The Catholic Church celebrates with great honour the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the 8th of September every year. In many churches, this feast culminates with the cutting of a “Birthday Cake” which is shared by all. Roman Catholics celebrate the births of only three persons. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin, Mary, and St. John the Baptist. We celebrate all three birthdays for the same reason; all three were born without Original Sin. Christ, because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit; Mary, because she was kept free from the stain of Original Sin by the action of God in His foreknowledge that she would agree to be the mother of Christ; and Saint John, because he was blessed in the womb by the presence of his Savior when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, came to aid her cousin Elizabeth in the final months of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. This is a day of obligation or in other words, a day on which Catholics are obliged to attend Holy Mass and engage in rest from work and other acts which may hinder them from worship owed to the Lord.
You may wonder why September 8th has been so deemed to be the birthday of the Virgin. It falls exactly nine months after December 8th the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. The term Immaculate Conception does not refer to the conception of Jesus as many erroneously think, but to the Conception of Mother Mary in the womb of St. Anne, her mother. Mary’s father, Joachim, was considered a wealthy man, a member of one of the twelve tribes of Israel and Joachim and Anne were very worried because of their childlessness which grieved them deeply. They engaged rigorously in prayer and fasting wondering if their inability to conceive a child was because of God’s displeasure with them. As it turned out, they were blessed even more abundantly when an angel appeared to Anne and prophesied to her that in future all generations would honour their future child.
Saint Augustine described the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary as an event of cosmic and historic significance, and an appropriate prelude to the birth of Jesus Christ. “She is the flower of the field from whom bloomed the precious lily of the valley,” he said.
Let us celebrate the birth of our blessed mother with the honour she deserves and ask her to intercede with Jesus on our behalf in our hour of need, as He had done so many times when He was requested to do so, by His mother so long ago.
The Catholic Church celebrates with great honour the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the 8th of September every year. In many churches, this feast culminates with the cutting of a “Birthday Cake” which is shared by all