The feast of the birth of the Virgin Mary is coming up next week on September 8th! I always remembered this day when I was a kid because it was the day before my best friend’s birthday 🙂
This feast is celebrated exactly nine months after the feast of her Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8th). In the Catholic calendar, only Jesus and Mary have birthdays exactly nine months after their conception, because they are the only two persons in history to be conceived without original sin. (St. John the Baptist was, according to tradition, conceived with original sin, but upon hearing the greeting of Mary to his mother Elizabeth, was then freed from it at 6 months gestation in the womb of his mother. His birthday is therefore one day short, June 24th instead of the 25th.) Being conceived without original sin does not mean, however, that Mary had no need of a Savior. God in His great mercy applied the grace that was to be gained by her son Jesus on the cross to her at the moment of her conception. (God is outside time, after all!)
Since Mary is without original sin, she is the greatest mere creature ever created. (Jesus is not a mere creature.) She was the most beautiful, most lovable, most joyful little girl that has ever existed. She also felt things much more purely and deeply than we do– so her sorrows were that much greater, and her joys were that much greater.
I like to think of Mary as a child on her birthday, wearing a special birthday dress made by her mother St. Anne, who waited for a child for so many years. Her veil is embroidered with six- and seven-point stars, symbolizing respectively that she is a daughter of the royal house of David and the perfection of God.
We see also her Immaculate Heart, burning with love for God and ringed with pure white roses. Unlike depictions of her heart as a woman, however, the seven swords (symbolizing her seven sorrows) are not yet there.
Here is an excellent lecture, long but very worth while, on Our Lady of Sorrows (which is also coming up on Sept. 12!)– explaining in depth the perfections of her soul and the graces God bestowed on her: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZAM9ibUZK4
Here is a lovely little novena to Maria Bambina from which I took the following prayer: http://www.themostholyrosary.com/appendix3.htm
And, finally, a novena for marriage and family is beginning today: http://www.praymorenovenas.com/nativity-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-novena/
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