Since the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis has given particular attention to how Catholics celebrate the Mass. The Mass is not only, as the Second Vatican Council clearly taught, the “source and summit of the Christian life,” but also a school. Because the faith of believers is profoundly influenced by the way the Church prays (lex orandi, lex credendi), Pope Francis has sought in various ways to strengthen the liturgical curriculum.

He has buttressed the Marian piety of the Mass, establishing the memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church, on the day after Pentecost and extending the memorial of Our Lady of Loreto to the universal Church. He has bolstered devotion to St. Joseph as the guardian of the Church by requiring his intercession to be invoked in every Eucharistic Prayer. He has underlined the necessary connection between liturgy and charity in establishing in 2017 the World Day of the Poor on the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time.

We come in a few days to another of his liturgical initiatives. On Jan. 26, the Church will celebrate for the first time an important new annual feast, the Sunday of the Word of God, which Pope Francis established to accentuate the importance that sacred Scripture is meant to have in the faith, prayer and lives of believers.

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