VATICAN CITY – The very first celebration of the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church is set to be celebrated on May 21, 2018. On March 3, 2018, Pope Francis announced that the Monday following Pentecost would be added to the official liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church.
Pentecost celebrates the birthday of the Church. Catholics remember when the Holy Spirit came from Heaven to rest on the Apostles, who immediately went out and began evangelizing. Now Catholics will have two back-to-back feast days, the Birthday of the Church and the Mother of the Church universally recognized and celebrated.
The official reading for this celebration will be John 19:25-31, when Jesus tells John that Mary is now his mother, and Mary that John is now her son.
“Mary, Mother of the Church” was a favorite title introduced by Pope Paul VI following Vatican II. Pope Paul VI is to be canonized in October. Catholics celebrate the 50th anniversary of his famous encyclical, Humane Vitae, this summer. It seems only fitting that this year his title for Mary also become a memorial feast day.
During the month that the world celebrates mothers, it is only fitting that the Catholic Church celebrates the Mother of Christ and the Church.