The Mother of Mother’s Day

Think a minute… A woman named Anna Jarvis protested and fought against how Mother’s Day had become so commercialized. She said: “Mother’s Day has nothing to do with candy…Instead of a store-bought card, why not write your own words to the woman who has done more for you than anyone?

Take her out to dinner…[or] give her something useful and permanent. Maybe she needs new eyeglasses or a more comfortable bed.” 

If anyone had the right to speak out against all the moneymaking and commercializing of Mother’s Day, it was Anna Jarvis—because Mother’s Day was her idea. Anna was 42-years-old when her mother died on the second Sunday of May, 1906. Anna was determined to see her mother, and all mothers, honored every year. 

She arranged the first Mother’s Day church service on May 10, 1908, at the church in Grafton, West Virginia where Anna’s mother had taught Sunday school. 

Anna continued working to promote her idea everywhere. In just a few years, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation from the United States Congress that made the second Sunday in May officially Mother’s Day—which we still celebrate to this day.

But Anna, who was now 50-years-old, still did not believe that Mother’s Day was serving its true purpose; so she quit her job and spent the next 34 years, and all of her money, to campaign against the profit-making and commercializing of the day she had started in honor of motherhood.

Finally, Anna was too old and tired to speak out, with no money left. Now both deaf and blind, she was placed in long-term hospital care until she died at the age of 84. This story of the woman who invented Mother’s Day is even more amazing—because she herself never married and became a mother. She sacrificed all of her own opportunities and relationships, so all of us would remember the true purpose and meaning of Mother’s Day.

Won’t you ask the One Who gave you your mother to grow His unconditional love in your heart? Then you can truly love and honor your mother the way He intended—every day of the year.  Just think a minute… 

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