The Second Vatican Council declared the Blessed Virgin Mary “Mother of the Church”. Pope Francis established in 2018 that the Memory of the “Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church” be celebrated and inserted in the Roman Calendar on the Monday after Pentecost Sunday.
On November 21, 1964, at the end of the third session of Vatican Council II, it was declared that the Blessed Virgin Mary, “Mother of the Church, that is, of all the Christian people, both of the faithful and of the Shepherds, who call her the beloved Mother”. The Apostolic See therefore, on the occasion of the Holy Year of Reconciliation (1975), proposed a votive mass in honor of the Blessed Mary, Mother of the Church, subsequently inserted in the Roman Missal. The Council also gave the faculty to add the invocation of this title in the Lauretan Litanies (1980). Pope Francis, considering carefully how much the promotion of this devotion can favor the growth of the maternal sense of the Church, as well as genuine Marian piety, established in 2018 that the memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, be celebrated and inserted in the Roman Calendar on Monday after Pentecost.
REFLECTION on MARY MOTHER of the CHURCH:
(by P. Crispino Lanzi)
Our Lady has been present, as Mother, in the Church from her very beginning. In fact, the Acts recount that the Apostles, immediately after the Ascension of Jesus, departed from the Mount of Olives and returned to Jerusalem and in the Upper Room where “they were assiduous and one in prayer together with some women and with Mary, the mother of Jesus” (Acts 1,12-14). She continues to be always with us.
The Virgin is truly Mother of the Church. It is not in a figurative sense as when it is said that the homeland is the mother of citizens, but it is in the real sense. Indeed, motherhood says order to life; now, she cooperated in giving us the life of grace, the supernatural life we had lost because of original sin; she has cooperated in our rebirth, in our regeneration (cf. John 3: 3-5), therefore she is our tender supernatural Mother. Being Mother of Christ, she is the Mother of all Christians, that is to say of the whole Church. Conceiving Christ, she conceived all humanity redeemed by Jesus.
In Caen in Normandy (France), on June 6, 1944, at the height of the night, the largest army, which history remembers, lands on the French coast to free Europe from Nazism. One detail: the famous paratrooper John Steele, catapulted (together with thousands more) into the German rear, stops at the top, because a parachute cord has become entangled in a spire of the Church of the Holy Mother.
It was lucky that if he landed in the infernal fire of the German machine guns, he would almost certainly have been killed as 37,000 other soldiers were. Let us commit ourselves to remain spiritually clinging to the great Mother of the Church; She will always keep us away from sin and in the joy of grace and in the sweetness of holiness.
We love the Church of which nothing greater exists in the world and which is a wonderful gift that Jesus has given us for our eternal salvation and for our sanctification. We love, invoke, imitate the Holy Mother of the Church, the Virgin, who:
“Shines before the pilgrim people of God as a sign of sure hope and consolation” (Lumen gentium, 69).
PRAYER TO MARY MOTHER OF THE CHURCH
(by St. John Paul II)
Mother of the Church, and our Mother Mary, we gather in our hands what a people is capable of offering you; the innocence of children, the generosity and enthusiasm of young people, the suffering of the sick, the truest affections cultivated in families, the weariness of the workers, the distress of the unemployed, the loneliness of the elderly, the anguish of those seeking true sense of existence, the sincere repentance of those who have lost their way in sin, the intentions and hopes of those who discover the love of the Father, the faithfulness and dedication of those who spend their energies in the apostolate and in works of mercy .
And You, O Holy Virgin, make of us as courageous witnesses of Christ. We want our charity to be authentic, so as to bring the unbelievers back to faith, conquer the doubtful, reach everyone. Grant, O Mary, to the civil community to progress in solidarity, to operate with a keen sense of justice, to always grow in fraternity. Help us all to raise the horizons of hope to the eternal realities of Heaven.
Most Holy Virgin, we entrust ourselves to You and invoke You, that you may obtain for the Church to witness the Gospel in her every choice, and to radiate before the world the face of your Son and our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
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