Today is an important day, a day that we forget ourselves and remember the woman that gave us life and sacrificed so much to care and provide for us, teaching us the necessities of life. We take a moment to express heartfelt gratitude to all the many mothers out there. We express this sentiment especially to our own mothers and the mothers of our children and grandchildren. Truly there is no calling more selfless, loving, devoted and blessed than that of a mother.
Although Mother’s Day has become a common celebration, it was not always so. In fact, before the 1600’s, the only mother figures that were officially celebrated were maternal deities during ancient Egyptian, Roman and Greek ceremonies. Real, earthly mothers were not officially celebrated until the 1600’s where a clerical decree in England assigned a specific day as “Mothering Day”. Mothering Day occurred on a Sunday during lent and provided a one-day break from the restrictions from the fasting and penance of Lent. Workers were encouraged to travel home to see their mother’s and to celebrate together.
In America, however, the original settlers discontinued many of England’s holidays and mainly observed those with religious intent. Mother’s Day first became an idea in America during the Civil War. Julia Ward Howe, writer of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, was distraught that this battle led sons to kill the sons of other mothers, and mothers everywhere were left to suffer. She penned the Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870 declaring a day to celebrate peace and motherhood. Due to her efforts, Mother’s Day was celebrated in a few area, but it died out not long after she passed away.
Anna M. Jarvis, daughter of Anna Reeves Jarvis who also fought for Mother’s day after Howe’s declaration, continued on the fight after the death of her mother. Anna quite her job to dedicate all her efforts toward making Mother’s Day an official holiday. By 1908, the majority of states were already practicing the holiday although a proposal to make it official had been denied. Anna did not cease her efforts, and in 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed the holiday into national observance. Mother’s Day finally became an official national holiday to be celebrated on the second Sunday of May.
Whether it is Mother’s Day or any other day of the year, the women in our lives deserve our gratitude and loving support. We are so grateful for all that you do and thank you for your love and selfless service! Truly motherhood is the greatest treasure and should be honored not only today, but everyday.
Happy Mother’s Day!