Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
The Blessed Virgin Mary has walked with the Church from the beginning. Mother of God, she is also Mother of the Church, through which, in turn, She is the Mother of all men. Commemoration instituted by Pope St. Paul VI.
First Reading – Gn 3:9-15, 20
After Adam had eaten of the tree, the LORD God called to him and asked him, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.” Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked? You have eaten, then, from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!” The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with me— she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it.” The LORD God then asked the woman, “Why did you do such a thing?” The woman answered, “The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.” Then the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you shall be banned from all the animals and from all the wild creatures; On your belly shall you crawl, and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.” The man called his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all the living.
Or – Acts 1:12-14
After Jesus had been taken up to Heaven, the Apostles returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they entered the city they went to the upper room where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and His brothers.
Responsorial Psalm – 87:1-2, 3 and 5, 6-7 (R. 3)
R. Glorious things are told of you, O city of God.
His foundation upon the holy mountains
the LORD loves:
The gates of Zion,
more than any dwelling of Jacob. R.
Glorious things are said of you,
O city of God!
And of Zion they shall say:
“One and all were born in her;
And he who has established her
is the Most High LORD.” R.
They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
“This man was born there.”
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
“My home is within you.” R.
Gospel – Jn 19:25-34
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit. Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately Blood and water flowed out.
St. Maximinus of Trier, Bishop (†c. 346 France). Fearless defender of the Faith against the Arians, he welcomed St. Athanasius of Alexandria into his diocese, and for this was expelled from it by the emperor.
St. Bona de Pisa, virgin (†1207). She consecrated herself to God from her youth and embraced a life of poverty and austerity. She made frequent pilgrimages to the Holy land, to Rome and to Santiago of Compostela.
St. Ursula Ledochowska, virgin (†1939). Polish noble, foundress of the Congregation of the Ursulines of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus, and travelled untiringly on mission to Poland, Russia and Scandinavia.
Blessed Richard Thirkeld, priest and martyr (†1583). Hanged, drawn, and quartered in York, during the reign of Elizabeth I of England, for practicing his priestly ministry and for having reconciled many with the Church.
Blessed Joseph Gerard, priest (†1914). French missionary of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, he preached the Gospel first in Durban (Indian Ocean) and later in Basutoland, in South Africa.
Blessed William Arnaud and ten companions, martyrs (†1242). Dominican religious put to death by the sword by Cathars, near Toulouse, France, for having opposed this heresy. They died singing the Te Deum.
Blessed Gerardesca, widow (†1269). Married but childless, she decided to consecrate herself to God, together with her husband. He entered the Camaldolese monastery of Pisa, Italy, and she lived as an oblate in a cell built adjacent to the same monastery.