Pope Francis has decreed the ancient devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of Mother of the Church, be inserted into the Roman Calendar.
The liturgical celebration, B. Mariæ Virginis, Ecclesiæ Matris will be celebrated every year as a Memorial on the Monday after Pentecost.
The decree was released on Saturday 3 March 2018 by Cardinal Robert Sarah, head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. He said the Pope’s decision took account of the tradition surrounding the devotion to Mary as Mother of the Church and how the promotion of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary under this particular title might encourage growth in ‘the maternal sense of the Church’ and in ‘genuine Marian piety’.
The decree says Scripture depicts Mary at the foot of the Cross (Jn 19:25). There she became the Mother of the Church when she ‘accepted her Son’s testament of love and welcomed all people in the person of the beloved disciple as sons and daughters to be reborn unto life eternal.’
The Marian title of ‘Mother of the Church’, was given to the Blessed Mother by Blessed Pope Paul VI at the Second Vatican Council. It was also added to the Roman Missal after the Holy Year of Reconciliation in 1975.
In 2018, the memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, will be celebrated on 21 May.