Mothers receive special blessing on Mother's Day in SoCal

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Mother's Day in Los Angeles County included Archbishop Jose Gomez blessing mothers at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and Hillside Memorial Park & Mortuary in Culver City conducting its annual Mother's Day Remembrance Service.

Gomez presented carnations to mothers as he celebrated the 10 a.m. English-language Mass as did the cathedral's pastor, the Rev. David Gallardo, at the noon Spanish-language Mass.

"We should give thanks to God for our mothers every day for all their sacrifices and love," Gomez said before the Mass. "For Catholics, motherhood is a vocation, a special calling from Jesus Christ. Mothers especially are our first teachers about prayer, charity and the practices of our Christian faith."

Hillside Memorial Park & Mortuary's Mother's Day Remembrance Service consisted of music, prayer, tribute and celebration.

In his Mother's Day proclamation, President Joe Biden wrote, "Every Mother's Day, we give special thanks to honor and celebrate the mothers in our lives. Mothers across America provide unconditional love and extraordinary strength. They are our rocks in moments of crisis and our guiding lights when we need it most."

"Our nation would not be where we are today without their enduring foundation of love and support," Biden said.

Mother's Day was initially proposed in 1870 by activist-poet Julia Ward Howe as a call for peace and disarmament. It was celebrated in 18 cities in 1873, continued for another 10 years or so in Boston under Howe's backing, then died out.

The second attempt to establish Mother's Day began on May 9, 1907, the second anniversary of the death of Anna Jarvis' mother Ann.

Jarvis invited several friends to her home in Philadelphia in commemoration of her mother's life, which included providing nursing care and promoting better sanitation during the Civil War, helping save lives on both sides.

Jarvis announced to her friends her idea of a day of national celebration in honor of mothers, which was first celebrated on May 10, 1908, at the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia, where Ann Jarvis worshipped.

The church is now known as the International Mother's Day Shrine.

West Virginia Gov. William E. Glasscock issued the first Mother's Day proclamation in 1910.

By 1911, it was celebrated in nearly every state. President Woodrow Wilson signed a congressional joint resolution in 1914 designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day nationally.

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