08 Sept, Thursday, The Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary

A grace-filled birth

It is not certain exactly when or where Our Lady was born; but it was most likely about sixteen years before the birth of Jesus, and in Nazareth, where St Luke’s Gospel locates her, as she received God’s message from the angel. It was only after the Council of Ephesus in 431 – when Mary was designated as “Theotokos” (“Mother of God”) – that devotion to her spread far and wide in the Western Church. But well before that time, the exceptional circumstances of her birth were remembered and celebrated among the Christians of Palestine.