Pope Francis has decreed that Latin-rite Catholics around the world will mark the feast of ‘the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church’ on the Monday after Pentecost each year.
The Gospel reading for the feast, which technically is called a ‘memorial’, is John 19:25-31, which recounts how from the cross Jesus entrusted Mary to his disciples as their mother and entrusted his disciples to Mary as her children.
The decree announcing the addition to the Church calendar was released on 3rd March by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.
Pope Francis approved the decree after ‘having attentively considered how greatly the promotion of this devotion might 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,’ the decree said.
Picture: Pope Francis venerates a Marian image outside the Basilica of St Mary Major in Rome in this May 26, 2016, file photo. The pope has instituted a new Marian feast honoring Mary as Mother of the Church. It will be celebrated every year on the Monday after Pentecost. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).