MOTHERHOOD OF OUR LADY
TO-MORROW,' Saturday, October 11, the feast of the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be celebrated with special solemnity, because in 1941 occurs the 10th anniversary of the universal extension of this feast.
On December 25, 1931, the Encyclical Letter " The Light of Truth " concerning the 15th centenary of the Council of Ephesus was issued. In the end of this Encyclical we read:
" We shall not conclude this letter without announcittg sornething that will surely please you great!). We desire that this centenary shall hare a liturgical memorial, which will help to revive piety towards the great Mother of God among
clergy 'and people. Wherefore we have directed the Congregation of Sacred Rites to issue a Mass and Office of rhe Divine Maternity to be celebrated by the universal Church."
On January 6, 1932, the Congregation of Sacred Rites published the Decree by which the feast of the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary was assigned to October 11.
ONLY A LOCAL FEAST FIRST
Up to 1914, the feast of the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary had been a local feast, Its history can be traced back to the Council of Ephesus when in Jerusalem a Church dedicated to the Mother of God was erected, the anniversary of the dedication of this church being celebrated on August 15.
In later years, the Oriental Church commemorated the Divine Maternity on December 26, whilst in the Latin Church the Octave of Christmas was dedicated to the Mother of God. The feast of the Circumcision is of Gallican origin. and superseded the ancient feast of Our Lady only in the tenth century.
In modern times, the first traces of a feast exclusively devoted to the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary are found in Portugal where, 190 years ago, it was assigned to the first Sunday of May. thus fpreshadowing the general dedication of the month of May to Our Lady.
SECOND SUNDAY OF OCTOBER In 1752, this feast was appointed to the second Sunday of October and, at the same
time, it was extended to Venice. In 1778, also the K ingdom of Naples was authorised to celebrate this feast. Gradually it spread to all dioceses of Italy, to Spain and even to South America. In Italy the feast of the Motherhood of Our Lady was celebrated on February 26, on Saturday before the fourth Sunday in Lent nr before the second Sunday after Easter or on various Sundays in
May, August, or October. In 1826. the Duke of Villahermosa was permitted to celebrate this feast on Saturday before the first Sunday in Advent, a reminder of the ancient dedication of Advent to the Mother of God, especially found in the early Spanish liturgy, where the Annunciation was cele
brated on December 18. •
In 1889, the feast of the Divine Maternity was prescribed for All Poland and appointed to August I because on this date in 1656 John Casimir had declared the Blessed Virgin Queen of his kingdom.