Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

In Catholicism, May is the month of Mary. This originated in the 13th century then was made more widespread by the Jesuits in the 1700s. It's easy to forget sometimes,
even though this awesome bumper sticker exists, that even one of the most influential people of all time (put on to-do list: Find out if Jesus has actually been on the cover of Time Magazine) would not have thrived if not by nursing from His mother's breast. 

Catholics are prudes. Like they would even talk about, let alone show an image of breastfeeding. 

                                       Right and wrong.

If you've ever been in a Catholic church, you've probably noticed that the focal point of the sanctuary is, in most cases, a crucifix, the tabernacle or a painting of the resurrection. This wasn't always the case. Remember when Pope Francis made the news when he spoke out to mothers on multiple occasions urging them to breastfeed their babies in public if they are hungry in public? It brought to light some reminders that the Madonna, images of the baby Jesus being nursed by His mother used to be the focal point of some Catholic churches. It wasn't until after the Council of Trent in the mid-1500s that the Church started to frown upon nudity and pretty much erased images of Jesus the nursling from churches in Europe.

What. A. Shame.

Around 2008, chatter started buzzing around The Vatican about resurrecting some of these images and putting more of a concentration back on the gift Mary gave us through nursing Jesus and to get rid of the stigma of obscenity surrounding breastfeeding.

Warning: it's about to get very Catholic up in here... 

As a Catholic, breastfeeding mother, this is my reflection throughout the month of May - What a gift Mary gave. What a gift all mothers give. How could our salvation have been won if not for Mary nursing this little child. How could Jesus have made the sacrifice without the sacrifices of his mother? Our mother? 

Til next time, mamas - 

Keep Calm and Nurse On


  1. What a great post! I love that I feel like the Catholic Church is embracing nursing more. While the church has always been supportive of breastfeeding, I feel like lately (especially with Pope Francis and his comments) that support had increased. Thanks for reminding us what a gift breastfeeding is!

  2. Love this, Jessica! When researching for my Breastfeeding in Art post, I found a lot of critical literature that claimed Mary's life-giving milk is a direct parallel for her son's life-giving blood. At Church on Easter Sunday, one of the readings was I Peter 2:2, which draws a similar parallel between the soul's hunger for salvation and a newborn's hunger for his mother's milk. I appreciate that the Pope is helping to restore breastfeeding to its rightful place in Christian culture!