A Note on the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Birthday by Father John Corapi

The Nativity of Mary, by Albrecht Altdorfer, Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Today, the 8th. Sept., is the Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This Feast has been celebrated in the Church at least since the 8th Century. The Church’s calendar observes the birthdays of only two saints: Saint John the Baptist (June 24), and Mary, Mother of Jesus.

The birth of Mary was miraculous. She was conceived without sin as a special grace because God had selected her to become the mother of His Son. There is nothing contained in Scripture about the birth of Mary or her parentage, though Joseph’s lineage is given in the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. The names of Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anna, appear in the apocryphal “Gospel of James”, a book dating from the 2nd Century AD, not part of the authentic canon of Scripture. According to this account, Joachim and Anna were also beyond the years of child-bearing, but prayed and fasted that God would grant their desire for a child.

According to one tradition, the house in which Mary was born in Nazareth is the same one in which the Annunciation took place. By another tradition, the Annunciation site is beneath the Crusader church of Saint Anna in Jerusalem, under a 3rd Century oratory known as the “Gate of Mary”. (Reference: http://www.wf-f.org/BirthofMary.html)

We find an observation by Father John Corapi:

The universal Church celebrates September 8th in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s birthday. This is an excellent opportunity for each one of us to do something to show our love and appreciation for the Mother of God and our spiritual Mother. From all eternity, God in his infinite wisdom decreed that Mary would be the Mother of our Lord, Jesus Christ. She was with Jesus at all of the important moments throughout his life from the Incarnation, to his death on the cross. Before our Savior died He gave his Mother to each one of us in giving her to his beloved disciple, St. John.

This September 8th let’s thank God our Father for his beloved Daughter; thank Jesus for his Mother, full of grace; and thank the Holy Spirit for his immaculate Spouse, our Mother Mary. Offer a Rosary in thanksgiving to God for the gift of his own Mother as our Mother. Tell your Mother you love her, and most of all follow her example of holiness, humility, and perfect fidelity to Jesus and his teaching.

Happy birthday Mother, from all of your children still trying to fight the good fight and run the race to the finish line. We love you and ask you to intercede for each one of us with Jesus your Son. Keep us safe in the enclosed garden of your Immaculate Heart. Protect us from the wiles of the Devil. Lead us safely home to Heaven, to be with you, the most holy Trinity, and all of the angels and saints. Pray for us sinners, dear Mother, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Fr. John Corapi

(the article was posted originally at The Orate Fratres)

Dear readers, we invite you now to share your favourite Marian prayers/hymns in the comment section below.

This entry was posted in Catholic Prayers, Devotion, Living Catholic lives and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to A Note on the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Birthday by Father John Corapi

  1. Pingback: Happy Birthday, Mother « Joyful Papist

  2. joyfulpapist says:

    The translation is:

    Let us sing to Mary,
    The girl who said “Yes
    let it be as you say, that I become
    the house of mankind.”

    A simple girl
    A strong-hearted girl
    A quiet girl.

    The Mother of Jesus,
    and the mother
    of the whole world


  3. golden chersonnese says:

    I sing of a maiden
    That is makelees:
    King of alle kinges
    To her sone she chees.

    He cam also stille
    Ther his moder was
    As dewe in Aprille
    That falleth on the gras.

    He cam also stille
    To his modres bowr
    As dewe in Aprille
    That falleth on the flowr.

    He cam also stille
    Ther his moder lay
    As dewe in Aprille
    That falleth on the spray.

    Moder and maiden
    Was nevere noon but she:
    Wel may swich a lady
    Godes moder be.

    (Starting at about 1.16)


  4. yoda says:


    It is better to be in the choir, than the audience,

    though being in the audience is a lot of fun too.


  5. mmvc61 says:

    O Purest Of Creatures!

    O purest of creatures! sweet Mother, sweet Maid;
    The one spotless womb wherein Jesus was laid.
    Dark night hath come down on us, Mother, and we
    Look out for thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

    Deep night hath come down on this rough-spoken world.
    And the banners of darkness are boldly unfurled;
    And the tempest-tossed Church — all her eyes are on thee.
    They look to thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

    He gazed on thy soul, it was spotless and fair;
    For the empire of sin, it had never been there;
    None had e’er owned thee, dear Mother, but He,
    And He blessed thy clear shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

    Earth gave Him one lodging; `twas deep in thy breast,
    And God found a home where the sinner finds rest;
    His home and His hiding-place, both were in thee;
    He was won by thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

    Oh, blissful and calm was the wonderful rest
    That thou gavest thy God in thy virginal breast;
    For the heaven He left He found heaven in thee,
    And He shone in thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

    F.W. Faber


  6. golden chersonnese says:

    Do you have a sing-along for this, mmvc????


  7. golden chersonnese says:

    Thanks, mmvc, it brought back the days in the school chapel choir!


  8. golden chersonnese says:

    What a painting!

    Does anybody know who the matron sitting up in bed might be?

    And I’m not sure what St Joachim’s equipment might mean?

    And a very nice garland of cherubs, though it looks a bit stuck on. I think the apprentice did that part.


  9. toadspittle says:

    mmvc61 says:

    Star of the Sea!

    Wow! That zoomed me back about sixty years, in about six seconds, in true Proustian fashion.


  10. golden chersonnese says:

    Don’t knock it, Toad.

    johnhenry once expressed less than a platonic interest in Germaine Greer, old girl (very!) of Star of the Sea Convent in the poshe Melbourne suburb of Brighton.

    Party, Toad?


  11. golden chersonnese says:

    teresa, so the woman holding the infant Mary is a nurse?


  12. rebrites says:

    Thanks CPS, for letting me know about this red-letter day. I was on church duty today, and polished up the Inmaculada´s splendid “silver” corona, for her birthday. (It was put on backward. God knows how long it´s been that way, I only hope there´s not some arcane theological reason that I´ve just undone!)

    Also thank you for finding this splendid illustrative painting! Imagine, giving birth in a Gothic cathedral, with a ring of red-robéd angels wafting ´round overhead!

    I believe the old lady in bed is St. Ann, Mary´s mother — when you´ve just given birth you kinda want to stay in bed for a while. The woman holding the baby Mary is probably the Sainted Midwife, who no doubt has a name and colorful legend… anyone know her? Wasn´t there a midwife who touched the wrong thing and withered her hand, or something?


  13. golden chersonnese says:

    And congratulations, teresa and your hard-working team! Last I looked the hits were 50,o93!


  14. Mimi says:

    Hail, Queen of Heaven, the Ocean Star,
    Guide of the wanderer here below.
    Thrown on life’s surge, we claim thy care—
    Save us from peril and from woe.
    Mother of Christ, Star of the Sea,
    Pray for the wanderer, pray for me.

    Oh gentle, chaste and spotless maid,
    We sinners make our prayer through thee.
    Remind thy Son that He has paid
    The price of our iniquity.
    Virgin most pure, Star of the Sea,
    Pray for the sinner, pray for me.


  15. Mimi says:

    O Virgin full of goodness, obtain for me the grace of loving your Son, my Saviour Jesus Christ, with a true and perfect love, and after Him of loving you with all my heart.

    (—¿Thomas Aquinas?)


  16. Mimi says:

    Our Lady went into a strange country,
    Our Lady, for she was ours
    And had run on the little hills behind the houses
    And pulled small flowers;
    But she rose up and went into a strange country
    With strange thrones and powers.

    Our Lady went into a strange country
    And they crowned her for a queen,
    For she needed never to be stayed or questioned,
    But only seen;
    And they were broken down under her unbearable beauty
    As we have been.

    Our Lady wears a crown in a strange country,
    The crown He gave,
    But she has not forgotten to call her old companions,
    To call and crave;
    And to hear her calling a man might arise and thunder
    On the doors of the grave.

    —G.K. Chesterton


  17. kathleen says:

    A Happy Birthday to Our Blessed Mother Mary.

    Haven’t learnt how to imbed videos yet, so sending this link and hope it works!


  18. golden chersonnese says:

    Thanks, rebrites, for polishing up Our Lady’s inverted coronet in Moratinos and de-inverting it!

    Yes, it’s a grand day for CP&S and how to thank the people who have given so much of their time to it!

    I think you’re quite right about the midwife’s withered hand. I sense it’s a metaphor for the dangers of carelessness.

    Did you manage a quick listen to the “I sing of a Maiden” clip above?

    What a credit to our clever American cousins! There were not a few exquisite moments in Kevin Allen’s setting of the 15th century song, believed to be from a mediaeval English mystery play (in the Warwick dialect!). I counted only one non-Saxon word in the whole thing and that was “Aprille”!

    Kevin Allen is an Afro-American and his site is not only interesting but is also here:


    He’s hard at it attempting to marry 21st century Catholicism with the traditions of Catholic church music. Well, we now know for sure there’s one of them at least.

    The church in the video, are you familiar with it? The Oratory of St Francis de Sales in South St Louis. Missouri (Rome of the Mid-West), built from the hard-earned money of 19th century immigrant German dairy farmers, as further explicated here:


    (teresa and arch-teuton johnhenry, please note)


  19. Gertrude says:

    I don’t know if it is from a mystery play, but the lyrics are part of a collection in Middle English held in the British Library. Many years ago we examined the Sloane Manuscripts, and there was another set of lyrics ‘I have a gentl cok’ which as you may (or may not) imagine prompted much mirth! The Bodlean also holds some important Middle English manuscripts.


  20. golden chersonnese says:

    Gertrude, I’m blushing.

    Not like you rugged ancient manuscript types.

    Toad is blushing too. He was only born in the enlightened 18th century.


  21. heracletian says:

    I recently acquired a Prayer Book of Catholic Devotions, and the Devotion in Honour of the Mother of Sorrows has this hymn:

    Mary crowned with living light,
    temple of the Lord,
    place of peace and holiness,
    shelter of the Word.

    Mystery of sinless life
    in our fallen race,
    free from shadows, you reflect
    plenitude of grace.

    Virgin-Mother of our God,
    lift us when we fall,
    who were named upon the cross
    Mother of us all.

    Father, Son and Paraclete,
    heaven sings your praise,
    Mary magnifies your name
    through eternal days.

    As a postscript, I love the Salve Regina set to the solemn tone.


  22. golden chersonnese says:

    Teresa, still looking at the painting.

    Been looking at St Anne more, propped up on her couch of recent travail.

    She does seem to be solicitous for the state of the infant Mary, now in the care of only a nurse, with St Anne needing the re-assurance of the home help. I’m not sure whether it’s all owing to the natural concern of a newly postpartuum mother or to the possibility that Blessed Anne is the first in on the big news.

    The more you look the more you see.


  23. rebrites says:

    Look more closely and you´ll see the attendant is handing Ann the insurance forms to sign, now that the birthing business is through. (Do saints carry the same “blessed insurance” we sing about in the hymn?)

    I am not sure if the baby´s father is approaching with a strangely-shaped loaf of bread, or a wooden bedpan!


  24. yoda says:

    Don’t forget the certificate from the Ministry of Thriving, or the passport,

    lest the babe is declared an illegal alien,

    like wot I woz.


  25. yoda says:


    Reading that cures me of my ills. Thanks, a million.


  26. firenze05 says:

    Well, my two favourite Marian hymns are posted and I’ve had the joy of singing them all over again. This morning, the dog and I walked round the fields together singing our favourite hymns – always reminds me of school and the wonderful processions we had in honour of Our Lady and the Blessed Sacrament.
    The dog, Pixie, didn’t sing – she just walked respectfully by my side, only sloping off to slaughter the odd rabbit.


  27. Flor Carandang says:

    From Mama Mary’s life, I have learned a lot about faith in God. Learning many things about the story of humankind, I have realized that it’s not bad to be good and faithful after all.


  28. geoffkiernan says:

    Father John Corapi…..???? Just what is the current status of this man, this ‘priest’?…..anyone?


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