On Monday, May 21, the Church will celebrate a new feast day in honor of Mary, Mother of the Church, in Latin, Mater Ecclesiae.

In March, Pope Francis decreed that this feast (with the rank of Obligatory Memorial) would be celebrated each year on the Monday following Pentecost Sunday.

Blessed Pope Paul VI, who will be canonized later this year, officially conferred this title upon the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1964 during the time of the Second Vatican Council. However, it’s not the first time that this title was used for the Mother of God. The first use we know of this title was by Saint Ambrose of Milan in the 4th century. Pope Leo XIII (papal reign from 1878 to 1903) also used this title for Mary.

Every pope since Pope Saint John XXIII (papal reign from 1958 to 1963) has used this title for our Blessed Mother in some manner.

If you are able, join us for Mass at 7:00 a.m. in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine to celebrate this new feast in honor of the Blessed Mother. Bishop Estévez will celebrate the memorial from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios in St. Augustine.