The Nativity of
The Blessed Virgin Mary
Feast Day - September 8
Thy birth, O Virgin Mother of God,
heralded joy to all the world.
For from thou hast risen the Sun of justice,
Christ our God.
Destroying the curse, He gave blessing;
and damning death, He bestowed on us
Blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
For from thou hast risen of Sun of justice,
Christ our God.
from The Divine Office - Matins (Morning Prayer)
Nativity of Mary
Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been celebrated in the
Church at least since the 8th Century. The Church's calendar observes the
birthdays of only two saints: St. John the Baptist (June 24), and Mary,
Mother of Jesus.
the Baptist is considered especially sanctified even before his birth. His
birth to Elizabeth and Zachariah is foretold in the first chapter of Luke,
and it is also recorded (Luke 1;41) that Elizabeth felt the infant John
"leap in her womb" when Mary approached her soon after the
birth of Mary was also miraculous. She was conceived without sin as a
special grace because God had selected her to become the mother of His Son
(the feast of her Immaculate Conception is celebrated on December 8). The
dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, though generally
believed throughout the Church for many centuries, was formally declared
by Pope Pius IX in 1854.
is nothing contained in Scripture about the birth of Mary or her
parentage, though Joseph's lineage is given in the first chapter of the
Gospel of Matthew. The names of Mary's parents, Joachim and Anna, appear
in the apocryphal "Gospel of James", an book dating from the 2nd
Century AD, not part of the authentic canon of Scripture. According to
this account, Joachim and Anna were also beyond the years of
child-bearing, but prayed and fasted that God would grant their desire for
to one tradition, the house in which Mary was born in Nazareth is the same
one in which the Annunciation took place. By another tradition, the
Annunciation site is beneath the Crusader church of St. Anna in Jerusalem,
under an 3rd Century oratory known as the "Gate of Mary".
celebrating the nativity of Mary, Christians anticipate the Incarnation
and birth of her Divine Son, and give honor to the mother of Our Lord and
the day of our salvation dawned
when the Blessed Virgin gave birth to your Son.
As we celebrate her nativity
grant us your grace and your peace.
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
birth, O Virgin Mother of God,
heralded joy to all the world.
From a discourse by Saint Andrew of
The old has passed away: all things
are made new
‘The fulfilment of
the law is Christ himself, who does not so much lead us away from the
letter as lift us up to its spirit. For the law’s consummation was
this, that the very lawgiver accomplished his work and changed letter
into spirit, summing everything up in himself and, though subject to
the law, living by grace. He subordinated the law, yet harmoniously
united grace with it, not confusing the distinctive characteristics of
the one with the other, but effecting the transition in a way most
fitting for God. He changed whatever was burdensome, servile and
oppressive not what is light and liberating, so that we should be
enslaved no longer under the elemental spirits of the world, as
the Apostle says, nor held fast as bondservants under the letter of
This is the highest, all-embracing benefit that Christ has bestowed on
us. This is the revelation of the mystery, this is the emptying out of
the divine nature, the union of God and man, and the deification of
the manhood that was assumed. This radiant and manifest coming of God
to men most certainly needed a joyful prelude to introduce the great
gift of salvation to us. The present festival, the birth of the Mother
of God, is the prelude, while the final act is the fore-ordained union
of the Word with flesh. Today the Virgin is born, tended and formed
and prepared for her role as Mother of God, who is the universal King
of the ages.
Justly, then, do we celebrate this mystery since it signifies for us a
double grace. We are led toward the truth, and we are led away from
our condition of slavery to the letter of the law. How can this be?
Darkness yields before the coming of the light, and grace exchanges
legalism for freedom. But midway between the two stands today’s
mystery, at the frontier where types and symbols give way to reality,
and the old is replaced by the new.
Therefore, let all creation sing and dance and unite to make worthy
contribution to the celebration of this day. Let there be one common
festival for saints in heaven and men on earth. Let everything,
mundane things and those above, join in festive celebration. Today
this created world is raised to the dignity of a holy place for him
who made all things. The creature is newly prepared to be a divine
dwelling place for the Creator.