Mary, who is both the Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church.”

In his presentation, Cardinal Sarah emphasized that the “new celebration is briefly described in the Decree itself which recalls the eventual maturation of liturgical veneration given to Mary following a better understanding of her presence “in the mystery of Christ and of the Church”, as explained in Chapter 7 of Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium.”

Recalling Blessed Paul VI, St. John Paul II, in addition to the magisterium of other pontiffs, the Cardinal points out that Pope Francis also established this celebration, “given the importance of the mystery of Mary’s spiritual motherhood, which from the awaiting of the Spirit at Pentecost has never ceased to take motherly care of the pilgrim Church on earth.”

At the conference that marked the closing of the Second Vatican Council and the symbolic blessing of the foundation stone of the future Schoenstatt Shrine on 8 December 1965, Fr. Kentenich said:

“Yet is she the Mother of the Church? That is to say: Is she a mother in the full sense of the word, and is she also the exemplar of the Church? …Our Lady is indeed Mother of the Church, but the Church is also a mother. Thus she is Mother of the Church, in the same way as the Church is a mother. If she is Mother of the Church, she is not only the prototype of this Church, but also a mother who has power to conceive and give birth to this Church.”

A maternal Church

In this sense, the new Marian feast is a call to the whole Church to be more aware of its maternal charism, and furthermore, for each Movement, each church reality to proudly call itself ‘Marian.”

“In this sense the Church is truly mother, our Mother Church — it is beautiful to say it this way: our Mother Church — a mother who gives us life in Christ and who lets us live with all the other brothers and sisters in the communion of the Holy Spirit… This is the Church we all love, this is the Church I love: a mother who has the good of her children at heart and who is able to give her life for them. We must not forget, however, that the Church is not only the priests, or we bishops, no, she is all of us! The Church is all of us! Agreed? And we too are children, but also mothers of other Christians. All who are baptized, men and women, together we are the Church. So often in our life we do not bear witness to this motherhood of the Church, to this maternal courage of the Church! So often we are cowards! Let us then entrust ourselves to Mary, that She as mother of our firstborn brother, Jesus, may teach us to have the same maternal spirit toward our brothers and sisters, with the sincere capacity to welcome, to forgive, to give strength and to instil trust and hope. This is what a mother does.”

Pope Francis, General Audience, 3.9.2014

Text of the Decree


Original: Spanish, 3 March. Translation: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Cape Town, South Africa


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1 Responses

  1. “Mary’s feasts are days of grace.” JK telephone

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