I’ve said it many times that the Blessed Mother has more feasts than Jesus himself, and from today, we have yet another celebration introduced recently by Pope Francis, honoring her as the Mother of the Church. Incidentally, a few days before this new feast was proclaimed, I was at the priests’ retirement home in Birkirkara, and I took a photo of this beautiful statue featuring Mary carrying a replica in miniature of a church with the Holy Spirit underneath. The feast will be celebrated annually the day after Pentecost. Yesterday we commemorated the birthday of the church, and as Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ, she somehow gave birth to the church, whom He represents. Even this impressive statue shows Mary holding close to her heart and womb the church and the Holy Spirit, as if she is offering them to us from her own body.
This feast was actually introduced by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1964, who had declared Mary as Mother of the Church, that is Mother of all Christians and of all priests. Then in 1975, the Year of Mercy, the church had also introduced a special Mass in honor of Mary as Mater Ecclesia, mother of the church. Above all, we must look at Mary as the one who gives us life, that spiritual oxygen which energizes us and nourishes us with her presence in our lives. May the Blessed Mother bless all of our families and may they be strengthened in their weakness through her continued motherly protection.