Today, as we celebrate the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we read the birth of Jesus in the gospel because, as we all know, the nativity of our Mother Mary is not mentioned in the gospels. It is not mentioned in the modern canon of Scripture either, whether in the Old Testament or the New Testament. However, we find it in Protoevangelium of James (the gospel of James), an apocryphal text from the late second century.
It is said that the parents of our Mama Mary are Joachim and Anne. Joachim was a wealthy member of one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Although rich, Joachim and Anne were childless. So, they began to devote themselves extensively and rigorously to prayer and fasting. God listened to their prayer. Anne conceived and gave birth to Mary. And the Church says Mary was immaculate, conceived without sin.
Before Anne conceived Mary in her womb, it is said that an angel revealed to her and prophesied that all generations would honor their future child. The angel said: “The Lord has heard your prayer, and you shall conceive, and shall bring forth, and your seed shall be spoken of in all the world.” So, it is happening today. The whole world is speaking of our Mama Mary, celebrating her birthday.
We honor the Blessed Virgin Mary because, first of all, she was chosen and set aside by God. The Church believed that she was conceived without sin as she was destined to be the temple of the Holy Spirit, the one who was going to carry God the Son in her womb and give birth to him as a human being. She had an extraordinary chance to participate in the plan of salvation. She was chosen to be the mother of God. It was a special grace, and Mary was the one who received it.
Another reason why we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary is because of her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord and King. As it was in the olden days, the mother of a king was highly regarded and respected, honored, and given the same honor that was due to the king. So, it is good and right to respect, honor the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is fitting because she stands on the right side of the king and is interceding for us. By honoring her, we will receive what we need from the Lord.
The third reason we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary is because of her virtues. While she was living on earth, Mary had great faith in God. She totally surrendered and committed her life to the will of God. She lived an exemplary life. She was filled with the love of God and love for God. She was very devoted to her Son. She followed him throughout his life, throughout his earthly ministries, and even unto the foot of the cross. For this reason, we honor her also as the greatest among all the saints.
Therefore, today, as we celebrate the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, let us rejoice for our salvation because our Mama Mary is like the dawn before the Sun; from her rose the Sun of justice, our Lord Jesus Christ. She was born for the joy of all the people of God. At the same time, let us honor her and imitate her virtues of faith, hope, and love in God, her other virtues such as humility, obedience, chastity, patience, continual prayer and her example of total commitment to the will of God in our life. And let us ask her to intercede for us, sinners, so that we may receive necessary grace and be faithful to God until the end of our life.
PRAYER TO THE HOLY CHILD MARY
Sweet Child Mary,
destined to be the Mother of God
and our sovereign and loving Mother,
by the prodigies of grace you lavish upon us,
mercifully listen to my humble supplications.
In the needs which press upon me from every side
and especially in my present tribulation,
I place all my trust in you.
O Holy Child,
by the privileges granted to you alone
and by the merits which you have acquired,
be merciful to me this day.
Show that the source of spiritual favours
and the continuous benefits
which you dispense are inexhaustible,
because your power with the Heart of God is unlimited.
Deign through the immense profusion of graces
with which the Most High has enriched you
from the first moment of your Immaculate Conception,
grant me, O Celestial Child, my petition,
and I shall eternally praise the goodness of your Heart.
Written By: Rev. Fr. Richard Thuratun