Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This is an old feast that can trace its inception back to the sixth century. It was started in the Eastern Church and the date was chosen to be nine months after the older feast of the Immaculate Conception. Scripture gives no word of the birth of Mary but there is a lot of legend and tradition around the event.
In today’s Office of Readings St Andrew of Crete points out that the coming of the Lord into the world had to be preceded by an event of great joy. Such an event was the birth of Mary. It is worth noting that as in all her feasts, Mary is important not because of who she is in herself but because of whom she shall give birth to in the future. Mary always points us towards Jesus and so today when we hear the Birth of the Virgin Mary announced, we should reflect: ‘why is this woman so important that she should have her birth celebrated?
It does not matter how many times in our lives we live to celebrate this feast, be that twenty or a hundred, each time we reflect on why Mary is so important we shall receive new answers. The child to whom Mary is to give birth, is the centre and focus of our faith, the mystery of his Incarnation is enough to keep us thinking for several lifetimes.
So today we celebrate the birth of Mary because Mary was to give birth to Jesus: simple as that!