CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 26 May 2018

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Pope adds Marian feast to Church calendar

VATICAN (CNS): Pope Francis has decreed that the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church is to be observed by Latin-rite Catholics on the Monday after Pentecost each year.
 
The decree announcing the addition to the Church calendar was released on 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.
 
Robert Cardinal Sarah, prefect of the congregation, noted in a brief commentary published the same day, that Blessed Pope Paul VI had formally bestowed the title, Mother of the Church, on Mary in 1964, but that recognition of her maternal care for the Church and for believers had already spanned centuries.
 
The gospel reading for the feast, which technically a memorial, is John 19:25-31, which recounts how from the cross Jesus entrusted Mary to his disciples as their mother and entrusted his disciples to Mary as her children. 
 
Honouring Mary as mother of the Church on the day after Pentecost also highlights for that Mary was present with the disciples on Pentecost, praying with them as the Holy Spirit descended. 
 
Cardinal Sarah said that Mary, “from the awaiting of the Spirit at Pentecost, has never ceased to take motherly care of the pilgrim Church on earth.”
 
The cardinal said that bishops’ conferences “will approve the translation of the texts they need and, after receiving their confirmation, will publish them in the liturgical books for their jurisdiction.” 

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