We are getting ready to celebrate the new Marian feast instituted by Pope Francis.

The memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of the Church that we will celebrate on the Monday after Pentecost, this year on May 21, marks an important — I would even say prophetic — rediscovery of an ancient devotion.

The first Christians understood Mary to be the perfect symbol of the Church’s spiritual motherhood.

St. Augustine said: “Our Mother the Church is the holy and glorious Mother, who is like Mary, who is both virgin and mother, who gives birth to Christ — and you are Christ’s members.”

The great doctor of the Church, St. Hildegard of Bingen, called Mary “the people’s mother.”  

It is important that we are rediscovering these ideas in this time when the idea of the human person is being lost — when the meaning of the family and the roles of mothers and fathers are being broken down by “depersonalizing” forces in our society.

The image of Mary as the mother of the Church helps us to see that the family is essential to God’s plan for creation. It also helps us to see our own importance — every one of us — in the loving eyes of God.

To know that Mary is the mother of the Church is to begin to understand the depths of God’s love for us.

That is why, when we celebrate this new feast on Monday, May 21, I will be offering a special gift through Angelus News.

I will be personally blessing and offering an image of our Blessed Mother for every family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles who wants one.

There should be an image of Mary in every home, a picture of our mother! My prayer is that families and individuals will place this image in a prominent place, and when they look at it they will remember to pray and make an act of love to our mother.

As Christians have in every age, today we all need to turn to Mary for her intercession and her motherly help. We need to learn to love her as a mother and to ask her to teach us to live as she did — with the same beautiful freedom and joy in following Jesus and serving God’s plan for our lives.

Pray for me this week and I will be praying for you. And as we remember Mother’s Day this weekend, let us ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to be a mother to us and turn all of us to have a new love for her and for Jesus and for our mother the Church.

Full story at Angelus.