Feast of the birth of the Blessed Virgin


September 8: Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary (15BC)

The Nativity of Our Lady, which happened, according to Baronius, in the year of the creation of the world 4007, on a Saturday, at daybreak, fifteen years before the birth of our Savior. This feast was instituted on the 8th of September, in the Greek Church and in the Latin, in the year 436, according to the same Baronius; and, in France, by Saint Maurillus, Bishop of Angers.

In the “Apocryphal” writings we read that the Virgin Mary was sprung from the royal family of David and educated at Jerusalem in the Temple of the Lord. Her father’s name was Joachim and her mother’s Anna. Her father’s family was of Galilee and her mother’s of Bethlehem. By some, Joachim is described as exceedingly rich. Tradition is unanimous that Mary was an only child, an heiress, and, therefore, so many of the eligible men were eager to obtain her hand in marriage.

Feast of the birth of the Blessed Virgin

Joachim and Anna lived chastely without any children for about twenty years, in the favor of God and the esteem of men. They vowed that if God should favor them with any issue, they would devote it to the service of the lord, for which reason they went every season of the year to the Temple. Again, the “Aprocryphal” tells us that both Joachim and Anna suffered much because of their childlessness, for to be this was considered a punishment from God. However, their prayers and sacrifices were rewarded and being informed by an angel that they would have a child, they offered ten she-lambs and twelve tender calves to the Lord in the Temple. And Anna brought forth, and inquiring of the midwife, she was told it was a girl, and she said:

“My soul has been magnified this day,”

and she laid her child down. The days having been fulfilled, Anna was purified, and gave the breast to the child and called her name Mary. In Mary’s soul from the very beginning was the bliss of heaven; in the first instant of her conception, Mary, by a singular grace and privilege granted by God, was preserved exempt from all original sin.

“Thou art all fair, O my Love, and there is not a spot in thee.” And “Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as any army set in array.”

Holy Mother Church has selected September 8, as the day to celebrate the Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mary’s Nativity, Theotokos Deipara, Mother of God. God never created a being more perfect, more admirable, than she is; He imbued her with a richer grace, power, and blessedness; but in one simple respect she surpasses all creatures, namely, that she is the Mother of her Creator – giving her sanctity and greatness that cannot be surpassed.

Men sometimes wonder that we call her Mother of Life, of Mercy, of Salvation; what are all these titles compared to that one name, Mother of God?

Joachim and Anna bestowed the name of Mary on their little daughter, and she has become “Our Lady,” the greatest lady of all. What a happy choice of name! Mary is of all names the most common and the least vulgar, the name which is never really given, but lent, to those who have the honor to bear it, for it belongs by particular right to her who was the first to make it glorious. “Oh Mary! How great is thy name!”

Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary

*from The Woman in Orbit

roman-catholic-saints.com, Marian Calendar

The nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The day destined for the parturition of Saint Anne and for the birth of Her, who was consecrated and sanctified to be the Mother of God, had arrived: a day most fortunate for the world. This birth happened on the eighth day of September.

Saint Anne was prepared by an interior voice of the Lord, informing Her, that the hour of her parturition had come. Full of the joy of the Holy Spirit at this information, she prostrated herself before the Lord and besought the assistance of his grace and his protection for a happy deliverance. Presently she felt a movement in her womb similar to that which is proper to creatures being born to the light. The most blessed child Mary was simultaneously ravished by divine providence and power into an ecstasy. Hence Mary was born into the world without perceiving it by her senses, for their operations and faculties were held in suspense. As She had the use of her reason, She would have perceived it by her senses, if they would have been left to operate in their natural manner at that time. However, the Almighty disposed otherwise, in order that the Princess of Heaven might be spared the sensible experience otherwise connected with birth. She was born pure and stainless, beautiful and full of grace, thereby demonstrating that She was free from the law and the tribute of sin.

Although She was born substantially like other daughters of Adam, her birth was accompanied by such circumstances and conditions of grace, that it was the most wonderful and miraculous birth in all creation and will eternally redound to the praise of her Maker. At twelve o clock in the night, this divine Luminary issued forth, dividing the night of the ancient Law and its pristine darkness from the new day of grace, which now was about to break into dawn.

She was clothed, handled, and dressed like other infants, though her soul dwelt in the Divinity; and She was treated as an infant, though She excelled all mortals and even all the angels in wisdom. Her mother did not allow Her to be touched by other hands than her own, but she herself wrapped Her in swaddling clothes: and in this Saint Anne was not hindered by her present state of childbirth; for she was free from the toils and labors which other mothers usually endure in such circumstances. So then Saint Anne received in her arms Her, who was her Daughter, but at the same time the most exquisite Treasure of all the universe, inferior only to God and superior to all other creatures. With fervent tears of joy, she offered this Treasure to his Majesty, saying interiorly: "Lord of infinite wisdom and power, Creator of all that exists, this Fruit of my womb, which I have received of thy bounty, I offer to Thee with eternal thanks, for without any merit of mine Thou hast vouchsafed it to me. Dispose Thou of the mother and Child according to thy most holy will and look propitiously down upon our lowliness from thy exalted throne. Be Thou eternally blessed, because Thou hast enriched the world with a Creature so pleasing to thy bounty and because in Her Thou hast prepared a dwelling-place and a tabernacle for the eternal Word (Sap. 9, 8). I tender my congratulations to my holy forefathers and to the holy Prophets, and in them to the whole human race, for this sure pledge of Redemption, which Thou hast given them. But how shall I be able worthily to treat Her, whom Thou hast given me as a Daughter? I that am not worthy to be her servant? How shall I handle the true ark of the Testament? Give me, O my Lord and King, the necessary enlightenment to know thy will and to execute it according to thy pleasure in the service of my Daughter."

The Lord answered the holy matron interiorly, that she was to treat her heavenly Child outwardly as mothers treat their daughters, without any demonstration of reverence; but to retain this reverence inwardly, fulfilling the laws of a true mother toward Her, and rearing Her up with all motherly love and solicitude. All this the happy mother complied with; making use of this permission and her mother s rights without losing her reverence, she regaled herself with her most holy Daughter, embracing and caressing Her in the same way as other mothers do with their daughters. But it was always done with proper reverence and consciousness of the hidden and divine sacrament known only to the mother and Daughter. The guardian angels of the sweet Child with others in great multitudes showed their veneration and worship to Mary as She rested in the arms of her mother; they joined in heavenly music, some of which was audible also to blessed Anne. The thousand angels appointed as guardians of the great Queen offered themselves and dedicated themselves to her service. This was also the first time, in which the heavenly Mistress saw them in a corporeal form with their devices and habiliments, and the Child asked them to join with Her in the praise of the Most High and to exalt Him in her name.

At the moment of the birth of our Princess Mary, the Most High sent the archangel Gabriel as an envoy to bring this joyful news to the holy Fathers in limbo. Immediately the heavenly ambassador descended, illumining that deep cavern and rejoicing the just who were detained therein. He told them that already the dawn of eternal felicity had commenced and that the reparation of man, which was so earnestly desired and expected by the holy Patriarchs and foretold by the Prophets, had begun, since She, who was to be the Mother of the Messiah, had now been born; soon would they now see the salvation and the glory of the Most High. The holy prince gave them an understanding of the excellence of Mary and of what the Omnipotent had begun to work in Her, in order that they might better comprehend the happy beginning of the mystery, which was to end their prolonged imprisonment. Then all the holy Patriarchs and Prophets and the rest of the just in limbo rejoiced in spirit and in new canticles praised the Lord for this benefit.

God made known to the angelic spirits that the three divine Persons had decreed and formed the sweet names of Jesus and Mary for the Son and Mother from the beginning before the ages and that they had been delighted with them and had engraved them on their eternal memories to be as it were the Objects for whose service They should create all things. Being informed of these and many other mysteries, the holy angels heard a voice from the throne speaking in the person of the Father: "Our chosen One shall be called MARY, and this name is to be powerful and magnificent. Those that shall invoke it with devout affection shall receive most abundant graces; those that shall honor it and pronounce it with reverence shall be consoled and vivified and will find in it the remedy of their evils, the treasures for their enrichment, the light which shall guide them to heaven. It shall be terrible against the power of hell; it shall crush the head of the serpent and it shall win glorious victories over the princes of hell."

The Lord commanded the angelic spirits to announce this glorious name to Saint Anne so that what was decreed in heaven might be executed on earth. On the eighth day after the birth of the great Queen, multitudes of beautiful angels in splendid array descended from on high bearing an escutcheon on which the name of MARY was engraved and shone forth in great brilliance. Appearing to the blessed mother Anne, they told her, that the name of her daughter was to be MARY, which name they had brought from heaven, and which divine Providence had selected and now ordained to be given to their child by Joachim and herself. The saint called for her husband, and they conferred with each other about this disposition of God in regard to the name of their Daughter. The more than happy father accepted the name with joy and devout affection. They decided to call their relatives and a priest and then, with much solemnity and festivity, they imposed the name of MARY on their Child. The Angels also celebrated this event with sweet and ravishing music, which was heard only by the mother and her most holy Daughter. Thus was the divine Princess named by the holy Trinity on the day of her nativity, and on earth, after eight days. This name was written in the list of other names when her mother presented herself at the temple according to the law. This was the birth, like to which none had been before, and the like of which cannot again happen in mere creatures. This was the most blessed birth of which nature was capable, for by it an Infant came into existence, whose entrance into the world was not only free from all impurities of sin but who was more pure and holy than the highest seraphim. The birth of Moses was celebrated on account of the beauty and handsomeness of the infant (Exod. 2, 2); all his beauty was only corruptible and apparent. But O how beautiful is our great Child! Oh how beautiful (Cant. 7, 6)! She is entirely beautiful and most sweet in her delights, since She is possessed of all grace and beauty, without being wanting in any. The laughter and the joy of the house of Abraham was the birth of the promised Isaac (Genes. 21, 6), conceived in a sterile womb, but this joy was great only because it foreshadowed and was derived from the birth of our infant Queen, toward which all this joy of Abraham was only a step. If that birth was so admirable and full of joy for the family of the Patriarch because it was a foreshadowing of the birth of sweetest Mary, heaven and earth should rejoice at the birth of Her, who gave a beginning to the restoration of heaven and the sanctification of the world. When Noah was born, his father Lamech was consoled (Genes. 5, 29), because in that son God had provided a progenitor of the human race in the ark and assured a restoration of the blessings, which the sins of men had forfeited. But all this happened merely as a type to foreshadow the birth of this Child, who was to be the true Reparatrix, being the mystical ark that contained the new and true Noah and which drew Him down from heaven, who was to fill with benediction all the inhabitants of the earth. O blessed birth! O joyful nativity! The most pleasing to the blessed Trinity in all the ages of the past, the joy of the angels, the relief of sinners, the delight of the just, and the singular consolation of all the holy souls in limbo! O precious and rich Pearl, that didst come forth to the light of the sun, still enclosed within the rough shell of this world! O sublime Infant, who, though scarcely noticed by terrestrial eyes in the material light, yet in the eyes of the highest King and his courtiers, excellest all that is not God in dignity and grandeur! All generations bless Thee, all the nations recognize and praise thy grace and beauty! Let the earth be made illustrious by thy birth, let mortals be rejoiced because their Mediatrix is born, who will fill up the vast emptiness of original sin.

*from the City of God by Mary of Agreda

A masterpiece that combines the visions of four great Catholic mystics into one coherent story on the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Based primarily on the famous revelations of Ven. Anne Catherine Emmerich and Ven. Mary of Agreda, it also includes many episodes described in the writings of St. Bridget of Sweden and St. Elizabeth of Schenau. To read this book, therefore, is to share in the magnificent visions granted to four of the most privileged souls in the history of the Church.

In complete harmony with the Gospel story, this book reads like a masterfully written novel. It includes such fascinating details as the birth and infancy of Mary, her espousal to St. Joseph and her Assumption into Heaven where she was crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth.

For young and old alike, The Life of Mary As Seen by the Mystics will forever impress the reader with an inspiring and truly unforgettable understanding of the otherwise unknown facts concerning Mary and the Holy Family. Imprimatur. 280 pgs, PB

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