The Church has celebrated Mary’s birth since at least the sixth century. A September birthday (September 8) was chosen because the Eastern Church begins its Church year in September. Mary’s birth is not described in Scripture, but in the Protoevangelium of James. According to this, Anna and Joachim are infertile. However, they pray for a child, and are given the promise that their child will advance God’s plan for the salvation of the world. Though lacking any historical value, this story (like many others in the Bible) emphasizes the special presence of God in Mary’s life from the beginning.
Questions for Reflection:
- What kinds of blessings has God given you throughout your life?
- How has God made himself present to you?