Today, August 5th, we not only observe the first Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but we celebrate Mother Mary’s birthday as well. The Church celebrates the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 8th. While reading “Words from Heaven, Messages from Our Lady from Medjugorje” this past summer, I learned (in Mary’s own words) that her birthday is actually on August 5th. I wonder what method they used back in Jesus’ time to keep track of the days and months. Certainly, it was not a calendar such as we use today.
When I read about Mary’s actual birth date, I was amazed to learn something so personal about her, so I marked my calendar to help me remember. Well, it’s been an absolutely crazy week with running from one place to another, making all of the preparations for back to school. Even though it was bolded in my planner, I would have forgotten all about this special day, had it not been for one of my students. At Open House, I told the kids that we’d celebrate Mary’s birthday with songs, cupcakes and spiritual gifts for the Blessed Mother. Today, on our first day of classes, a student raised his hand to ask, “When did you say Mary’s birthday is?” I knew that he was cleverly reminding me about the cupcakes to be served on September 8th, but it jogged my memory about the discovery of Mary’s actual birthday. It is today! This young man had helped me to remember. Perhaps he had a bit of help from heaven!
Excited about being able to seize a teachable moment with my own children, I stopped by the grocery store on my way home from work to buy a birthday cake and ice cream. After dinner, we bedecked the cake with candles and sang “happy birthday” to Mary. I hope that it brought a little smile to the Blessed Mother’s face. She does so much for our family. My six-year-old wanted to know how Mary was going to eat a piece of this delicious chocolate cake we had bought in her honor. Cute!
Once, when I was out in my garden checking out the new blossoms, I was seeking the perfect flower to place beside my pictures of Jesus and Mary in the house – to show my love for them. I felt as though Mary was guiding me, “Dana, all the flowers in the world are mine. What I desire most is prayers – Prayers for the world, prayers for conversion of sinners, prayers that people will accept and love my Son, Jesus, who gave everything for them.”
And so…I hope to show gratitude to my Heavenly Mother tonight by saying some extra bedtime prayers with my children – and giving those prayers a bit more effort. Maybe, I’ll read a passage about Mary from scripture. The Magnificat in Luke’s gospel is particularly beautiful! “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…”
“Mother Mary, thank you for your prayers on our behalf. Teach us to love your Son, Jesus, as He deserves to be loved. Keep us always close to His Most Sacred Heart, and never let us stray from the path that leads to salvation. Help us to follow your example of humility, trust and obedience to God’s Holy Will. Please assist us at the hour of our death, so that we may join the angels and the saints in giving praise to our Father in heaven for all eternity. Amen.”