Marian Devotions

Introduction: A Place in All Seasons

Page iv in "Marian Devotions in the Domestic Church"

Catherine Fournier

In 1974, Pope Paul VI published an apostolic exhortation titled Marialis Cultus (For the Right Ordering and Development of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary). In it, he examined and answered a growing tendency in the Church to regard devotion to Mary as a distraction and hindrance to developing a love for our Lord. 

Pope Paul VI assured us that Mary leads us to her Son and that she has demonstrated for us an example of faithful obedience to God. He said, "Mary is not only an example for the whole Church in the exercise of divine worship but is also, clearly, a teacher of the spiritual life for individual Christians." (See the Catechism of the Catholic Church [hereafter CCC] no. 2030.) 

Pope Paul VI recommended the feasts of Mary that "include the commemoration of Christ's Mother in' the annual cycle of the mysteries of her Son". 

Among the Marian feasts recommended by Paul VI, along with several others of importance, are the following: 

  • January 1: Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
  • February 2: Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
  • February 11: Our Lady of Lourdes
  • March 25: Solemnity of the Annunciation
  • May 24: Mary, Help of Christians
  • May 31: Feast of the Visitation
  • June 27: Our Lady of Perpetual Help
  • July 16: Our Lady of Mount Carmel
  • August 5: Dedication of Saint Mary Major
  • August 15: Solemnity of the Assumption
  • August 22: Memorial of the Queenship of Mary
  • September 8: Feast of the Birth of Mary
  • September 15: Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows 
  • October 7: Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary
  • November 21: Memorial of the Presentation of Mary 
  • December 8: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
  • December 12: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
  • December 25: Solemnity of Christmas

Paul VI also recommended the Optional Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and Saturday Masses of our Lady. 

The CCC (no. 971) quotes Pope Paul VI's words: "'The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship' (Lk 1:48; Paul VI, MC 56). The Church rightly honors the 'Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most. ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of "Mother of God", to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs. ...This very special devotion differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration' (LG 66). The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an 'epitome of the whole Gospel', express this devotion to the Virgin Mary (cf. Paul VI, MC 42; SC 103)."

Marian devotions find a place in all seasons and all stages of life. As part of family life, they help the family and its individual members grow in their spiritual lives as they learn from Mary's example and follow her guiding hand to her Son. (See CCC nos. 1655-57.) 

This book suggests many ways to incorporate a devotion to Mary into your domestic church, through family activities, prayers, observance of many of the feasts recommended by Pope Paul VI, crafts, and coloring pictures. Each Marian feast, approximately one for each month of the year, is presented here with a brief outline, some history, and suggestions for celebration. There are literally hundreds of feasts honoring our Lady. 

May our Lady bless your home and family! 

Catherine Fournier 

Note: For additional copies of the coloring pictures and craft patterns, visit our "secret" web page at: Here in the paper version of the book there is a URL pointing to full-size reproductions of all the craft and coloring illustrations in the book.  


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