Pope Francis recently declared that a new obligatory memorial is to be celebrated in honor of our Blessed Mother under the title: Mary, Mother of the Church (Mater Ecclesiae). Fittingly, this memorial will take place on the Monday following Pentecost Sunday. Pope Francis wrote in his decree, “in the course of the centuries, Christian piety has honoured Mary with various titles, in many ways equivalent, such as Mother of Disciples, of the Faithful, of Believers, of all those who are reborn in Christ; and also as “Mother of the Church” as is used in the texts of spiritual authors as well as in the Magisterium of Popes Benedict XIV and Leo XIII.”
In 1980, St. John Paul II added the Mother of the Church title to the Litany of Loreto, a highly indulgenced Marian litany commonly recited after the rosary. It should also be noted that in 1981 St. John Paul II added a mosaic icon, to the corner of the papal apartments overlooking St. Peter’s Square, of Our Lady as the Mater Ecclesiae, in response to being shot and saved from an assassin’s bullet. From the moment that Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross spoke to Mary, saying “this is your son,” referring to apostle John, and then to John, saying that “this is your mother,” John then took the Blessed Mother into his own house. We are all called to take Our Blessed Mother into our own houses through various devotions, because she as a mother teaches us about her Son and protects us from the evils of the world.