The Pope inserts in the calendar the feast of Mary Mother of the Church

The Pope inserts in the calendar the feast of Mary Mother of the Church

By Andrea Tornielli/

decree by Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of Divine Worship, inserts the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary into the Roman rite on the Monday following Pentecost.

“Having attentively considered how greatly the promotion of this devotion might encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety, Pope Francis has decreed that the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, should be inscribed in the Roman Calendar on the Monday after Pentecost and be now celebrated every year". States the decree published on Saturday 3 March 2018 and signed by the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Robert Sarah.

The decree dates back to 11 February, the one hundred and sixtieth anniversary of the first apparition of Lourdes.

Together with the decree, the liturgical texts for the Mass, the Divine Office and the Roman Martyrology were published in Latin. The Episcopal Conferences will now proceed to approve the translations. The reason for the celebration, Cardinal Sarah explains in a commentary note regarding the papal decision, is linked to the "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".

“In promulgating this Conciliar Constitution on 21 November 1964, Blessed Paul VI wished to solemnly bestow the title “Mother of the Church” upon Mary. A decision welcomed and applauded by those present in the Hall. Sarah further explains, "The feeling of Christian people through two millennia of history has cultivated the filial bond which inseparably binds the disciples of Christ to his Blessed Mother in various ways”.

“The water and blood which flowed from the heart of Christ on the Cross as a sign of the totality of his redemptive offering, continue to give life to the Church sacramentally through Baptism and the Eucharist". The decree says "In this wonderful communion between the Redeemer and the redeemed, which always needs to be nourished, Blessed Mary has her maternal mission to carry out". A votive mass “de sancta Maria Ecclesiæ Matre” dedicated to Mary Mother of the Church was approved by the Congregation in 1973, in view of the upcoming Holy Year of reconciliation of 1975".

“During the pontificate of Saint John Paul II, the possibility was granted to Episcopal Conferences of adding the title “Mother of the Church” to Litany of Loreto recited at the end of the Rosary. In the course of the years the insertion of the celebration “Mother of the Church” into the proper calendars of some countries, such as Poland and Argentina, on the Monday after Pentecost was also approved. In other cases, the celebration was inscribed in particular places such as Saint Peter’s Basilica, where Blessed Paul VI proclaimed the title, as well as in the Propers of Religious Orders and Congregations.”

Now “Pope Francis has decreed that on the Monday after Pentecost the Memorial of Mary Mother of the Church should be obligatory for the whole Church of the Roman Rite. The connection between the vitality of the Church of Pentecost and the maternal care of Mary towards it is evident - Sarah observes. The hope is that the extension of this celebration to the whole Church will remind all Christ’s disciples that, if we want to grow and to be filled with the love of God, it is necessary to plant our life firmly on three great realities: the Cross, the Eucharist, and the Mother of God”.

Sat, 03/03/2018 - 21:33
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