Although not quite a Celtic Legend, Mother’s Day, was inspired by those countries that celebrated Goddesses and respected the important role of mothers. In ancient times, the Egyptians celebrated the mother deity, Isis, who was regarded as the Mother of the pharaohs. And in Ireland, the Goddess Danu was considered the Mother of the Tuatha de Dannan. (The Tuatha are a race of magical beings that include fairies)
In sixteenth century, England and Ireland, there was a custom called, Mothering Sunday. On the fourth Sunday of Lent, Christians were encouraged to visit their mother church and reunite with their children.
But how did it become as it is today?
The credit goes to, Julia Ward Howe, the author who penned The Battle Hymn of the Republic. After the death and devastation of the Civil War, that pitted brother against brother, father against son, and neighbor against neighbor, Julia called mothers on both sides to come together. Her idea was for an international Mother’s Day – a day of peace and reconciliation. As with most things, it didn’t catch hold right away, but the seed was planted.
After Julia’s death, Anna Reeves Jarvis and her daughter continued the fight to make Mother’s Day official, not just in the United States, but in the world. It was not easy. Many opposed the idea, including congress. They didn’t give up. Anna and her daughter, (also named Anna), continued to pursue their goal, believing that this was an important issue. After all – this was about peace.
Despite defeats in the congress, by 1909 forty-six states were celebrating Mother’s Day as well as parts of Canada and Mexico. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance, declaring the second Sunday in May as Mother’s day.
Both Julia Ward Howe and Anna Reeves Jarvis did not live to see this historical occasion, but we owe them our gratitude for never giving up. It is yet another lesson in the power of women and what they can accomplish.
May you all find your passions and the inner strength to accomplish them.Happy Mother’s Day, Pam