This week is the celebration of the second event of the Incarnation – the birth of Mary the Mother of Jesus on September 8th. (The first event of the Incarnation is the Immaculate Conception – see more about that on another page under Feast Days on this site.) She was likely born around the year 16 B.C. based on what is reported about her age at the time she gave birth in Bethlehem. She is acknowledged to be the child of Joachim and Anne, both now Saints, and, as such was brought up in a holy way with an understanding that God provides everyone with a purpose. Mary’s purpose would be revealed directly to her at The Annunciation (see more about that on this page https://churchwonders.com/devotions/feast-days/the-annunciation/). Of course, Mary accepted her call which culminated in the birth of Jesus.
Mary is admired, honored and venerated even on the 2,036th anniversary of her humble acceptance of purpose; and is a model for all facing “life decisions” even in the midst of great uncertainty. She is also greatly admired for the ability to face crisis with a calm nurtured in her faith. As the Mother of God, her intercessory powers draw many followers. The joy exhibited by Mother Mary throughout her, sometimes difficult, life is also an imitable trait. The most joyful events of her motherhood such as the Annunciation, the Visitation (and her Magnificat), the birth of Jesus, the Presentation, and the finding of Jesus in the Temple are memorialized as the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary.
Whatever the reason, she is widely followed and the Feast of her birthday is very popular. Some of the greatest celebrations of her birth occur in India where the nine days leading up to the Feast day are celebrated with Masses, Novenas and other activities. A commemorative flag is usually created for the annual event and it is ceremoniously raised at a solemn Flag Hoisting. It is also very common to have many of her followers make long treks on foot to celebrate the Feast at a holy site; and offer up sacrifices and deprivations during the pilgrimage for the greater glory of God and honor to Mother Mary. The Feast Day itself is marked by Masses attended by throngs of faithful devotees filling the church, as well as the surrounding courtyards and plazas. Typically, a statue of Our Lady is paraded on a palanquin through the streets of the neighborhood surrounding the church with devotees reciting the Rosary and singing hymns of praise.
Two of the largest celebrations of Mother Mary’s birth occur at the churches referenced below. The links provide prayers and videos of the celebrations.
The Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health at Vailankanni in southern Tamil Nadu. http://www.vailankannishrine.net/ (copy and paste link into your browser)