It’s time for a special party! Bring out the candles. Bake a special cake. Say joyful prayers. Because on Sept. 8 we celebrate the immaculate birth of Our Blessed Mother. This is a day to celebrate the best of motherhood—because Mary is our guide in the motherhood journey! She nurtures all God’s children and supports our growth in holiness.
On September 8th we celebrate the Mother of all mothers who continues to watch over each of us from heaven!
According to the visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, Mary’s parents were devout Jews (Essenes) who had a child 19 years before Mary. But for 19 years they were without additional children and for this time of barrenness Anne and Joachim felt ashamed. They were growing old.
Mary’s birth was a blessing, not only to them, but to the entire world! She was born uniquely free from sin—the Immaculate Conception. Her coming to Anne and Joachim has a story too. Joachim had gone to the Temple to offer a sacrifice in order to petition God for a child but the priests mocked him and he was sent away in humiliation. Meanwhile Anne was at home in Nazareth when an angel came to her to say that a special child was coming. Anne hurried to Jerusalem and met her husband by the Golden Gate. Their union there foreshadowed the opening of the Gates of Heaven. (The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Anne Catherine Emmerich.)
It’s good to celebrate Mary’s special day. We can do this by making a crown of flowers for a statue of Our Lady and by reciting the Litany of Loreto. We can record how Mary blesses our lives and remember to be thankful to her.
I find my own devotion to Our Lady growing deeper everyday as a result of her special blessings in my life. This past spring when my husband was very sick, our family spent two full months in and out of the hospital, caring for him. At the time I had been doing some substitute teaching. I was worried about the much needed income. I was worried about the future. Then an editor offered me a project to write about prayer and the Blessed Mother.
This project couldn’t have come at a better time! Since then I have spent three months doing new research and studying Church documents. And all along the way I have felt the presence of the Blessed Mother guiding me to be calm and patient.
For the first time in my life I can now wake up, in the middle of the night, feeling happy to pray. In the dark stillness of our rural home, there is nothing between me and my heavenly Mother. I know she’s listening. Our family life is changing.
So, on this September 8th I hope we can all turn to her to ask for her help and to thank her for being our guide in trusting the Will of God, wherever that may take us. Life is an adventure. Mary is our guide. And the gates of Heaven stand open as a result of her “yes” to the Lord!
About the Author: Judith Costello, MA, OCDS is writing lessons in faith for www.CatechismClass.com. She is also an artist and shares her latest work here.