Feast of the Nativity of Mary

Fra Filippo Lippi, Tondo Bartolini
Fra Filippo Lippi, Tondo Bartolini

Today is the Feast of the Nativity of Mary. Mary was born to be the mother of the Savior of the world, the spiritual mother of all men, and the holiest of God’s creatures. Because of her Son’s infinite merits, she was conceived and born immaculate and full of grace. Through her, Queen of heaven and of earth, all grace is given to men. Through her, by the will of the Trinity, the unbelieving receive the gift of faith; the afflicted are tendered the works of mercy; and the members of Christ grow in likeness of their Head. In Mary all human nature is exalted. We rejoice in her birthday, as the Church has done from the earliest times. This is one of the three birthdays in the Church Calendar — the Birth of Jesus (December 25), the Birth of John the Baptist (June 24) and the Birthday of Mary. All three were born without original sin, although Mary and Jesus were conceived without sin, and St. John was cleansed of original sin while in the womb at the Visitation of Mary.

On Our Lady’s birthday the Church celebrates the first dawning of redemption with the appearance in the world of the Savior’s mother, Mary. The Blessed Virgin occupies a unique place in the history of salvation, and she has the highest mission ever commended to any creature. We rejoice that the Mother of God is our Mother, too. Let us often call upon the Blessed Virgin as “Cause of our joy”, one of the most beautiful titles in her litany.

Prayer:  Impart to your servants, we pray, O Lord, the gift of heavenly grace, that the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin may bring deeper peace to those for whom the birth of her Son was the dawning of salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Source: CatholicCulture.org

 

Feast of St Bernadette

St Bernadette
St Bernadette

Today is Thursday of the Second Week of Easter, but it is also the Feast of St. Bernadette. Bernadette, Marie-Bernade Soubirous from her real name, received several apparitions of the Immaculate Conception in 1858 in France. The Virgin Mary led her to a water source that is said to have healing powers. A sanctuary has been built at this location and is visited annually by 6 millions pilgrims.

 

St Bernadette is the patron of bodily ills, illness, Lourdes, people ridiculed for their piety, poverty, shepherdesses, shepherds, sick people and sickness.