Marian devotees around the world, including the Philippines, celebrate Wednesday, September 8, one of the oldest Marian solemnities and one of the principal feasts of the liturgical devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary – the Feast of the Nativity of Mary.
Commemorative masses in honor of the Blessed Mother will be offered in Roman Catholic churches and Marian shrines across the country. Before the pandemic, Marian schools held living rosaries on the feast of the birth of Mary.
The Liturgy of the Hours, one of the highest expressions of liturgical worship, which involves the recitation of morning, midday, and evening prayers, will be observed in many churches.
Religious congregations such as the Sons of the Holy Mary
Immaculate and the Society of Divine Word will also profess their religious vows to signify their total love, devotion, and commitment to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Roman Catholic Church observes only two birth anniversaries of saints, that of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, and St. John the Baptist, the precursor of Christ, on June 24. The reason for this is found in the singular mission each had in salvation history but traditionally also because they were both holy in their very birth (Mary’s Immaculate Conception while John was sanctified in Saint Elizabeth’s womb according to the traditional interpretation of Luke 1:15).
Church leaders said, “The birth of the Blessed Mother celebrates the dawning of the day of redemption, the moment when she, who was to be the mother of our Savior, was born. In celebrating the Nativity of Mary, Christians anticipate the Incarnation and birth of her Divine Son and give honor to the mother of our Lord.”
The Feast of the Nativity of Mary or Marymas originated in Jerusalem as early as the 6th century. It was extended to the Universal Church by Pope Sergius I in the year 687. The Virgin Mary was born in Nazareth, Galilee to Sts. Joachim and Ann, who were then both advanced in years. They prayed and fasted for a child and in answer to their prayers, God granted them a daughter who was to be the Mother of the Messiah.