Today marks the first official feast day of Mary, Mother of the Church, instituted by Pope Francis earlier this year. The new feast day will fall annually on the Monday after Pentecost.
The official decree from the Congregation For Divine Worship And The Discipline Of The Sacraments states:
“Indeed, the Mother standing beneath the cross (cf. Jn 19:25), accepted her Son’s testament of love and welcomed all people in the person of the beloved disciple as sons and daughters to be reborn unto life eternal. She thus became the tender Mother of the Church which Christ begot on the cross handing on the Spirit.”
The decree goes on to state that Mary began her mission on Pentecost, where she was present with the Apostles as they awaited the coming of the Holy Spirit. For this reason, her role as Mother of the Church has previously been established through catholic writings and tradition.
Pope Francis officially decreed the feast day to “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.”
Father Dindo Billote, pastor of Saint Mary Mokena remarks, “At Saint Mary Mokena, we are particularly thrilled about this new feast day honoring our Patron Saint, Mary. She truly is the Mother of the Church and Mother to us all!”
The decree makes obligatory the celebration of the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, around the world. For more information, please read the official decree from the Congregation For Divine Worship And The Discipline Of The Sacraments.