Our Mother’s Day has roots in my country’s civil war. Ann Jarvis organized a committee in 1868, promoting “Mother’s Friendship Day.” The idea was “to reunite families that had been divided during the Civil War.”
I’m not sure why America’s Congress picked the second Sunday of May for Mother’s Day.
Oddly enough, I’ve never run across claims that Mother’s Day is a plot to subvert America’s Protestant purity with our ‘foreign’ ways — or seen someone make a connection between President Wilson’s proclamation and Word War I.
Don’t laugh. Mother’s Day and Catholic beliefs have common elements, and there are stranger conspiracy theories.
May is a month traditionally studded with (Catholic) devotions to Mary. We think she’s special. I’ll get back to that.
Ann Jarvis was the daughter of a Methodist minister. As far as I know she had nothing to do with the Catholic Church. But a conspiracy theorist could call that a lie spread by agents of Pope Pius IX.
I think an international ‘Mother’s Day plot’ makes a little more sense than the 1836 “Maria Monk” bestseller. Echoes of the lurid tale of deadly secrets and a secret tunnel were still echoing in my youth, a half-century back now.
Several investigations turned up zero evidence that the tale was true.
Some conspiracies have been real, but I’m pretty sure something as big as a ‘Mother’s Day Conspiracy’ would long since have been unmasked.1
‘Family’ is very important to Catholics, or should be. The Catechism devotes more than two thousand words to discussing what a family is, and how families should work. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2201–2233)
Considering what my duty might require, I didn’t mind cleaning diapers now and then.
I accepted the offer, which makes me a part of the family — along with everyone else who makes the same decision.
Seeing Mary as our adopted mother? Like I said, I think that makes sense.
One of Mary’s titles is Queen (or Lady) of Angels, which is where my parish church got its name.
In movies like “Knights of the Round Table,” queens don’t do much other than stir up trouble: intentionally or not. My guess, based on the number of verified Marian apparitions over the last two millennia, is that Mary is nowhere near as passive as that.
As a Norwegian-Irish American whose mother is as ekte norsk as you’re likely to find, I have no trouble thinking of a woman as a sort of 12-star general. There’s probably a post lurking around that idea.
We see Mary as a Saint, someone who “practiced heroic virtue and lived in fidelity to God’s grace.” (Catechism, 828)
I don’t think that means Mary is timid or diffident.
She had the guts to accept an assignment that would be extremely difficult to explain to her family, friends, and neighbors. All things considered, Joseph took the news that his wife-to-be was pregnant rather well. (December 18, 2016)
Years later, Mary had this conversation with our Lord:
“Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.
“When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’
“(And) Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.’
“Do whatever he tells you” is pretty good advice: and that’s another topic.
- “Life, Death, and Choices”
(January 15, 2017)
- “‘Good News of Great Joy’”
(December 25, 2016)
- “Gabriel, Joseph, and Mary”
(December 18, 2016)
- “God, Angels, and Belshazzar”
(December 13, 2016)
- “The Rosary”
(October 30, 2016) (Guest post)
- “On the Viability of Conspiratorial Beliefs”
David Robert Grimes, PLOS ONE (January 26, 2016)
- Canonization of Blesseds Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto
Pope Francis, Pilgrimage to Fatima (May 13, 2017)
- “The Message of Fatima”
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (June 26, 2000)