Last month we celebrated the month of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady and this month we celebrate Our Lady of the Rosary. It seems like we have a lot of Marian feast days (and month) sprinkled throughout the year but did you know that there used to be more of these feast days?
Prior to the revision of the liturgical calendar, there were feast days for almost every major event in our Blessed Mother’s life. Some feast days were retained but have been overlooked throughout the years.
In fact, did you know that there is a Marian feast almost every single day of the year in different parts of the world? Yes, it’s true!
While the list of Marian feast days would be too long to share in a single post, here is a list of ten forgotten and/or overlooked (but still awesome) Marian feast days still worth celebrating.
January 23rd: Feast of the Betrothal of Our Lady and St. Joseph
This one is pretty self-explanatory. We celebrate when our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph were betrothed. Can you say, “Relationship Goals”?
January 25th: Feast of Our Lady’s Shroud and Tomb
Otherwise know as the Translation of the Winding Sheet and Tomb of Our Lady. Although we believe that Our Lady was assumed up to Heaven, body and soul, Juvenal, who was the first Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, sent Eastern Roman Emperor Maricon a basket of the winding sheet (shroud) believed to have been used for Our Lady in the year A.D. 450. This is where this feast day stems from.
February 17th: Feast of the Procession of Pope St. Gregory with a Painting of Our Lady by St. Luke (Rome)
It is said that a plague in A.D. 591 ended the day when Pope St. Gregory the Great lead a procession with a painting of Our Lady painted by St. Luke through the streets of Rome. Legend has it that everyone saw St. Michael the Archangel standing over them. Also, fun fact, it is believed that saying, “God Bless you,” when you sneeze originated during this plague.
June 28th: The Institution of the Angelus of Our Lady (Europe)
Although the Angelus is still prayed by many throughout the world, few know that there is a feast day associated with the prayer. On June 28th (or 29th, depending on the source) A.D. 1456, Pope Callistus instituted the prayer after the Turks threatened to invade Europe. The prayer was initially only recited shortly before sunset before a morning and noontime Angelus were added.
August 27th: The Seven Joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Another one that seems to have been forgotten, this feast day celebrates the seven joys of our Blessed Mother. In case you need a refresher, the seven joys are: the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity of Jesus, the Adoration of the Magi, the Finding of Jesus in the Temple, the Resurrection of Jesus, and the Assumption (and/or Coronation) of Mary.
September 22nd: Giving of the Name of Mary to Our Lady by St. Anne
The feast of the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary in September 8th, but the feast of her name isn’t until the 22nd. According to Venerable Mary of Agreda, Sts. Anne and Joachim saw an array of angels showing her the name of “Mary” which had been given to her by God. Now, that’s one way to get a good name!
October 11th: Divine Maternity of Our Lady
Renamed as the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and now celebrated on January 1st, this feast was originally called the Divine Maternity of Our Lady and was celebrated in October. The title was approved by the Council of Ephesus in A.D. 431. While the new feast day is lovely and should still be celebrated on the first day of the year, I bet all of you mothers out there will love the original name.
November 21st: Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This is a feast day I’ve personally sen celebrated at some parishes but seems to be overlooked in general. It was first introduced by the Eastern Church but formally adopted by the universal Church in the 16th century. This feast celebrates the day when 3-year-old Mary was offered to God in the Temple as a form of thanksgiving by St. Anne before Mary’s Immaculate Conception.
December 18th: The Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Due to the strict restriction of feast days during Lent in the 7th century, this day which we now celebrate as the feast of the Annunciation, was transferred to December 18th in Spain. Since the restrictions have lessened, this day is now celebrated twice a year in parts of Spain: March 25th and December 18th.
December 24th The Chaste Nuptials of Our Lady and St. Joseph
Some people know that the feast of Adam and Eve are on Christmas Eve, but few know that it’s also a feast day of the nuptials of Our Lady and St. Joseph. Yes, their betrothal is celebrated in January, but their actual wedding day is celebrated on Christmas Eve. Wait, is this why so many marriage proposals happen on this day?
Whether you begin to celebrate some of these feast days or not, let us look at Our Lady’s life and draw inspiration to live a holier life.