The Church honors Mary, the Mother of God, four times within four weeks from mid-August to mid-September: the Assumption (August 15), the Queenship (August 22), the Birth of Mary (September 8), and the Sorrowful Mother (September 15). My two favorite feasts are the first and last. Belief in the Assumption goes back to the ancient Church of the first century; however, it was never declared a dogma until 1950. Perhaps that is the reason why many girl babies were baptized Madonna or Donna that year. The Sorrowful Mother is dear to me, because I grew up in Bellevue, Ohio, six miles from the Sorrowful Mother Shrine. My family would often attend Mass and join in rosary processions there. I was in awe of the crutches left behind after miraculous healings.
I appreciate learning new things about Mary. I read that the government of Guatemala banned the recitation of the Magnificat, Mary’s Song of Praise uttered at the time of her visit to Elizabeth. The civil leaders determined that its language of raising up the lowly and casting down the powerful was just too subversive. Not bad for a humble maiden living 2000 years ago!