Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY The Catholic Church celebrates the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary on its traditional fixed date of 8th September, nine months after 8th December celebration of her Immaculate Conception as the child of Saints Joachim and Anne. The circumstances of the Virgin Mary’s infancy and early life are not directly recorded in the Bible, but other documents and traditions describing the circumstances of her birth are cited by some of the earliest Christian writers from the first centuries of the Church.  After Mary’s birth, according to the Protoevangelium of James, St Anne “made a sanctuary” in the infant girl’s room, and “allowed nothing common or unclean” on account of the special holiness of the child. The same writing records that when she was one year old, her father “made a great feast, and invited the priests, and the scribes, and the elders, and all the people of Israel.” The protoevangelium goes on to describe how Mary’s parents, along with the temple priests, subsequently decided that she would be offered to God as a consecrated Virgin for the rest of her life and enter a chaste marriage with the carpenter Joseph. Saint Augustine described the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary as an event of cosmic and historic significance, and an appropriate prelude to the birth of Jesus Christ. “She is the flower of the field from whom bloomed the precious lily of the valley,” he said. The fourth-century bishop, whose theology profoundly shaped the Western Church’s understanding of sin and human nature, affirmed that “through her birth, the nature inherited from our first parents is changed.”