The Catholic Church celebrates today the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary on its traditional fixed date of September 8, nine months after the December 8 celebration of her Immaculate Conception as the child of Saints Joachim and Anne. The circumstances of the Virgin Mary's infancy and early life are not directly recorded in the Bible, but other documents and traditions describing the circumstances of her birth are cited by some of the earliest Christian writers from the first centuries of the Church.
News in Mary
There are many other such images of Mary in a priestly pose above church altars in the Christian east and west dating from earlier centuries. It is impossible to escape the con- clusion that the Vatican decided to ban such images in the early twentieth century not out of theological conviction, but out of fear that the deeply traditional devotion to Mary the Virgin Priest could undermine the argument that only men can be ordained.
Why so much attention on Mary? We view Mary as mother of the Church as well as Mother of God. Good observation! Mary feasts have been with us a long time, and they accumulate through the centuries. They began showing up in the East and the West after the Council of Ephesus (431) formally bestowed the title "God-bearer" (Theotokos) on the mother of Jesus.
On this feast day, I’d like to highlight three things. The first is that she has her heart rooted in her Lord, and the best expression of that is in the Magnificat. Everything is seen from the perspective of God, and she can magnify and praise the Lord, her Savior, for all that happens in her life. The second is the audacity of her response in her fiat.
Real Madrid players offered their Champions League trophy to the Virgin of Almudena during their victory parade on Sunday. The club celebrated its fourteenth European cup and thirty-fifth title in the Spanish top flight with its traditional victory parade through the Spanish capital, starting at the Almudena Cathedral.
There are some great Mary hymns, and in my opinion some of the best are those which have this strangeness somewhere about them. Mary immaculate, Star of the morning is a very fine example, where the words are great and the tune is interesting. Hail, Queen of heaven, the ocean star is also dearly loved, especially with that giveaway cradle-Catholic pause after the word “for” in the last line of every verse, which I’d hardly noticed until we had a convert organist. The congregation is going to sing it that way whatever you do, so the organist had to be the one to adapt!
In questo «grande Sabato», la fede di tutta la Chiesa, la speranza di ogni creatura sta nel cuore della Madre: è lei «Chiesa» che crede contro ogni evidenza, che spera contro ogni speranza, che ama fino al supremo olocausto. Per poter vivere con Maria la sua e nostra «Ora di fede» chiediamo umilmente a Dio di lavare i nostri peccati nel Sangue di Cristo e di ravvivare la nostra speranza nella redenzione che ci è stata gratuitamente donata.
Initially, it was not a feast of Mary but the Lord. It was instituted to commemorate the announcement of the coming of the Son of God in the world. It was in the Middle Ages that today’s feast became that of Mary, the Annunciation. After the Second Vatican Council, it regained its original meaning and is back to being the Solemnity of the Annunciation.
The old picture of Protestant hostility to Mary of Nazareth is changing. Some of the freshest, most creative contributions to our understanding of the mother of Jesus are now coming from Protestant women theologians and biblical scholars. When it comes to Mary of Nazareth, Christmas is the one time of the year that has brought Catholics and Protestants together – though only up to a point.
Worshippers at the Roman Catholic Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham have breathed new life into hymns that have not been heard since the destruction of the original priory in the Reformation, thanks to the rediscovery of texts that may offer a window onto the turmoil of the period.
Fr. Awi Mello states that “he had felt struck by the gestures and attitudes of the first Latin American Pope” in relation to Mary: “The great tenderness he expressed there seemed to reveal something deeper; it certainly depicted Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s sincere and filial love for Mary, probably rooted in his family history.” “The Virgin Mary was a part of our home,” Bergoglio said to Awi Mello.
We are living at a time of epochal changes. Much of what we held as secure and familiar are on a path of collapse and something new seems to be in gestation. Mary stands at the passage from old to the new, rooted in the Lord, her Saviour, and audacious to say fiat to God’s design for humanity.
In the poetry of the liberation theologian and bishop Pedro Casaldáliga, Mary of Nazareth is transformed from a pale-skinned virgin, with her eyes lowered in submission, to everywoman responding to God’s word of liberation.
I wish you all a joyful feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which we shall celebrate this year with austerity in the midst of the uncertainty that is still hanging around the globe over the pandemic virus. The twin feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary invite us to take care of our hearts to keep them steeped in God’s love when we navigate through the storms of life.
Fr. Awi Mello states that “he had felt struck by the gestures and attitudes of the first Latin American Pope” in relation to Mary: “The great tenderness he expressed there seemed to reveal something deeper; it certainly depicted Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s sincere and filial love for Mary, probably rooted in his family history.”
We say that she is the Mother of God in the sense that she carried in her womb a divine person—Jesus Christ, God “in the flesh” (2 John 7, cf. John 1:14)—and in the sense that she contributed the genetic matter to the human form God took in Jesus Christ.
The Catholic Church doesn't often add new celebrations to its pretty full liturgical calendar, but this year's new feast day, Mary, Mother of the Church on May 21, has Catholics gearing up to mark the day or at least think a little more about Mary.The new feast day, which will be celebrated annually the day after Pentecost. The decree said the Pope approved the celebration because he thought it might "encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety".
Interreligious peace and harmony reigns in Indonesian village. A Marian shrine in Central Java, Indonesia, has become a beacon of interreligious peace and understanding for visiting groups of Muslims and Catholics. Dozens of non-Catholics have been coming to the shrine in Kerep village every day for their own version of contemplative prayer.