Honoring Mary, Mother of the Church

A Beautiful New Feast Day

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PROVIDENCE — The Diocese of Providence joined the universal church in celebrating, for the first time, the inaugural feast in honor of Mary, Mother of the Church. Bishop Thomas J. Tobin celebrated the noon Mass at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Providence, on Monday, May 21, following Pope Francis’ recent decree 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.

In his homily on Monday afternoon, Bishop Tobin shared his hope that on this beautiful new feast day that everyone will benefit by Mary’s example.

“We are grateful to Pope Francis for giving us this new opportunity to honor and pray to our Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary,” Bishop Tobin said.

Like many of our mothers, the bishop explained, we learn new ways to grow in holiness by looking at the many virtues she had in her own life including virtues of faith, trust, obedience, humility and purity.

“Mary is always with us to love us, to walk with us, to hear our prayers and care for us in all of the days of our life as we continue our earthly journey. We benefit by her example and all that Mary teaches us in our desire for holiness. Let us benefit by her prayers, her intercession, and her loving care for us every single day.”

The decree announcing the addition to the church calendar was released March 3 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.