As we get closer to the Christmas Season ending for this liturgical year (and yes, we are still in Christmas. Christmas ends with the Baptism of the Lord), I wanted to share the words of Pope Paul VI from his document Marialis Cultis. The English translation of this Apostolic Exhortation is – For The Right Ordering And Development of Devotion To The Blessed Virgin Mary. This document was promulgated on February 2, 1974.
In Part One: Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Liturgy, Section One: The Blessed Virgin in the Revised Roman Liturgy, paragraph 5, His Holiness, Paul VI writes…
“The Christmas season is a prolonged commemoration of the divine, virginal and salvific motherhood of her whose “inviolate virginity brought the Savior into the world.” In fact, on the Solemnity of the Birth of Christ the Church both adores the Savior and venerates his glorious Mother. On the Epiphany, when she celebrates the universal call to salvation, the Church contemplates the Blessed Virgin, the true Seat of Wisdom and true Mother of the King, who presents to the Wise Men, for their adoration, the Redeemer of all peoples (cf. Mt 2:11). On the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (the Sunday within the octave of Christmas), the Church mediates with profound reverence upon the holy life led in the house at Nazareth by Jesus, the Son of God and Son of Man, Mary his Mother, and Joseph the just man (cf. Mt 1:19).
In the revised ordering of the Christmas period it seems to us that that attention of all should be directed toward the restored Solemnity of Mary the holy Mother of God. This celebration, placed on January 1 in conformity with the ancient indication of the liturgy of the city of Rome, is meant to commemorate the part played by Mary in this mystery of salvation. It is meant also to exult the singular dignity with this mystery brings to the “holy Mother…through whom we were found worthy to receive the Author of Life.” It is likewise a fitting occasion for renewing adoration of the newborn Prince of Peace, for listening once more to the glad tidings of the angels (cf. Lk 2:14), and for imploring from God, through the Queen of Peace, the supreme gift of peace. It is for this reason that, in the happy concurrence of the Octave of Christmas and the first day of the year, we have instituted the World Day of Peace, an occasion that is gaining increasing support and already bringing forth fruits of peace in the hearts of many.”
Holy Mary, Mother of God the Savior Jesus Christ…Pray for Us!