Forty–two years ago today, on 21 November 1964, Pope Paul VI solemnly declared the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of the Church.
Pope John Paul II recalled this moment in a General Audience on 17 September 1997:
The title “Mother of the Church” thus reflects the deep conviction of the Christian faithful, who see in Mary not only the mother of the person of Christ, but also of the faithful. She who is recognized as mother of salvation, life and grace, mother of the saved and mother of the living, is rightly proclaimed Mother of the Church.
Pope Paul VI would have liked the Second Vatican Council itself to have proclaimed “Mary Mother of the Church, that is, of the whole People of God, of the faithful and their Pastors”. He did so himself in his speech at the end of the Council’s third session (21 November 1964), also asking that “henceforth the Blessed Virgin be honoured and invoked with this title by all the Christian people” ( AAS 1964, 37).