The Birthday of Our Lady
Today (Sunday 8th September) is the Birthday of Our Lady. The Sunday celebration takes precedence over it, but we should not let it pass by unnoticed. Her birth into the world was one of the greatest events ever to take place in human history. I doubt anyone even suspected that the child born of St Joachim and St Anne would be the greatest and most highly honoured of all God’s creatures.
The Jews had been waiting for centuries for the coming of the promised Messiah and Redeemer, but no one would have thought this little baby girl was to be the fulfilment of that promise and that she was to be His Mother. St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) teaches that Mary’s soul was the most beautiful God had ever created. She was immaculately conceived without original sin and hence she was full of grace from the moment of her conception. Even in St Anne’s womb her sanctity was higher than that of all the angels and saints. All the saints are humble and lowly, but none more so than Mary. It is always said that God hides His glory because His Kingdom is not of this world. When He was born so humbly in the stable at Bethlehem very few recognised Him as their King. And when He comes to us now in Holy Communion, His Godhead, His divinity is hidden under the appearances of bread and wine, and He comes to the youngest child and to the greatest king, queen or pope with just as much love. This is to teach us humility which Mary had in abundance.
On this day Our Lady would surely want us to pray her Rosary, and if we say five decades we will be honouring her and giving her a very special birthday present. Blessed William Joseph Chaminade (1761-1850) wrote, “The Rosary is like a crown of roses, like a diadem with which the faithful decorate the head of their Queen.” What mother would not want to receive roses from her children? And by saying the Rosary we crown our spiritual Mother with spiritual roses. You don’t need to be a priest or a nun or even a pope, a king or a queen to do so and neither do you have to pay any money. All you need is the desire to offer it to your Heavenly Mother. Don’t forget to say the Rosary today. “Hail Mary, full of grace.”
Fr Paul Gillham, IC