“Notre Dame” translates from French to “Our Lady.” Our Marian namesake invites us to imitate our Blessed Mother. Her life was marked by acceptance of the Father’s will and bringing Jesus, her son, into the world. We, as sons and daughters of this most beautiful mother, are invited to bring Jesus into our worlds as well. We pray that by reading and learning about Mary will deepen your relationship with her and inspire others to do the same. May you experience the pure love of her Immaculate Heart.

The Catholic Church honors Mary with feast days based on dogma, apparitions, popular devotion, and events from her life and the scriptures. Below you can find a breakdown of the major Marian feast days.

January 1- Mary, Mother of God

Mary’s divine motherhood gives add another point of reflection during the Christmas season. It invites us to reflect on Mary’s in the Incarnation of the Jesus Christ. She accepts the message by the angel to become the Mother of God (Luke 1:26-38). Her fiat in this moment makes her an important instrument in God’s redemptive plan.

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. -Luke 2:16

Why do Catholics call Mary Mother of God?

February 11- Our Lady of Lourdes

This feast celebrates Our Blessed Mother’s appearance to Saint Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes (a southwestern city in France). Our Lady of Lourdes appeared 18 times from February 11 until July 16, 1858. The grotto at Lourdes is the spot that Our Lady appeared to Bernadette. Many pilgrims visit this spot today for its miraculous and healing waters.

“His mother said to the servants,
“Do whatever he tells you.” -John 2:5

Franciscan Media- Our Lady of Lourdes

March 25- The Annunciation

This feast day we remember when the angel Gabriel visited Mary. He announced that God had chosen her to be the mother of his beloved Son, Jesus. Mary humbly responds with her fiat and accepts the will of the Lord. Upon receiving her consent, the Holy Spirit descends upon Mary and she conceives Jesus. On this day, we thank God for his redemptive plan and the blessing of Mary as our Mother.

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her. -Luke 1:38

The Holy Spirit and Mary: Model of the Nuptial Union of God with Humanity

May 13- Our Lady of Fatima

On May 13, the Church celebrates the anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady in 1917 at Fatima, Portugal. She appeared to Lucia, who was 9 years old, and Franco, 8, and Jacinta, 6 (Lucia’s cousins) in the town of Fatima, Portugal.

While Jesus was speaking,
a woman from the crowd called out and said to him,
“Blessed is the womb that carried you
and the breasts at which you nursed.”
He replied, “Rather, blessed are those
who hear the word of God and observe it.” -Luke 11:27-28

EWTN- Our Lady of Fatima

may 31- The Visitation

On this day, we celebrate the Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. The gospel of Luke tells us that Mary made her way to her cousin in haste. As at the Annunciation, Mary responds to the voice of the Lord with promptness of will. When Mary enters Elizabeth’s home, her baby (John the Baptist) leapt at the sound of her greeting. It is at this moment that the Church recognizes that John is filled with the Holy Spirit (baptized). Elizabeth recognizes the honor of Mary bringing God to visit, and in response, Mary proclaims the Magnificat.

And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name. -Luke 1:46-49

What the Holy Fathers tell us about the Visitation

June 27- Our Lady of Perpetual Help

July 16- Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

August 15- The Assumption

August 22- The Queenship of Mary

September 8- the Birth of Mary

September 12- The Most Holy Name of Mary

September 15- Our Lady of Sorrows

October 7- OurLady of the Rosary

November 21- The Presentation of Mary

December 8- Immaculate Conception

December 12- Our Lady of Guadalupe