Ordinary Time: May 24th
Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Church; Australia: Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians; Bl. Louis-Zepherin Moreau (Canada)
Other Commemorations: Mary Help of Christians (Solemnity, Australia); Bl. Louis-Zepherin Moreau (Canada)
St. Paul VI, at the conclusion of the Third Session of the Second Vatican Council in 1964, declared the Blessed Virgin Mary as “Mother of the Church," that is to say of all Christian people, the faithful as well as the pastors, who call her the most loving Mother and established that “the Mother of God should be further honored and invoked by the entire Christian people by this tenderest of titles”. But it was not until February 11, 2018, that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments inscribed a new obligatory Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother of the Church, into the General Roman Calendar. This memorial is celebrated every year on the Monday after Pentecost, which is appropriate as Mary was also present in that room for the birthday of the Church.The liturgical celebration, B. Mariæ Virginis, Ecclesiæ Matris, will be celebrated annually as a Memorial on the day after Pentecost.
Today the Church in Australia celebrates the Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians. Mary Help of Christians was adopted as patron of the new Church of Australia in 1844, at a significant time in their history. British settlement was just over fifty years old, the transportation of convicts was coming to an end, and the first elections in Australian history had been held in 1843. Issues of land, immigration and education had begun to surface and the Church was involved in these social problems. The Holy See confirmed the patronage in 1852.The Canadian Church honors Bl. Louis-Zephirin Moreau today. He is the founder of the communities of the Sisters of Saint Joseph and the Sisters of Sainte Marthe. He also participated in the founding of numerous other institutions and pious works. He died on May 24, 1901.
Mary, Mother of the Church
By issuing the Decree on the celebration of the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, Pope Francis wishes to promote this devotion in order to “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”.
Mary Help of Christians
As Mother of God's children, Mary has responded by helping Christians throughout the ages. She has done this by coming to the aid of individuals, families, towns, kingdoms and nations.
- Make a virtual visit to the Basilica of Our Lady, Help of Christians in Hubertus, Wisconsin.
- Read more about Our Lady, Help of Christians.
- Travel via the Internet to the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians built by St. John Bosco as a monument to the Virgin Mary, with the title Help of Christians, as the mother church and spiritual center of the Salesian Congregation.
Bl. Louis-Zepherin Moreau
Born and baptised at Becanour on the first of April 1824, the future saint was the fifth of thirteen children from the marriage Louis-Zephirin Moreau and Marquerite Champoux-Saint-Pair. This "intelligent, pious, modest, gentle, and thoughtful" child was educated in his native parish until the age of fifteen before being admitted into the Seminary of Nicolet. In 1844, he received the ecclesiastic habit at Quebec, but in 1845, Msgr. Signay sent him back home, because he found him to be in fragile health. It would take more than this setback to discourage the young man on his path towards the priesthood. He then begged Msgr. Bourget to permit him to achieve his dream at the Ecole de theology of Montreal. This was accomplished, thanks to the kindness of Msgr. Prince, head of this institution. Father Moreau was ordained a priest on December 19, 1846 at the age of 22. Six years later, Msgr. Prince became the first titular of the new diocese of Saint-Hyacinthe and he appointed Father Moreau as secretary-chancellor. The apprenticeship of the future prelate was as parish priest for the cathedral, and he was administrator of the diocese five times. On January 15, 1876, at the age of 51, Father Moreau became the fourth bishop of Saint Hyacinth.
- Trials and crosses always accompany us as we embrace our vocation. Renew your commitment to Christ and your fidelity to the vocation He has called you to.