Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
List of Major Feast Days
September 8 (Gregorian Calendar)
September 21 (Julian Calendar)
There is no Gospel root for this feast day.
The only sources are from the Apocryphal writings.
Apocryphal writings are ancient manuscripts that have not been accepted by the Church as part of the Canon of Books that make up the Catholic Bible.
Church Tradition, however, accepts two basic truths from the Apocryphal writings: Mary was a descendent of King David and her birth was miraculous.
Tradition gives us the story of an aged couple called Joachim and Anna. Their inability to have children caused them intense grief and considerable embarrassment.
In Jewish tradition, barrenness was viewed as a curse because it meant the woman was unable to produce a possible Messiah for the people.
This is why the birth of Mary to this aged couple is celebrated with such joy.
The birth of Mary signals the beginning of our salvation.
From Mary will be born Jesus, the Son of God, and through Him our salvation and reconciliation with God will be complete.
The fact that this feast day is so early in the new Church year reminds us of the beginning of our salvation.
We know that God has chosen Mary for a special task even from the moment of her conception.
DID YOU KNOW?
- The Church Year begins on September 1.
- ‘God Bearer’, a term used for Mary, in Greek, is Theotokos and in Ukrainian Bohorodsie.
- Joachim was a descendent of King David.
- Anna was a descendent of Aaron.
- This Feast day is celebrated on September 8 on the Gregorian calendar and September 21 on the Julian calendar.
The Epistle from the Philippians (2:4-11) speaks of the birth of Jesus, “who, being in the form of God, made Himself of no reputation and took upon Himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men.”
The Gospel is from Luke 10:38-42 and 11:27-28. Jesus praises Mary of Bethany, who has chosen that better part, which shall not be taken away from her, in contrast to Martha who is troubled about many things. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, had the grace to say, “Be it done to me according to Your word”. She was obedient to the word of God spoken by Gabriel, and she kept it. “Blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.”
We bless and thank God for His handmaid who is also our Mother.
TROPAR (Tone 4)
Your birth, O Virgin Mother of God, *heralded joy to the universe, *for from you rose the Sun of Justice, Christ our God. * He took away the curse, He gave the blessing, * and by trampling death, *He gave us everlasting life.
KONDAK (Tone 4)
Through your holy birth, O Immaculate One, * Joachim and Anna were freed from the reproach of childlessness, * and Adam and Eve * from the corruption of death. * Delivered from the guilt of sin, * your people celebrate this when they cry out to you:* She who is barren gives birth to the Mother of God * and the Sustainer of our life.
HOW CAN I CELEBRATE THIS FEAST DAY?
- Bake a cake for Mary and share it with someone.
- Make a spiritual bouquet of flowers made up of good deeds and prayers.
- Visit someone who is aged, lonely, poor.
- Pray as a family.
- Share a special meal as a family with no television, no telephones.
- Go to church as a family.
- Thank God for the gift of Mary in our lives.
- Give food or a donation to the local Food Bank or other organization in honour of Mary’s Birthday.
- Put up the icon of the Feast day and light a candle by it to remind you to pray.