May 21, 2018 – Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
This is the first year of a new feast, the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. Below is information regarding the new feast.
Pope Francis has decreed that Latin-rite Catholics around the world will mark the feast of “the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church” on the Monday after Pentecost each year.
The Gospel reading for the feast, which technically is called a “memorial,” is John 19:25-31, which recounts how from the cross Jesus entrusted Mary to his disciples as their mother and entrusted his disciples to Mary as her children.
The decree announcing the addition to the church calendar was released March 3 by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.
Francis approved the decree after “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,” the decree said.
Honoring Mary as mother of the church on the day after Pentecost also highlights for Catholics that Mary was present with the disciples on Pentecost, praying with them as the Holy Spirit descended. Sarah said that Mary, “from the awaiting of the Spirit at Pentecost, has never ceased to take motherly care of the pilgrim church on earth.”