Pope Francis: ‘We Cannot Forget Mothers!’

Marks Celebration of Mother’s Day Around the World

'We Cannot Forget Mothers!'
Pope Blessed Expectant Mother at 2019 General Audience © Vatican Media

“And we cannot forget mothers! This Sunday, in many countries Mother’s Day is celebrated. Let us greet all the mothers in the world, even those who are no longer with us. A round of applause for mothers!”

Those were the welcoming words of Pope Francis for moms around the world, said Sunday, May 9, after reciting the noonday Regina Caeli with the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Mother’s Day is observed in many parts of the world in May; some countries — Ireland, in particular, observe the day in March.

The modern holiday began in the United States, at the initiative of Anna Jarvis in the early 20th century, who organized the first Mother’s Day service of worship and celebration at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, which serves as the International Mother’s Day Shrine today.

As evidence of the importance of motherhood, on Friday, May 14, Pope Francis will open, in the Foyer of the Auditorium on Via della Conciliazione in Rome, the first edition of the General States of the Birth Rate.

Gigi De Palo, national president of the Forum of Family Associations convoked the General States, to put around a table the institutions, businesses, the media, and the world of culture, to reflect further on the demographic challenge and to solicit a new narrative on the subject of the birth rate, as reported May 3 by Exaudi’s Deborah Castellano Lubov.

For over a decade, Italy has become more elderly and less populated, suffering from structural and legislative deficiencies at the fiscal, economic and social level, which spill over to the collapse of births.

After the Holy Father’s intervention, there will be institutional greetings by the Minister for the Family, Elena Bonetti, by the Minister of Education, Patrizio Bianchi, and by the President of the Lazio Region, Nicola Zingaretti. Immediately after, Gian Carlo Blangiardo, President of ISTAT will present unpublished data and projections on the birth rate in Italy in the coming decades.

Three thematic roundtables will follow: one dedicated to the business world, one to banks and insurance companies, and one to the media, sport, and entertainment world.

Among the guests are heads of companies, such as the Poste Italiane, Open Fiber, RAI, ENEL, Federcasse, Lux Vide, Generali Italia, and the Mediolanum Onlus Foundation. The interventions of journalists won’t be lacking in the debate, among them the Director of Avvenire, Marco Tarquinio, the leader writer of Corriere della Sera, Aldo Cazzullo, and the journalist of La Repubblica, Annalisa Cuzzocrea. Talking among others about the family and birth rate will be soccer player Ciro Immobile, striker of Lazio, together with his wife Jessica and actress Anna Foglietta.