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Monday, May 21, 2018

Memorial of Mary Mother of the Church - Mater Ecclesiae - with Special Prayer


Pope Paul VI, in November 1964, announced his wish to end the sessions of the Second Vatican Council “with the joy of honoring our Lady with the title Mother of the Church, Mater Ecclesiae.” And Paul VI added: “This title will help us to honor Mary Most Holy, loving Queen of the world, source of unity as our Mother, and tender hope of our salvation.” This image, so closely united to the memory of Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, is a good reminder for all Christians, upon seeing it, to ask her to protect all her children in the Church.
This new feast day, Mary, Mother of the Church on May 21,  will be celebrated annually the day after Pentecost, and was announced in a March 3 decree by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. The decree said the pope approved the celebration because he thought it 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 Mosaic Icon of Mary Mother of the Church or Mater Ecclesiae (pictured below) was placed in the Vatican by order of Saint Pope John Paul II whose motto was "Totus Tuus" or Totally yours - which refers to his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mother Mary. 

POPE FRANCIS
Prayer to Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of our faith*


Mother, help our faith!
Open our ears to hear God’s word and to recognize his voice and call.
Awaken in us a desire to follow in his footsteps, to go forth from our own land and to receive his promise.
Help us to be touched by his love, that we may touch him in faith.
Help us to entrust ourselves fully to him and to believe in his love, especially at times of trial, beneath the shadow of the cross, when our faith is called to mature.
Sow in our faith the joy of the Risen One.
Remind us that those who believe are never alone.
Teach us to see all things with the eyes of Jesus, that he may be light for our path. And may this light of faith always increase in us, until the dawn of that undying day which is Christ himself, your Son, our Lord!


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