After Jesus, the Church gives the most feast days to his Blessed Mother. In doing so the Church reflects the esteem in which Our Lady is held. The feast has been celebrated from at least the 5th century when the first hymns in honour of the birthday of Our Lady appeared.
Tradition has long held that Joachim and Anna were the parents of Mary. They were childless and old when an angel appeared to them and told them they would have a child. They knew that because of the nature of her birth the child would have a special mission from God. When Mary was about twelve they sent her to the Temple to live and be instructed in the Jewish faith.
The feast today comes exactly nine months after the Immaculate Conception but because of the closeness of the Assumption, Aug 15th, this feast has lost some of its solemnity. However, it is still a lovely feast.