Celebrating Mama Mary’s Birthday: A Thoughtful Journey into Faith and Love
For us Catholics, the ‘BER’ months bring even more reasons to celebrate, as they mark the observance of some of the major holy feast days. Two of these significant occasions are the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th and the Solemnity of the Nativity of our beloved Lord Jesus Christ on December 25th.
However, even before these notable liturgical celebrations, we pause to remember something profoundly special in our salvation history—the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary on this very day, the 8th of September.
For Catholics and many other Christians, the Blessed Mother holds immense significance as a model of faith, humility, and maternal care. She is seen as an example of devotion to God and is often revered as a symbol of grace and compassion. Her role in Christian history and theology continues to be a source of inspiration and spiritual connection for millions of people around the world.
My mother was a devout follower of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom I admired greatly. In addition to her religious devotion, which included daily Mass attendance, Confession, receiving Holy Communion, and reciting the Holy Rosary, she actively participated in various Marian organizations within the parish. One cherished memory she had was when she served as the “Hermana Mayor” during the celebration of Our Lady of Lourdes. During that time, my mother joyfully gifted each of her children with a statue of Our Lady as a keepsake. To this day, I still carry that same statue of Our Lady with me whenever I travel, and likewise the same is also in attendance in our current weekly online family prayer gathering. Strangely, this image of the Blessed Mother provides me with a sense of comfort and security, almost as if my mother’s protective presence is with me, guiding me through life’s challenges, understanding my mistakes, and reminding me of my Christian duties, just as my mother always did for me and my siblings when she was still around.
It’s surprising that some may not be fully aware of the Blessed Mother’s birthday, let alone her unique conception without original sin. For those who haven’t had the chance to delve into Catholic doctrine, original sin, as outlined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, refers to the first personal sin committed by Adam and Eve, which has been passed down through generations to their descendants. In essence, our Catholic faith teaches that we’re born into this world carrying the burden of Adam and Eve’s initial transgression, and it’s only through baptism that this original sin is absolved. This belief, particularly the concept of the transmission of original sin, remains a profound mystery, much like the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
The Blessed Virgin Mary, chosen as the Mother of God, was granted the heavenly privilege of being free from original sin. She stood as a blessed exception to the “all have sinned” rule. Catholics believe that Mary’s selection as Jesus’ earthly mother was a part of God’s divine plan and a testament to His immense love for her. She has been revered with the highest honor by God and His followers, from then until now, earning titles such as Mother of the Church, Mother of All Nations, and Queen of Heaven and Earth.
Our Blessed Mother holds a pivotal role in our spiritual journey, particularly in guiding us towards God. As Christians, we are called and challenged to emulate the life of Mary, focusing on her qualities of humility, obedience, purity, and simplicity. She is abundantly filled with graces and virtues and is ready to share these with us when we draw near to her.
I remember a short prayer I’ve learned from my mother when I was a child. 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 Convent. She would say, “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee” after every prayer or whenever she encounters problems. To her, the utter of the said powerful brief prayer provided comfort and relief. This has been true to me as well. Mama Mary never failed to help me whenever challenges come my way.
With Mama Mary’s prayerful assistance, we can conquer our weaknesses and avoid shortcomings. The Blessed Mother offers comfort and hope to those who invoke her name, as this is one of her promises in some of her apparitions. Our Blessed Mother not only leads us to God but also prays alongside us, attentively interceding on our behalf. She holds a unique closeness to God, surpassing that of any other person, serving as our conduit to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Just as we can ask for help from the saints in heaven or seek the prayers of our loved ones and close friends on earth, we can also turn to Our Lady for assistance and entrust our petitions to her so she may pray for us.
Much like any ordinary birthday celebration, we bring joy not only to the one celebrating but also to their family and friends. Birthdays are occasions of joy and enrichment. Therefore, on this significant day dedicated to Mama Mary, we should wholeheartedly wish her a resounding “Happy Birthday, Mama Mary.” Some, like myself, affectionately call our Blessed Mother Mama Mary because she is our spiritual mother.
On this day, let’s be especially generous by offering prayers, particularly by sincerely reciting the Holy Rosary for the intentions of others. Let’s pray for miracles, especially for those in dire need, through the Blessed Mother’s intercession. By doing so, we will bring smiles to the beautiful face of our Blessed Mother and to her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ!
If my mother were here with us today, with her loved ones, she would surely take great joy in reading this, finding comfort and happiness in these words. Our loving Inay Aying, happy happy heavenly birthday in advance! If you (and Daddy too) are now with the Blessed Virgin Mary joining her in praising God, please continue praying for all of us. Amen.