The Birthday of Mary – September 8
The birthday of the mother of Jesus, Mary, daughter of Joachim and Ann, is celebrated on September 8. It is an ancient feast, dating from the fifth century dedication of a church in Jerusalem. The church is known today as the basilica of St. Ann, mother of Mary. The feast is celebrated both in the Eastern and Western churches.
In honor of her birthday, I offer what is perhaps her second most famous prayer, a prayer banned even in our times by despots and dictators who feared its power to inspire hope, courage and trust in God’s goodness and love of the poor and oppressed. May this be our prayer too.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness;
behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
The Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is from age to age
to those who fear him.
He has shown might with his arm,
dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones
but lifted up the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things;
the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped Israel his servant,
remembering his mercy,
according to his promise to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.