Life is a unique gift, a beautiful celebration, a span of love. On September 8th, we celebrate the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of the Savior and spiritual mother of us all and thus we rejoice in her birthday. Ann & Joachim “made a sanctuary” of the infant girl’s room, and “allowed nothing common or unclean.” St. Augustine described the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary as “the flower of the field from whom bloomed the precious lily of the valley.”
The role of the mother in human history cannot be missed or surpassed. Moses became the deliverer of God’s chosen people because of the courage and commitment of his mother. She risked her own life, determined to protect her son, even though Pharaoh had ordered every newborn boy to be drowned. We have our own mothers who brought us into the world, then bathed, nurtured and cared for us while we were helpless infants and they are the ones who sacrificed their lives to provide food, clothing and shelter. Henceforth, let us have an attitude of thankfulness and gratitude.
The Filial invocations to Mary by St. Louis Guanella are praiseworthy, he says: “O Mary, make my heart similar to yours;” “the world needs the fragrance of a virtuous life;” “free me from bad examples and bad people” and “may I be a beautiful flower in your garden!”
In the western world, September 8th also marks the approaching end of summer and the beginning of fall so let us wish for them a fruitful, innovative and joyful pastoral year.
In South India, the shrine of “Our Lady of Vailankanni”( Our Lady of Good Health ), known as the ‘Lourdes of the East,” witnesses to millions of pilgrims, even from other religions, who march by foot to feel and touch the curative power of the Blessed Mother. So she is a gift to the whole world and the dawn of our salvation.
The recent Encyclical letter of Pope Francis, Lumen Fidei (“The Light of Faith”) carries the implicit portrayal of the faith of the Virgin Mary as an “honest and good heart,” in receiving the message of the angel, conceived in “faith and Joy.” Let us rejoice over her birth and be grateful and thankful!