Historical Background of the Saturdays in Honor of Mary
“To dedicate Saturday in honor of Mary is an ancient custom. It is based on a legendary account that Jesus appeared to Mary on the Saturday, the day after His death. He did so to reward her for her steadfast faith in His divinity, which did not waver under the Cross. Another strain of devotional thought explains that Divine Wisdom, becoming flesh of the Virgin Mary, rested (Saturday=Sabbath=day of rest) in Mary as on a bed.
‘One of the oldest customs traced to honoring Mary on Saturday in the Church of Rome took place on the Saturday before “Whitsunday” [White Sunday]. The newly-baptized members of the Church were led from St. John’s baptistry of the Lateran to Mary’s great shrine on the Esquilin, St. Mary Major [built under Pope Liberius 352-66]. St. John of Damascus’ († 754) writings testify to the celebration of Saturdays dedicated to Mary in the Church of the East. The liturgical books of the ninth and tenth centuries contain Masses in honor of Mary on Saturday.”
“On February 11, 1858, a young lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous–beginning a series of visions. The lady identified herself with the words: “I am the Immaculate Conception.”
People began to flock to Lourdes from other parts of France and from all over the world. In 1862 Church authorities confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions. The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes became worldwide in 1907.” -American Catholic
November 21 — “It is an ancient tradition, that the Blessed Virgin Mary was solemnly offered to God in the temple in her infancy. This festival of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin, or, as it is often called by the Greeks, the entrance of the Blessed Virgin into the Temple, is mentioned in the most ancient Greek Menologies extant.” Rev. Alban Butler. To learn more go to: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/presentationoftheblessedvirginmary.asp
Celebrated every year on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary commemorates the death of Mary and her bodily assumption into Heaven, before her body could begin to decay–a foretaste of our own bodily resurrection at the end of time.
Father in heaven,
all creation rightly gives you praise,
for all life and all holiness come from you.
In the plan of your wisdom
she who bore the Christ in her womb
was raised body and soul in glory to be with him in heaven.
May we follow her example in reflecting your holiness
and join in her hymn of endless love and praise.
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. “The young Jewish girl goes to the stone synagogue in Nazareth. She offers devotions in the small women’s section adjacent to the main prayer hall. In chorus with other congregants, the girl recites psalms and absorbs their lessons: ‘Abandon yourself to God.'” (Sullivan, Robert. “A Meditation on Mary.” Lifebooks Mary, Blessed are You Among Women. November 28, 2014. Vol. 14, No. 20: Page 10.)