On the Monday after Pentecost, the Church celebrates the feast of Mary Mother of the Church. This liturgical memorial, desired by Pope Francis in 2018, highlights the importance of Mary as Mother of God and Mother of the Church, a guide and model for the Vincentian Family.


Mary Mother of the Church

On the Monday after Pentecost, the Church celebrates Mary Mother of the Church, a feast day instituted by Pope Francis in 2018 to reflect on Mary’s role as Mother of God and Mother of the Church. This designation has deep roots in Catholic tradition, highlighted by the intense Mariology of Paul VI, who proclaimed Mary ‘Mother of the Church’ during the third session of the Second Vatican Council. Paul VI emphasised that Mary, from the moment of the Annunciation and especially at the foot of the Cross, assumed a maternal role towards the Church, a role that the Pope wished to recognise and celebrate with the liturgical feast, thus enriching our understanding of her spiritual figure and her importance for all Christians, including the missionaries of the Congregation and the members of the Vincentian Family

Origins of the Appellation ‘Mater Ecclesiae

The title “Mater Ecclesiae” was promoted during the Second Vatican Council, recognising Mary as a central figure in the mystery of the Church, a symbol of dedication and obedience to God, as Mary “shines before the pilgrim people of God as a sign of sure hope and consolation” (Lumem gentium, 69).

Pope Francis’ Decree of 2018

Pope Francis’ decree establishes the annual celebration of this feast, emphasising Mary’s unifying role within the Christian community and her impact as a source of spiritual inspiration.

The Spiritual Meaning of Mary Mother of the Church

The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that Mary, an example of faith and charity, continues to exercise her maternal role over us all, guiding us and interceding on our behalf (CCC 967-968).

Implications for Mission and Vincentian Spirituality

Mary’s example resonates deeply with Vincentian values of service and humility, influencing missionaries and members of the Vincentian Family in their commitment to the poorest.

And for this reason we recall one of the branches of the Vincentian Family: Vincentian Marian Youth!

The Vincentian Marian Youth, which celebrated its 190th anniversary in 2020, is a vibrant example of how young people can live the Vincentian charism through prayer and service, inspired by the figure of Mary.

The Vincentian Marian Youth (JMV) represents one of the most vital expressions of spirituality and apostolate in the Vincentian Family. This association of young Catholics is committed to living the Vincentian charism through prayer, formation and service, especially to the most vulnerable and needy. JMV members are inspired by Mary as a model of active faith and service, seeking to emulate her example in their spiritual journey and daily activities.

We invoke his intercession

Mary, Mother of the Church, is a symbol of unity and love, a beacon of hope for the Church and for the Vincentian Family, which under her guidance continues to bear witness to the love of Christ in the world.

On the occasion of the feast of Mary Mother of the Church, we invite everyone to cross her loving gaze and join in prayer with St John Paul II’s ‘Prayer to Mary Mother of the Church’, reflecting on her maternal role in our spiritual life and apostolic service.

(by St. John Paul II)

Mother of the Church, and our Mother Mary, we gather into our hands all that a people is capable of offering you; the innocence of children, the generosity and enthusiasm of the young, the suffering of the sick, the truest affections cultivated in families, the fatigue of workers, the anguish of the unemployed, the loneliness of the elderly, the anguish of those seeking the true meaning of existence, the sincere repentance of those lost in sin, the intentions and hopes of those who discover the Father’s love, the fidelity and dedication of those who spend their energies in the apostolate and works of mercy.

And You, O Holy Virgin, make us as many courageous witnesses of Christ. We want our charity to be authentic, so as to lead the unbelieving back to faith, win over the doubters, reach out to all. Grant, O Mary, to the civil community to progress in solidarity, to work with a lively sense of justice, to grow always in fraternity. Help us all to raise the horizons of hope to the eternal realities of Heaven.

Most Holy Virgin, we entrust ourselves to you and invoke you, that you may obtain for the Church to bear witness to the Gospel in all her choices, so that the face of your Son and our Lord Jesus Christ may shine before the world.


Girolamo Grammatico
Communication Office