The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today, we celebrate the feast of The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary nine months after we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Today, we celebrate the birth of the Mother of God, who in time would carry in her womb for nine months – Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World. The Blessed Mother has a special place in salvation history for she is the Theotokos – The God-Bearer (declared Dogmatic at the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D.). She was given the highest mission that any human creature would receive by the Lord himself. On this great day, we commemorate the Blessed Mother’s birth to her parents, Sts. Joachim and Anne.

As I did with the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, I turn to one of the great saints of the Catholic Church, St. Francis de Sales, who gives us a fantastic homily on this important feast in the Church. The excerpts below are from his homily on September 10, 1620 –

“In the beginning of her life she was subject to her mother. She remained with her family to show girls and children the honor and subjection they owe their parents and in what spirit they should live in their own homes. She was presented in the Temple in her youth, when only three years old, to teach fathers and mothers the care they should take in rearing their children and with what affection they ought to instruct them in the fear of God and lead them to His service. In this she was also an example for young girls who consecrate themselves to the Divine Majesty. The she was married, to be a mirror for the married, and finally a widow. Thus Divine Providence let her pass through all the states of life in order that all creatures might find in her, as in a sea of grace, what they need in order to form and adapt themselves to their state in life…

…It is true nevertheless, as I have said, that she was the mirror of the religious life particularly; for from her birth she practiced most excellently that perfect renunciation of the world, the flesh and herself, in which Christian perfection consists. As to the world, at her birth the sacred Virgin made the most perfect and entire renunciation that could be made…

…O God, it is admirable how absolutely and perfectly the sacred Virgin, Our Lady and Mistress, made his renunciation at her nativity! Come close to her cradle, think of the virtues of this holy infant and you will find that she practiced them all to an eminent degree. Question the angels, the cherubim and seraphim, ask them if they are equal in perfection to this little girl, and they will tell you that she infinitely surpasses them…

There she was, that sacred and blessed Virgin, practicing all the virtues, but in an admirable manner that of renunciation of the world. For amid these practices and this exaltation she how she abases herself, not wishing to appear other than as a simple and ordinary infant, even though she had the use of reason from the very moment of her Conception…

…The most holy Virgin made this last renunciation in her nativity in such a way that she never used her liberty. Consider well the whole course of her life and you will see nothing but continual subjection.”

When I read words like this from St. Francis de Sales, I come to love the Blessed Mother more and more each time. Recollecting on my own sins, which she never had to do, helps me try to renounce the temptations of my passions and desires. When faced with such great sin, I must remember to go to Our Lady and ask her to pray for me so that I will overcome all that is put before me in my fallen human condition. I pray that we all can look towards Jesus Christ and his Blessed Mother in times of sin. They will never turn their backs on us. She is our Queen Mother who always brings Jesus to us and takes our requests to the King himself.

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