Many Catholic and Orthodox Christians around the world will be celebrating a feast day in the Church commemorating the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Devotion to the mother of God is common in these traditions. It is not a form of worship; Mary was merely a human being like ourselves. Instead, Mary is honored as the woman chosen by God to bear his Son Jesus and thus complete the process of Jesus becoming human while retaining his divinity. As stated by St. Athanasius: “God became man so that man might become God.” Mary’s role has always been to point us to Jesus the Christ. When people pray the rosary or other Marian prayers, they are not praying to Mary but with her to God.
Her example is key as well, that of total trust in spite of the risk of accepting the invitation to bear a son without benefit of yet being married. Quite a predicament. But her “yes” brought the Savior into the world and took her on the adventure of a lifetime. Yes, there were some incredibly tough moments in her life, but the privilege of raising Jesus for thirty years, of having him to herself for all that time … I think she would have done it all again, don’t you?
In honor of Mary’s birthday, I’d like to offer a couple of tributes:
First a song I wrote about Mary.
It was a great comfort to me during my mother’s illness. You will notice that the name of this blog, Be As One, is in the lyrics. That’s where I got the idea. 🙂 The song is called “Under My Immaculate Mantle.”
Secondly, here are images of Mary from around the world:
If you are interested in seeing a fairly recent film about Mary, here is further information.
And here are today’s readings in honor of the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Happy Birthday Mary!
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