ucanews.com reporter, ManilaUpdated: March 06, 2018 10:55 AM GMT
Filipino devotees shower an image of the Virgin Mary with confetti during the Grand Marian Procession in Manila in December. (Photo by Angie de Silva)
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines welcomed a Vatican announcement of a new feast to honor the Virgin Mary as the "Mother of the Church."
Father Jerome Secillano of the bishops' public affairs office said the new feast will "institutionalize" Filipino Catholics' bond with Mary as a "spiritual mother."
On March 3, the Vatican announced Pope Francis' decision to honor the Virgin Mary in her role as "Mother of the Church" every year on the Monday after Pentecost.
The announcement said the memorial can encourage growth in "the maternal sense of the church" and in "genuine Marian piety."
Father Secillano said the title given to the Virgin Mary reflects who she is to the church.
"The feast day is the culmination of long years of veneration given to her under that title," said the priest.
A celebration of a memorial generally means that prayers and readings specific to the day's memorial are used in the Mass.
The Marian title of "Mother of the Church" was given to the Virgin Mary by Pope Paul VI at the Second Vatican Council. It was added to the Roman Missal in 1975.
This year, the memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, will be celebrated on May 21.