FEASTS OF MARY
Assumption | Birth of Mary | Blessed Virgin Mary | Immaculate Conception
Immaculate Heart of Mary | Presentation of Mary | Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Lourdes | Our Lady of Mount Carmel | Our Lady of the Rosary | Our Lady of Sorrows | Queenship
ASSUMPTION OF MARY INTO HEAVEN - Feast - August 15
This uniterrupted tradition of the Church dates back to 549 A.D. as witnessed by Gregory of Tours and other Fathers of the Church. According to private revelations by St. Bridget and recent archeological findings, Ephesus is the most likely place where Mary died. In 1946 Pope Pius XII received an affirmative response from all the bishops and promulgated the dogma of Mary's assumption on November 1, 1950.
BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Since the Middle Ages Saturday has been observed as the commemoration of Mary when no other obligatory commemoration is scheduled. Mary the Mother of Jesus has four infallible teachings declared about herself. First, that Mary is Ever Virgin. Second, in 431 A.D. at the Council of Ephesus, the primary title of Mary as Mother of God ,Theotokos, was sanctioned. Third, on December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX declared the Immaculate Conception as part of the Deposit of Faith. Finally, on November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII declared the Assumption as part of the Deposit of Faith.
BIRTH OF MARY - Feast - September 8
This feast is connected with the basilica constructed in the fifth century on the site of the pool at Bethesda. This is the supposed home of Ann and Joachim and where the basilica of St. Ann stands today. The feast was introduced by Pope Sergius I around 701. There are apocryphal accounts of Mary's birth, such as the gospel of pseudo-Matthew and another by St. Jerome. This feast opens the liturgical year in the East and was celebrated with an octave by Pope Innocent IV and with a vigil under Pope Gregory XI .
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION - Feast - December 8
This feast which is given the Rank of Solemnity in the liturgical calendar has been celebrated since the seventh century. It is the celebration of the conception of Mary, the Mother of God, by St. Anne. Pope Clement XI in 1708, in his bull, Commissi Nobis, established the feast as a Solemnity for the entire Church.
The Immaculate Conception is one of the four Marian Dogmas and states that Mary was born without the stain of original sin. It was proclaimed as infallible teaching by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854. In 1858 Our Lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous eighteen times and identified herself as the Immaculate Conception.
IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY - Saturday after the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
The feast springs from contemporary piety but has its roots in the Marian apostolate of St. John Eudes (1680), and outstanding apostle of devotion to the the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. After repeated requests and repeated refusals between 1669 and 1729, on December 8, 1942, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima, Pope Pius XII dedicated the Church and the human race to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He placed the feast on August 22 and extended it to the entire Latin Church. It has now been moved closer to the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus always falling on the Saturday after the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
PRESENTATION OF MARY - Feast - November 21
This feast finds its origins as early as the second century according to apocryphal source, the Protoevangelium or the book of James. This feast was already commemorated in the East by the sixth century. Pope Gregory XI heard of this feast being kept in Greece in 1372 and introduced it at Avigon. In 1585 Pope Sixtus extended to the universal Church.
In addition to celebrating the presentation of Mary in the temple, suspected to occur when she was 3 years old; this feast also commemorates the dedication of the basilica of St. Mary the New in Jerusalem. The basilica was built near the site of the Temple.
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE - Feast - December 12
This feast recalls the apparitions of Mary at the hill of Tepayac on December 9-12, 1531 to Blessed Juan Diego. Our Lady had Juan pick some flowers, that would not have been growing in that area during the time of the year, as proof that she was appearing to him. She had him take them back to the bishop to show him. When Juan arrived and opened up his coat the flowers dropped to the floor and there was the image of the Blessed Mother on his shirt.
This is known to the Aztecs as Tecoataxope or de Guadalupe in Spanish. This translates to "she will crush the serpent of the stone." Under the title Our Lady of Guadalupe she is the Patron Saint of the Americas as declared by Pope Pius XII.
OUR LADY OF LOURDES - Feast - February 11
This feast celebrates the appearance of Mary to St. Bernadette in 1858 in Lourdes, France. A spring that came from the dry ground as one of the proofs to the people that Mary was appearing. Mary appeared eighteen time between February 11 and July 16, 1858. The other was when Mary said to Bernadette, on March 25, 1858, "I am the Immaculate Conception"
OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL - Feast - July 16
Mount Carmel plays an important role in the Book of Kings (See 1 Kings 18:19-21). In the twelfth century a group of hermits went to dwell at Mount Carmel in Galilee and founded the contemplative Order of Carmelites under the patronage of Mary.
On July 16,1251, at Aylesford in Kent, England, according to tradition, Our Lady appeared to Saint Simon Stock, a Carmelite, and made the Scapular the sign of her protection. With it came the promise that whoever wore her "habit" devoutly would be assured of eternal salvation.
OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY - Feast - October 7
This feast was instituted by Saint Pius V on the anniversary of the naval victory won by the Christian fleet at Lepanto. The victory was attributed to the holy Mother of God whose aid was invoked through the praying of the Rosary. The celebration of this day invites all to meditate upon the mysteries of Christ, following the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary who was so singularly associated with the incarnation, passion and glorious resurrection of the Son of God.
OUR LADY OF SORROWS - Feast - September 15
This feast dates back to the twelfth century. It was especially promoted by the Cistercians and the Servites, so much so that in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth centuries it was widely celebrated throughout the Catholic church. In 1482 the feast was added to the Missal under the title of "Our Lady of Compassion." Pope Benedict XIII added it to Roman Calendar in 1727 on the Friday before Palm Sunday. In 1913 Pope Pius X fixed the date on September 15. The title "Our Lady of Sorrows" focuses on Mary's intense suffering during the passion and death of Christ. "The Seven Dolors", the title by which it was celebrated in the 17th century, referred to the seven swords that pierced the Heart of Mary.
QUEENSHIP OF THE VIRGIN MARY - Feast - August 22
This feast was instituted on May 31, 1955 by Pope Pius XII when he issued the encyclical "Ad coeli Reginam". This feast had actually been proposed five times prior to Pius XII action. It was moved to the Octave of Mary's Assumption into Heaven to link it with her glorification as stated in Lumen Gentium
The Immaculate Virgin was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory when her earthly life was over, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords Rv 19:16 and conqueror of sin and death.