May 13, 2018

May 8, 2018

My dear parishioners,

 

Like many traditions and festivities, Mothering Sunday began with a religious purpose. Held on the fourth Sunday in Lent, exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday, it was a originally a day to honor and give thanks to the Virgin Mary, also known as Mother Mary. Such celebrations required people to visit their ‘mother’ church – the main church or cathedral in a family’s area. The spread of Christianity throughout Europe in the 16th century increased the celebrations and firmly put Mothering Sunday on the calendar. It was believed to be essential for people to return to their home ‘mother’ church to make it a true family honored occasion.

 

While the day had a firm following for many centuries since the 16th century, by 1935 it started to decrease in popularity and was celebrated less and less in Europe, until WWII. The Americans and Canadians celebrated Mother’s Day during the war, feeling a crucial need to give thanks to their mothers while away at war. The Brits and other Europeans followed their comrades and they too gave thanks to their mothers; since then it earns pride of place on the UK calendar.

 

The US celebrates Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May. The holiday was formed much later than Mothering Sunday, and was created in 1908 by a lady named Anna Jarvis from Grafton, West Virginia, in honor of her late mother. Jarvis pushed hard for a holiday to celebrate all mothers after the death of her own, and after lots of hard work, determination and promotion President Woodrow Wilson finally made it an official holiday for the US in 1914.

 

Have a good week…

Monsignor Montecalvo

 

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