Today is Mother’s Day. President Woodrow Wilson made this a national holiday in 1914. Mother’s Day has its origins in Greek springtime pagan celebrations in honor of Rhea, the mother of the gods. It spread into Europe and with Christianity became a celebration in honor of “Mother Church,” who gives us new life through baptism and protects us from harm through the grace of the sacraments.
This eventually combined with an English observance of “Mothering Sunday,” when servants were given the day off to spend with their mothers, and became a day in honor of natural mothers as well. So the life-giving and nurturing characteristics of motherhood and of the Church complement one another and are appropriately observed during May, the month of Our Lady, Mother of the Church and Queen of Families.
This aspect of Holy Mother Church is represented in the front window on the east side of our church. The blindfolded woman over the caption “Divine Mother” is not Mary, but “Mother Church.” She is blindfolded because, without prejudice, she welcomes all God’s children redeemed by her Son, to whom she has given new birth in the waters of baptism.