Image by Frauke Riether 

(Editor's Note: We are reprinting this emailed message from Marianne Williamson due to its informaton, importance, and inspiration that needs to be brought to light, and to life.)

The original Mother's Day Proclamation was written by Julia Ward Howe in 1870. It was a statement of mothers who had lost sons in the North joined with mothers who had lost sons in the South during the Civil War, proclaiming a day once a year for a "general congress of women" to declare the end to war and the creation of peace.

That Mother's Day has devolved the way it has, robbed of its juice and edginess, is part and parcel of our modern tendency to put marketing before meaning. Yet never has there been a more critical moment for women to foreswear the ways of war and seek a better way. I find that reading this Proclamation every Mother's Day is an important act of dedication to justice and celebration of the power of women.

Consider what it means for the mothers of the Palestinian dead to share their tears with mothers of the Israeli dead. In fact, peace movements of that nature have been ongoing in Israel and Palestine for years. One of the great tragedies of this moment is how pushed to the back burner such movements have now been, and I look forward to showcasing them in the days and weeks ahead. I have the greatest admiration for those who continue to do such work. They know, and I know, that it's the foundation of a new and better world.


"Arise, then... women of this day! 
Arise, all women who have hearts,
whether our baptism be that 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 council with each other as to the means
whereby the great human family can live in peace,
each bearing after his own kind the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask
that a general congress of women, without limit of nationality, 
may 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, Boston, 1870

This year, let's embrace the meaning of these words more deeply than ever before. May they blossom in our hearts and turn our tears into powerful action.

Book by this Author:

BOOK: A Politics of Love

A Politics of Love: A Handbook for a New American Revolution
by Marianne Williamson

In this stirring call to arms, the activist, spiritual leader, and New York Times bestselling author of the classic A Return to Love confronts the cancerous politics of fear and divisiveness threatening the United States today, urging all spiritually aware Americans to return to—and act out of—our deepest value: love. (Also available as a Kindle edition.)

For more info and/or to order this book, click here.  Also available as a Hardcover, an Audiobook, and as a Kindle edition. 

About the Author

photo of Marianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed author, speaker, and activist. Six of her published books have been New York Times bestsellers. Her books include A Return to Love, A Year of Miracles, The Law of Divine Compensation, The Gift of Change, The Age of Miracles, Everyday Grace, A Woman’s Worth, and Illuminata. She has been a popular guest on television programs such as Oprah, Good Morning America, and Charlie Rose. She was a candidate in the Democratic party in the 2020 and in the current 2024 election.

Visit the author's website at: as well as 

More books by this Author.

Video production of the Mother's Day Proclamation: