Saint of the day:
Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Spain)
Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
December 18 was a special day in the Church's calendar to contemplate this profound mystery.
Historically the Church, specifically the local church in Spain, celebrated a fascinating feast on December 18 called “The Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” It can be traced back to the 7th century and was originally the feast of the Annunciation.
At that time special feast days during Lent were not allowed and so instead of transferring the feast of the Annunciation from March 25 to a random day during Easter, the Church decided to transfer it to the Advent season. The date of December 18 was picked and the feast remained focused on the mysteries surrounding the Annunciation for several centuries.
By the 17th century the regulations during Lent were relaxed and the Church saw it more fitting to celebrate the Annunciation in March than in December.
They transferred the feast back to its original date, but in Spain they kept December 18 as a special day dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Its celebration was even given an octave, making each day before Christmas a special day in honor of the Blessed Mother.