What does it mean to be a Spiritual Mother?

What does it mean to be a Spiritual Mother?


Being a Spiritual Mother is a supernatural way to care for souls, especially priests. It is a type of maternity that nurtures divine life in others by doing God’s will. Spiritual Motherhood is open to all Catholic women regardless of age, state of life, or vocation. “This type of motherhood is not only for mothers of families, but is just as possible for an unmarried girl, a widow, or for someone who is ill.” (Eucharistic Adoration for the Sanctification of Priests and Spiritual Maternity, First Edition, Page 11)

Theologically speaking, what is “Spiritual Motherhood”?

Spiritual Motherhood is a type of maternity women experience by grace, within their call to holiness, in imitation of Mary, Mother of Priests. This type of motherhood “according to the Spirit” is made possible by participating in Mary’s universal Spiritual Motherhood.

What do Spiritual Mothers ‘do’?

The practice of Spiritual Maternity is lived out in many different ways. Numerous women, both married and unmarried alike, have spent much time caring for children and people in general, whether related to them or not. Some examples of acts of spiritual motherhood can include a woman or a consecrated sister: teaching students in a classroom, walking children to the bus, cooking a meal for a priest, washing the sacred linens for Mass, cleaning the Church, etc. And although the good works of Spiritual Mothers can be expressed in many different ministries, prayer, especially within the celebration of the Eucharist, is one of the greatest ways Spiritual Maternity can bear fruit and be effective. Some prayerful recommendations for Spiritual Mothers are:

  • Full and Active Participation at Mass and the offering up of Holy Communion
  • Eucharistic Adoration before the Most Blessed Sacrament
  • Praying the Liturgy of the Hours, especially Morning Prayer (Lauds) and Evening Prayer (Vespers)
  • Praying the Holy Rosary
  • Making Spiritual Communions (throughout the day)
  • Offering up work and sacrifices
  • Doing penance and making reparation for people’s sins

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