Bold In Work(wear)- Celebrate the Feast
During my middle school and high school years, I was fortunate enough to attend an all-girls Religious of the Sacred Heart school. The society, founded by Ste. Madeline Sophie Barat to educate young women and girls, is deeply steeped in tradition. One of these traditions is to celebrate the feast of Mater Admirabilis (Mother most Admirable): a depiction of Mary as a young girl serenely contemplating her fiat clothes in a beautiful soft pink. The image received its name when, during a visit to a Sacred Heart convent, Pope Pius IX saw the image and declared “Mother, Most Admirable!” at Our Lady’s gentle beauty. To commemorate the feast day, students at Sacred Heart schools wear our hair in pink ribbons to mass to honor Mater.
Transitioning to the workplace, I’ve not given up the tradition of wearing pink to commemorate the day. Though, these days I opt for a soft pink blazer rather than tying my hair up in a bow.
But wearing pink on the day is more than just me trying to live up to professional workwear standards set by Elle Woods – it’s about setting the day apart. The day is special, so I should be acting like it’s special. I should be celebrating Our Lady on her feast.
Beyond appropriately fêting the day, my sartorial choices call me to prayer and serve as a reminder to act as I’m called as a Christian. When I wear something to commemorate the feast, I have a very visual reminder to live out my fiat with gentle kindness and love as Mater would. By remembering the day is different, I am reminded that we as Catholics are set apart, even when living and working in the real world. Not to mention, it provides an opportunity for evangelization. When someone comments on the pink, I’m able to explain that I’m wearing it for Our Lady!
I love the tradition so much that I have since extended it beyond just wearing pink on the feast of Mater. Wearing a rose blouse on October 1st for my confirmation saint, Ste. Therese, nudges me to spend my day performing small acts of kindness for others. Donning a navy shift on May 1st for Mama Mary reminds me that I am always safe under her mantel and should make others feel the same way when I encounter them. Pairing a red dress with gold bangles for the feast of the Sacred Heart makes me feel all the warm radiance and love of His Most Sacred Heart even when sitting in Zoom meetings.
Weaving the religious meaning of feast days into my wardrobe choices helps create an intentionality to the otherwise mundane task of dressing for work. If you’re looking for a way to celebrate feasts more actively, add some joy to your routine, and possibly even evangelize, I would encourage you to go through and pick out some of your favorite feast days and try dressing in a way that gives a subtle nod to the feast day. It’s a personal tradition that will leave you feeling all the more joyful – just as if you have pink ribbons in your hair.
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