Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

Birth of the Virgin
Bartolome Esteban Murillo 1660

Thy birth, O Virgin Mother of God,

heralded joy to all the world.

For from thou hast risen the Sun of justice,

Christ our God. Destroying the curse, He gave blessing;

and damning death, He bestowed on us

life everlasting. Blessed art thou among women

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

For from thou hast risen of Sun of justice,

Christ our God.

(From The Divine Office – Matins)


Book of Micah 5,1-4a.

The LORD says : You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah, too small to be among the clans of Judah, From you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel ; Whose origin is from of old, from ancient times. 
(Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time when she who is to give birth has borne, And the rest of his brethren shall return to the children of Israel.) 
He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the LORD, in the majestic name of the LORD, his God; And they shall remain, for now his greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth; 
he shall be peace. 

Psalms 13(12),6ab.6cd.

Though I trusted in your mercy, 
let my heart rejoice in your salvation. 

Let me sing of the LORD, 
“He has been good to me.” 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 1,1-16.18-23.

The Book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 
Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. 
Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, 
Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, 
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse, 
Jesse the father of David the king. David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. 
Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph. 
Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. 
Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. 
Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah. 
Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile. 
After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, 
Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, 
Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Messiah. 
Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. 
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. 
Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. 
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 
Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” 


Saint John Damascene (c.675-749) 
monk, theologian, Doctor of the Church 
Homily on the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, 1-2 (cf SC 80, p. 48)

A mother worthy of the one who created her

Come, you nations; come, all peoples of every race and language, every age and rank. Joyfully let us celebrate the nativity of the whole world’s joy! If even the pagans honor the birthday of their king (…) what ought not we to do to honor that of the Mother of God, through whom all humanity has been transformed and the pain of Eve, our first mother, has been turned to joy? For Eve heard God’s sentence: “You will bring forth children in pain” (Gn 3:16), but Mary: “Rejoice, most highly favored (…), the Lord is with you” (Lk 1:28). (…)

Let all creation celebrate and sing the holy childbirth of a holy woman, for she has brought a lasting treasure into the world. (…) Through her the creative Word of God has been united to the whole creation and we celebrate the ending of human barrenness, the ending of the sickness that kept us from possessing all our good. (…) Nature has given way to grace (…). As the Virgin Mother of God had to be born of barren Anna, so nature remained without fruit until grace had produced its own. It was to open the womb of its mother, she who would give birth to “The Firstborn of all creation” in whom “all things hold together” (Col 1:15,17).

O blessed couple, Joachim and Anne! All creation owes you thanks; through you it has offered the Creator the best of all his gifts: a mother worthy of veneration, the only mother worthy of the one who created her.

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