8th September – Birthday of Our Lady

Today we celebrate Our Lady’s birthday. Its significance is summed up in the Concluding Prayer for Joachim Annethe Divine Office (and with different phrasing in the Opening Prayer of Mass). Try reading it slowly and reflectively. I have added a few footnotes.
Lord God,
the day[1] of our salvation dawned when the Blessed Virgin gave birth to your Son.
As we celebrate her own nativity,
grant us your grace and your peace[2].
[1] Taken with poetic licence, this is the eternal day heralded by Jesus’ conquering of sin and death. The light of this everlasting day is the light of the Resurrection. Mary’s birth is seen as the prelude to this dawn, one of her titles being ‘Morning Star’.
[2] Also with poetic licence, Jesus is in himself our Grace [God’s unmerited favour] and our Peace [the reconciliation between humanity and God resulting from the universal atonement effected by Calvary]. At the Annunciation, the archangel Gabriel said that “Mary was full of grace.” We open ourselves to this life of grace by imitating Mary’s humility and fidelity to the God’s will.

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