Celebrating Mary, Mother of the Church
In early 2018, Pope Francis gifted the Church with a new feast day. The Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church would be celebrated each year on the day after Pentecost.
The title “Mother of the Church” dates back to the fourth century writings of St. Ambrose of Milan. In 1968, Pope Paul VI gave official recognition of the title when he wrote,
“The Blessed Mother of God, the New Eve, Mother of the Church, continues in heaven her maternal role with regard to Christ’s members, cooperating with the birth and growth of divine life in the souls of the redeemed.”
Paul VI. "Solemni hac Liturgia," The Holy See, 30 June 1968.
The late Pope Benedict XVI wrote,
“The Church is like Mary … the Church is virgin and mother, she is immaculate and carries the burdens of history. She suffers and she is assumed into heaven … Mary on the other hand is not an isolated individual … She is carrying the mystery of the Church”
Joseph Kardinal Ratzinger: Weggemeinschaft des Glaubens. Kirche als Communio. Festgabe zum 75. Geburtstag, hg. vom Schülerkreis, Augsburg, 2002.
For 35 years, The National Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Church has welcomed faith-filled visitors from around the world seeking to celebrate and share the beauty of these truths. From its home in the humble town of Laurie, Missouri, the Shrine continues to offer events, retreats, and spiritual enrichment for all. In 2003, it joined just 15 sites in the U.S. deemed as national shrines and remains one of only two in Missouri.
Generous friends and donors help to preserve and enhance The Shrine’s beauty so that it can continue to serve as a spiritual oasis for individuals and families for generations to come. These same contributors help maintain the Mothers’ Wall of Life, honoring mothers from across the globe whose loved ones have chosen to remember them with a permanently engraved tribute of love.
This year, the Shrine’s feast day honoring Mary, Mother of the Church coincides with Memorial Day on Monday, May 29.
On this day, Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of the Diocese of Jefferson City will offer an outdoor Mass, weather permitting, at 10 am CT at The National Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Church. A Marian Consecration prayer will follow Mass. Visitors may also stop in the gift shop.
The Shrine wishes to acknowledge with deepest gratitude the many donors and volunteers who give of their time, talents and treasure year-round to the Shrine. The Shrine would not exist were it not for these generous souls!