Celebration of Mary, Mother of Church

In 2018, Pope Francis decreed that the ancient devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of Mother of the Church, be inserted into the Roman Calendar.

On June 10, we celebrate the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church.

Bishop Noonan reflected on a poem written by Bishop Thomas Grady, the second bishop of the Diocese of Orlando:

“Bishop Grady wrote a beautiful poem, Mary, Symbol of the Church, and speaks to her as a “handmaid, coming to serve; providing the word and bread and wine, Theotokos, bearer of life.”  Mary showed us, through her service to God, how to remain in His love. She laid aside her existence to do the will of the Father, just as her Son laid aside His divine existence to do the will of His Father. As Mary is our example, we too must be attentive to and accepting of God’s will each day through prayer and our connection with God. She expressed His love by her acceptance of the Cross. She gave the very heart of her heart to God.”

Mary Symbol of the Church by Bishop Thomas Grady

Handmaid of the Lord,
Fire of the Spirit
burning within
molding Christ
for our world.

Holding the Poor One
in her arms.
Holding the poor ones
in her arms.

From abundant breasts
feeding the hungry.
With mother’s hands
guiding children
through the encompassing darkness.

Remembering Him whom they pierced,
believing beyond martyr’s blood,
hoping beyond Shoa
confronting mockery
with love.

Beneath the high miter
handmaid
coming to serve
providing the word and break and wine
Theotokos
bearer of life.

Our Lord, grant us the grace to see in the humble maid of Nazareth a symbol of your Church, over whom the spirit bends so that we may remember the words of Christ, follow the example of Christ, believe in the power of His death and enjoy the fruits of His resurrection. We ask this through Christ, our Lord.

June 5, 2019