+ The feast of the Birth of Mary bridges the promises made to the people of Israel with the coming of the long-awaited Messiah.
+ According to tradition, Mary was born to Ann and Joachim, an elderly couple who had long prayed that God would bless them with a child. Although stories of the birth and childhood of Mary of Nazareth are not included in Sacred Scripture, there are many legends related to the early life of the Mother of Jesus.
+ This feast is connected with a fifth-century basilica built on the site of the pool of Bethesda (see John 5:1-9), on the traditional location of the home of Saints Joachim and Ann. The current Basilica of St. Ann stands there today.
+ The feast was introduced in the city of Rome by Pope Sergius I.
The Feast of the Nativity of Mary marks the opening of the liturgical year in many of the Eastern Catholic Rites and Orthodox Churches.
“She is our Mother—the mother of all flesh, a new Eve. But she is also our daughter. The ancient world of sorrow, the world before the access of grace, cradled her to its heavy heart for many centuries, dimly awaiting the Virgo Genitrix (the Virgin Mother). For centuries and centuries those ancient hands, so full of sin, cherished the wondrous girl-child whose name even was unknown.”—Georges Bernanos, Diary of a Country Priest
Impart to your servants, we pray, O Lord,
the gift of heavenly grace,
that the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin
may bring deeper peace
to those for whom the birth of her Son
was the dawning of salvation.
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.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.