Skip to comments.Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Posted on 09/08/2002 2:07:34 AM PDT by glorygirl
The earliest document commemorating this feast comes from the sixth century.
St. Romanus, the great ecclesiastical lyrist of the Greek Church, composed for it a hymn (Card. Pitra, "Hymnogr. Graeca", Paris, 1876, 199) which is a poetical sketch of the apocryphal Gospel of St. James. St. Romanus was a native of Emesa in Syria, deacon of Berytus and later on at the Blachernae church in Constantinople, and composed his hymns between 536-556 (P. Maas in "Byzant. Zeitschrift", 1906).
The feast may have originated somewhere in Syria or Palestine in the beginning of the sixth century, when after the Council of Ephesus, under the influence of the "Apocrypha", the cult of the Mother of God was greatly intensified, especially in Syria. St. Andrew of Crete in the beginning of the eight century preached several sermons on this feast (Lucius-Anrich, "Anfänge des Heiligenkultus", Tübingen, 1906, 468). Evidence is wanting to show why the eighth of September was chosen for its date.
The Church of Rome adopted it in the seventh century from the East; it is found in the Gelasian (seventh cent.) and the Gregorian (eighth to ninth cent.) Sacramentaries. Sergius I (687-701) prescribed a litany and procession for this feast (P.L. cxxviii, 897 sqq.). Since the story of Mary's Nativity is known only from apocryphal sources, the Latin Church was slow in accepting this oriental festival. It does not appear in many calendars which contain the Assumption, e.g. the Gotho-Gallican, that of Luxeuil, the Toledan Calendar of the tenth century, and the Mozarabic Calendar.
The church of Angers in France claims that St. Maurilius instituted this feast at Angers in consequence of a revelation about 430. On the night of 8 Sept., a man heard the angels singing in heaven, and on asking the reason, they told him they were rejoicing because the Virgin was born on that night (La fête angevine N.D. de France, IV, Paris, 1864, 188); but this tradition is not substantiated by historical proofs.
The feast is found in the calendar of Sonnatius, Bishop of Reims, 614-31 (Kellner, Heortology, 21). Still it cannot be said to have been generally celebrated in the eighth and ninth centuries. St. Fulbert, Bishop of Chartres (d. 1028), speaks of it as of recent institution (P.L., cxli, 320, sqq.); the three sermons he wrote are the oldest genuine Latin sermons for this festival (Kellner, "Heortology", London, 1908, 230). The octave was instituted by Innocent IV (a. 1243) in accordance with a vow made by the cardinals in the conclave of the autumn of 1241, when they were kept prisoners by Frederick II for three months.
In the Greek Church the apodosis (solution) of the feast takes place 12 Sept., on account of the feast and the solemnity of the Exaltation of the Cross, 13 and 14 Sept. The Copts in Egypt and the Abyssinians celebrate Mary's Nativity on 1 May, and continue the feast under the name of "Seed of Jacob" 33 days (Anal. Juris Pont., xxi, 403); they also commemorate it on the first of every month (priv. letter from P. Baeteman, C.M., Alikiena).
The Catholic Copts have adopted the Greek feast, but keep it 10 Sept. (Nilles, "Kal. Man.", II, 696, 706).
LUCIUS-ANRICH, Anfange des Heiligenkultus (Tubingen, 1904); HOLWECK, Fasti Mariani (Freiburg, 1894), 118 sqq.
FREDERICK G. HOLWECK Transcribed by Thomas M. Barrett Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary
Not a bad Sunday for some special prayers for world peace, in advance of this week's anniversary.
On this date in 1845, John Henry Newman became a Roman Catholic.
I brought it up with my pastor, while shaking hands with him after Mass: "The Blessed Mother's birthday, and no mention -- not even a remembrance? Liturgists should be strung up and shot!" "I know, I know. I agree."
I really love my pastor!
Oh Mary, Conceived Without Sin
Pray For Us Who Have Recourse Unto Thee
And my understanding is that the sermon now is supposed to be on the Gospel. Anyway, that's what we always get.
+ + +
From my father's diary, Sept. 8, 2000:
We love you, Blessed Mother, and we rejoice as we celebrate your birthday. May your holy parents St. Anne and St. Joachim experience special joys this day in paradise, and may every Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican heart overflow with joy to celebrate the Feast of your birth, O most holy Theotokos. Remember especially your faithful sons and daughters throughout the world and give us your motherly blessing. Pour forth from your hands the graces God has given you, letting them enfold those who grieve or mourn, letting them cascade upon the Earth in this time of trouble and rumors of war, and letting these graces adorn all those who have died within the last year whom you welcomed to Paradise with your maternal embrace as well as all those who are born this very day..
Honor, glory, and praise be to the holy and undivided Trinity who created you full of grace, and blessed be your great name Mary most holy, you in whom the infinite God was pleased to be contained so that you would become the new and glorious tabernacle of His Presence.
Glory to Christ your Son and mercy to His Church and joy to each member of his Body. Blessed are you Mother of the Church, Mother of the Body of Christ, Mother of the Eucharist, Mother of the Light; Mother of the Eternal Word; Mother of our Divine Savior; Mother of Mercy , Mother of Hope, Mother of fair Love; and Mother of us all. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
But who are the "liturgists?" Is that an official office or something?
Well, it seem if the priest can mention all the things in the bulletin at the end of the Mass, he could mention that it is the Feast of the Blessed Virgin's birthday... maybe say a "Hail Mary" or maybe have the closing song be a "Mary" song... our closing song today was "America the Beautiful" in honor of Sept. 11. They remembered that OK.
I'd be envious that your Dad is with the Blessed Virgin now, but I can't leave my family yet.
History_Matters, thinking of you with love and gratitude for all that you have done and are doing for us here.
Who was the lovely freeper who lost his toddler son? I think it was back at the end of May or beginning of June? I can't remember his name, and I'd like to bump that post again. I've been wracking my brain for a while, but I'm terrible at names.
The 11 o'clock mass today was truly one of the most beautiful our pastor has ever said. It was ALL Mary! It seems that our parish of Our Lady of the Assumption was dedicated 39 years ago today. The communion song was so moving - 'O, Holy Mary'. What struck me most was the Refrain:
O holy Dwelling Place of God.
O holy Temple of the Word.
O holy Mary, holy Mother of God.
I had never thought of Mary in that context ... the Dwelling Place of God.
Our pastor used this occasion to tell us that the church will undergo some interior renovation between now and its 40th anniversary. I could feel my muscles tighten up at the mention of the word "renovation". Later I grabbed him to ask if he was entertaining any thoughts about the kneelers. Absolutely not! They may be recovered but they will remain. That's a relief.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.