The feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, is a Marian feast, instituted in 2018 by Pope Francis and celebrated on Pentecost Monday by Catholics. However, this name of the mother of God is not new, we find it in the litanies of the Blessed Virgin - or litanies of Loreto - among the many names given to her. Find out why and how this feast was instituted, the day after Pentecost.
In particular, two biblical episodes are at the origin of this name of the Virgin Mary.
On the Cross, Jesus, dying, entrusts his disciple to his mother:
"When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.” (John 19:26-27)
Jesus wants his mother to become the mother of all those he loves. The Church is formed of the disciples of Christ; in this, Mary becomes its mother.
In the Acts of the Apostles, we see Mary, at the heart of the early days of the Church, with the apostles and especially in the cenacle at the time when the Holy Spirit was sent to them on the day of Pentecost. Mary is there at the birth of the Church.
The Virgin Mary is mother of Christ, as mother of Jesus (head) and mother of the Church (body of Christ).
Naming Mary "Mother of the Church" dates back to the Fathers of the Church (Saint Ambrose of Milan already evoked the Mater Ecclesiae), in the middle of the twentieth century, with the Second Vatican Council and Paul VI.
But it was in 2018—160 years after the apparitions of the Virgin at Fatima—that Pope Francis signed the decree Laetitia plena, instituting the memory of the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church and placing her on Pentecost Monday.
Already celebrated by some orders, it has been generalized to the entire Roman Catholic Church.
“Mother, help our faith!
Open our ears to hear God’s word and to recognize his voice and call.
Awaken in us a desire to follow in his footsteps, to go forth from our own land and to receive his promise.
Help us to be touched by his love, that we may touch him in faith.
Help us to entrust ourselves fully to him and to believe in his love, especially at times of trial, beneath the shadow of the cross, when our faith is called to mature.
Sow in our faith the joy of the Risen One.
Remind us that those who believe are never alone.
Teach us to see all things with the eyes of Jesus, that he may be light for our path. And may this light of faith always increase in us, until the dawn of that undying day which is Christ himself, your Son, our Lord!”
Mary is the mother of all Christians: she protects us, guides us, shows us the way. Let us follow in his footsteps with confidence to draw closer to Jesus. With Hozana, find many proposals to pray and entrust your life and that of the Church to the Virgin Mary.
With this novena - Thirty Steps Closer to Mary - let yourself be guided by our mother.
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