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6/11/2014 10:14:00 AM
Julia Howe inspired Mother's Day observances
Julia Ward Howe
Julia Ward Howe

To the Catholic Sentinel:

Thank you, Archbishop Alexander Sample, for reminding us of “our mothers,” the filial aspect of Mother’s Day.

We tend to forget, though, that it was Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910, an abolitionist, social activist, poet, and writer of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” who asked for a “Mother’s Day for Peace” on June 2 every year.

This is her Mother’s Day Proclamation:

“Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, Whether our baptism be of water or of tears! Say firmly: We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country, to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: Disarm, disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence vindicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of council.

“Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, man as the brother of man, each bearing after his own kind the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women, without limit of nationality, be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient, and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.”

Julia Ward Howe and Rolando Rodriguez
Port Orford

Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, June 15, 2014
Article comment by: Rolando Rodriguez

With Julia Ward Howe, I humbly thank you.
Rolando, SFO.

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