The Nativity of Mary is one of the most ancient Marian feasts (8th September). It is thought that this feast originated in connection with the Feast of the dedication of a church dedicated to Mary, now the Church of St Ann, in Jerusalem in the 6th century. Tradition holds that this is where the house of Mary’s parents, Joachim and Ann, stood and where she would have been born.
Nothing can be found in the Gospels to confirm this feast. They do not even give the names of her parents, which are based on a tradition that stems from the 2nd century Protoevangelium (apocryphal) Gospel of James.
The primary event in Mary’s life always remains the Annunciation. The Church looks on her as the Mother of God, but even more so as the disciple who can best offer us an example and model of the Christian life. In her faith, in her obedience to her Son, in the way she made herself a neighbour toward her cousin Elizabeth and to the couple in Cana on their wedding day.
Mary is the woman to imitate especially in the trust shown during the darkest moments in the life of Jesus, her Son.
She explains through her life, why the people of God know they can find their refuge and comfort, help and protection in her.
“Mary, in the beauty of following the Gospel and in her service to the common good of humanity and the planet, always teaches us to listen to these voices, and she herself becomes the voice of the voiceless in order ‘to give birth to a new world, where all of us are brothers and sisters, where there is room for all those whom our societies discard’” (Encyclical Letter, Fratelli tutti, 278).”
We Pray …
Hail, Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
(Note: the image to this post is a detail from the Sculpture of the Madonna, by Seamus Murphy, RHA which is outside St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, Ireland. Seamus Murphy was born in Greenhills, Burnfort, County Cork in 1907, Seamus Murphy (1907-1975) was one of the foremost stone carvers and sculptors of his time, his work forming part of modern European tradition).