The Relevance of Our Blessed Virgin Mary’s Birthday In Our Faith Journey
For us Catholics, there are more reasons to celebrate during the “BER” months as some of the major holy days of obligations are being celebrated, two of which are the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th and the Solemnity of the Nativity of our dear Lord Jesus Christ on December 25th. However, even before the said liturgical celebrations, something special and important in our salvation history is also being remembered and that is the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary which is today, the 8th of September.
It is surprising that some of us may not be fully aware of the Blessed Mother’s birthday much more about her being conceived without original sin. For those who have not had a chance to seize the opportunity of studying the catholic doctrine, original sin as explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church is the first personal sin of Adam and Eve which was transmitted to their offspring, passed down from generation to generation. In other words, our Catholic faith teaches us that we have inherited Adam and Eve’s first sin, and that only when we are baptized can the said original sin be wiped out from us. The said belief, particularly the transmission of original sin remains a mystery, similar to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
The Blessed Virgin Mary being chosen as the Mother of God was granted a heavenly privilege of being free from original sin. Even in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, Virgin Mary was kept free from the original sin, by the grace of God and by the Savior of Mankind, our Lord Jesus Christ. She was blessed among all women, hence she’s an exception to the so-called “all have sinned” rule.
As Catholics, we believe that the selection of the Virgin Mary as Jesus’ mother on earth was all God’s plan. She was honored most greatly by God and by His followers from then till now, hence her titles as Queen of Heaven and Earth, Mother of the Church, Mother of All Nations, among others. Our Blessed Mother plays a pivotal role in our spiritual journey, specifically in leading us to God. As Christians, we are called and challenged to emulate the life of the Blessed Mother, specifically her humility, obedience, purity and simplicity. It is beneficial for us to do so as the Blessed Mother is filled with graces and virtues and she is willing to share with us the same if we draw close to her.
I remember a short prayer I’ve learned from my mother during my younger years. I think she got it also from our two Aunties who are nuns: one from the Daughters of Charity and another from the Good Shepherd Sisters. She would say, “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee” after every prayer or after the recitation of the Prayer for the Home. To her, the utter of the said powerful brief prayer provided comfort and relief. This has been true to me as well. Our Lady never failed to help me whenever challenges come my way, even during difficult times, particularly when spiritually down. Through the Blessed Mother’s prayerful assistance, we will be able to conquer our weaknesses and avoid committing the same mistakes and shortcomings. The Blessed Mother provides solace and hope to those who seek her name. This is one of her promises to us in some of her apparitions.
The Blessed Virgin Mother serves as our Spiritual Mother. She leads us to God, she is praying with us, listening and interceding for us. Surely, the Blessed Mother is closer to God than any other persons or saints, thus, it is she who can bring us closer to her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. If we can ask help from the Saints in heaven, or if we can ask our loved ones or close friends on earth to pray for us in times of need, why can’t we seek our Lady’s help and entrust our petitions to her so she can pray for us too? Makes sense, right?
Just like any ordinary birthday celebrations, we bring happiness to the celebrant and their family and friends. Birthdays are joyful and enriching to celebrate! And so, on this very important day of our Blessed Mother, we should greet her a resounding “Happy Birthday, Mama Mary”. Some people, like me, call our Blessed Mother Mama Mary because she is our spiritual mother, the Heavenly Mother. During this day, let us be more extra generous by offering prayers, through the intercession of the Blessed Mother, by sincerely reciting the Holy Rosary for the intentions of other people, those who are struggling with hardships in life, and those who are suffering from pain and illness during this pandemic. In so doing, we will be putting smiles to the beautiful face of Our Lady and her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ!
My mother was a fervent devotee of Mama Mary, her role model. Aside from being pious (i.e., attending daily masses, hearing confession, receiving Holy Communion, praying the Holy Rosary, etc.), she was also active in certain Marian organizations in the parish. I remember one time when it was her turn to be the “Hermana Mayor” during the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, she happily gave each of her children a statue of Our Lady as a memento. I still have the said statue of Our Lady and I always bring it wherever I travel. Strangely enough, it gives me comfort and security, as if my mother was always there to protect me from harm, understand me when I go wrong, and remind me of my duties as a Christian, like she always did to her children.
This blog serves as My Useful Tips’ Mañanita greeting to Mama Mary on her birthday. O Holy Mary, Our Hope, Handmaid of the Lord, Pray for us!
Listen to this beautiful song “Ave Maria” of Franz Schubert, sang by A.Bocelli.