Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary – the Dawn of Salvation

The Catholic Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated on September 8th every year. This feast commemorates the birth of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. It is one of the most important Marian feasts in the Catholic Church and is celebrated with great devotion by Catholics all over the world.

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary has its roots in early Christianity, but it was not until the 7th century that the feast was established in the Western Church. According to tradition, Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anne, were childless for many years until an angel appeared to them and announced that they would conceive a child. Mary was born in response to this divine intervention, and her birth was seen as a sign of God’s grace and love for humanity.

The Nativity of Our Lady (September 8) is the hope of the entire world and the dawn of salvation.

Pope Paul VI

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated with a variety of customs and traditions. In many Catholic countries, the feast day is a public holiday, and churches hold special Masses and processions in honor of Mary. Many people also decorate their homes and churches with flowers and other decorations, and some communities hold parades and other festive events.

One of the most important aspects of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is its spiritual significance. For Catholics, Mary is seen as a model of faith, humility, and devotion to God. Her birth is a reminder of God’s love for humanity, and her life is an inspiration for all believers. Catholics see Mary as a powerful intercessor, and we pray to her for guidance, protection, and comfort.

In Pope Paul VI’s Apostolic Exhortation, MARIALIS CULTUS, he writes the following about this feast day:

Particular consideration must be given to those celebrations that commemorate salvific events in which the Blessed Virgin was closely associated with her Son. Such are the feasts of the Nativity of Our Lady (September 8), “the hope of the entire world and the dawn of salvation”; and the Visitation (May 31), in which the liturgy recalls the “Blessed Virgin Mary carrying her Son within her,” and visiting Elizabeth to offer charitable assistance and to proclaim the mercy of God the Savior. Then there is the commemoration of Our Lady of Sorrows (September 15), a fitting occasion for reliving a decisive moment in the history of salvation and for venerating, together with the Son “lifted up on the cross, His suffering Mother.”

The birth of the Virgin Mary is considered the “dawn of our salvation.” Pope Paul VI wrote this in the papal document Marialis Cultus in 1974. Mary is the firstborn of the redeemed and entered the world sinless through the Immaculate Conception. She watches over and protects humanity through her intercession in Heaven. Mary prays for us and leads us back to Christ.

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is also an opportunity for Catholics to reflect on their own lives and their relationship with God. Many Catholics see Mary’s birth as a sign of hope and renewal, and they use the feast day as a time to renew their own faith and commitment to God. They may attend Mass, receive the sacraments, or engage in other spiritual practices to deepen their relationship with God and with Mary.

Overall, the Catholic Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a celebration of faith, love, and hope. It is a time to honor Mary, to reflect on her life and her significance in the Catholic Church, and to renew our own commitment to God. Whether through prayer, devotion, or participation in community events, Catholics all over the world come together to celebrate this important feast and to honor the mother of Jesus Christ.

We invite you to visit The National Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Church for all the Marian Feasts, including the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. You can click here to visit our events page.