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The Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of The Church | iBreviary
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First taught by Saint Ambrose in the fourth century, the title of “Mother of the Church” for the Virgin Mary was proclaimed by [Saint] Paul VI on November 21, 1964, at the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council’s third session. Since that time a devotional memorial to Mary has appeared on a number of proper religious, diocesan, and national calendars. To better focus the Church’s attention on the maternal care of the Blessed Mother for the disciples of Christ throughout the ages, Pope Francis has chosen to inscribe this memorial for the universal Church.

Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation, provided some spiritual reflections in a commentary accompanying the decree: “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. 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.” He also recounted the existing liturgical history of the celebration of Mary, Mother of the Church. In preparation for the Jubilee Year of 1975, her Votive Mass was approved in 1973 and inserted into the Missale Romanum, editio typica altera. Saint John Paul II added “Mother of the Church” to the Litany of Loreto in 1980, and during the Marian Year of 1987, a new Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary was issued, including two additional formularies for the Virgin Mary as “Image and Mother of the Church.” Cardinal Sarah’s commentary reminds the followers of Christ 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. These are three mysteries that God gave to the world in order to structure, fructify, and sanctify our interior life and lead us to Jesus.”

From Newsletter of the Committee on Divine Worship, March 2018© 2018, USCCB

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