Saint of the Day ~ September 8


Today, the universal Church celebrates the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, nine months after the December 8th celebration of her Immaculate Conception as the daughter of Saints Joachim and Anne.

The circumstances of the Virgin Mary’s infancy and early life are not recorded in the Bible, but other documents and traditions describing the circumstances of her birth are cited by some of the earliest Christian writers from the first centuries of the Church.

These accounts, although not considered authoritative in the same manner as the Bible, outline some of the Church’s traditional beliefs about the birth of Mary.

The Protoevangelium of James, which was probably put into its final written form in the early second century, describes Mary’s father, Joachim, as a member of one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Joachim was deeply grieved, along with his wife Anne, by their childlessness.

Joachim and Anne began to devote themselves extensively and rigorously to prayer and fasting, initially wondering whether their inability to conceive a child might signify God’s displeasure with them. As it turned out, however, they were to be blessed beyond imagination!

It is in Mary, and through the foreseen merits of her birth – the Nativity, Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ – that all human nature is exalted, for it is through her birth that the dawning of mankind’s redemption and our salvation would be ultimately realized.

The late Pope Saint John Paul II once commented on Mary’s birth, “Mary is the way which leads to Christ, and that filial devotion to her takes nothing away from intimacy with Jesus. Indeed, it increases it and leads to the highest levels of perfection.”

We rejoice in her birthday, as the Church has done from the earliest centuries. This is one of the three birthdays which we recognize in the Church Calendar – the Birth of Jesus (December 25), the birth of John the Baptist (June 24), and the birth of Mary.

We celebrate this special Feastday of Mary on September 8.

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(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Proper for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

“Father of Mercy, give Your people help and strength from Heaven. The birth of the Virgin Mary’s Son was the dawn of our salvation. May this celebration of her birthday bring us closer to lasting peace.

“Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”


As we celebrate the birth of our Blessed Mother Mary, may this most beautiful rendition of the “Ave Maria” fill your hearts with peace and God’s unfathomable Love.

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