The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary was first celebrated in the Eastern Church in the 6th century and was introduced into the Western Church in the 7th century. Pope Sergius I organized a solemn procession in Rome from the Church of San Adriano to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, in honor of the four most important feasts of Mary (which includes the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary).
The Gospel offers no precise information regarding Mary’s birth, however Tradition has it that she was born in Nazareth. The feast originated in the East, in Jerusalem. There, beginning in the 5th century, a Marian shrine was built alongside the remains of the Pool of Bethesda (a sheep pool). Underneath the Basilica of St. Anne, a Romanic church built by the crusaders, lies the remains of a Byzantine basilica and a crypt carved into the rock that seems to have formed part of a home considered to be the birthplace of the Virgin Mary.
St. John Damascene once said, “The day of the Nativity of the Mother of God is a day of universal joy, because through the Mother of God, the entire human race was renewed, and the sorrow of the first mother, Eve, was transformed into joy” (Homily – September 8th – Basilica of St. Anne).
The Virgin Mary appeared in the midst of darkness as the Divine Dawn that announced the arrival of the Divine Sun that would give light to the entire world. Mary is always the dawn that announces Jesus’ arrival.
What about us?
Normally, when a friend or relative invites us to their birthday celebration, we spend time thinking about what to wear and what gift to give them. It should be the same with Our Lady, Our Mother. What gift should we give her?
Of course, what Our Lady enjoys most is seeing us close to her Son, Jesus. She is also glad to see us embrace her message of love. She suffers so much when she sees us resisting her message or not living it out. Conchita told her that she had not come to give her last message because she felt pity for us. She loves us and wants our salvation. Let us give Mary the gift of a joyful acceptance of her message, making an effort to be good, as she asks us. Let us thank God for having given us such a Mother.
Rejoice and hurry to congratulate your Mother. With her birth, Mary carries within her the seed of grace for herself and for all.
Unite yourself to the Church today and join in singing this hymn of praise: “With joy we celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for the entire universe rejoices at her birth.”