Mary, Mother of the Church
Pope institutes new celebration of Mary, Mother of Church
Cardinal Sarah: ‘New Marian memorial aid to Christian life’
Nevertheless, the document insists, “all else being equal, the Obligatory Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church is to be preferred.”
Because Pentecost is a movable feast, tied to the celebration of Easter, it is possible that the new Memorial could coincide with another Memorial of a Saint or Blessed; and when this happens, the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, will take precedence.
History of the feast
The new feast was inserted into the Universal Calendar for the Latin Church earlier this year by Pope Francis, in a decree dated 11 February 2018 – the 160th anniversary of the apparition of Mary at Lourdes. Previously, permission to celebrate a feast of Mary had been extended to Poland and Argentina, as well as St Peter’s Basilica, and several Religious Orders and Congregations.
The title of “Mother of the Church” was famously bestowed on the Blessed Virgin Mary by Blessed Pope Paul VI during the Second Vatican Council. The understanding of Mary’s motherhood has developed in the decades following Vatican II, especially as the Church has reflected on the Council’s teaching about Mary in chapter 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen gentium).