Thursday, September 8, 2011

Celebrating Her Birth

"Rejoice O Virgin Mary;rejoice a thousand times!" St. Louis de Montfort

Each year on September 8th Roses for Our Lady honors the Birth of the Blessed Mother with a Mass and outdoor Eucharistic Rosary procession by candlelight. It is my deepest prayer that all of those who participate in this event will be drawn ever more deeply into love with the Blessed Mother and her son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Perhaps she didn’t realize it at the time, but when St. Anne conceived her daughter, Mary, she was given a tremendous honor, for who else could be considered worthy to bear the immaculately conceived Mother of God within her own womb and to lovingly raise her, the woman who would become Mother of us all. The spirit of Mary’s birth is lovingly recounted in the poem First in Our Lady’s Service by Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald, SP in which he honors St. Anne as the one “who gave unto our Lady what only mothers can.” Mary’s life was brought forth from the womb of St. Anne with one purpose, to bear the Son of God and raise Him in His human form as He prepared to reveal His divinity to the world.

Each year on September 8th, we rejoice with St. Anne as the Church celebrates the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. But the Blessed Mother’s Birthday is not celebrated with cake and candles alone, like any other birthday. We honor her instead with the greatest gift a child can offer to their Mother, the gift of prayer.

Roses for Our Lady
has a tradition of honoring Mary by loving her Son. On the occasion of her birth we celebrate the holy sacrifice of the Mass with our hearts completely lifted to heaven in joyous praise. Then we light candles, not those on a birthday cake meant to be blown out with good wishes, but blessed candles, meant to be carried in our hands as witness to the Light of the World. We carry those lights out into the city streets as we clasp the Blessed Mother by the hand through our beaded rosaries. She holds us close to her heart as we repeat the Aves while contemplating the life of her Son.

As we carry our love for the Blessed Mother and her Beloved Son out into the world, our procession becomes a path for the very Son of God, the Bread of Life, to be lifted up in splendor in the Holy Eucharist encased in a monstrance of gold, and devoutly carried in the arms of the priest wrapped in humeral veil.

We join St. Anne in offering our own humble gifts to the Blessed Mother. To quote Fr. Fitzgerald’s poem once again:

There is no saint in heaven,
nor angel who dwells there,
but holds a precious privilege,
a privilege most rare,
to do the very littlest thing
for Mary, Queen most fair.

These things we do to honor our Blessed Mother on the anniversary of her birth may seem so little and small, but we can be sure that they bring great joy to her heart, for the holy Mother of God is most honored when we praise and worship her Beloved Son.


  1. What a beautiful way to honor our blessed mother!

  2. A wonderful way to celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of Mary! Was this procession done during the day with the Catholic School kids? Or in the evening?

  3. Thanks Esther and Noreen. Roses for Our Lady is an organization of Catholic laity in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee whose purpose is to promote Eucharistic and Marian devotion. In the past the procession has been held either during the day or the evening. The picture from this post is from last year when it was held during the day, but this year we held it in the evening by candlelight. It was beautiful!

  4. Hmmm... I wonder if we have something similar in the Archdiocese of Chicago?

    Forgive me if I'm repeating myself here, but have you heard of the Public Square Rosary Crusade to be held on Sat. Oct. 15th? If you go to the America Needs Fatima website they have a link and you can find out if there are any scheduled rallies in your area. If not, and you feel called to do so, you can sign up to be a rally captain yourself!

    I'm doing so because there is not one in my town but this is way outside of my comfort zone. Even if only 2-4 people show up to pray the rosary at the designated noon hour, then I will deem it a success.

    I spoke to a pro-life group in my area who did it last year and she said twelve people showed up to hers and it lasted about 45 minutes. She's unable to organize it this time because she's gearing up for the 40 Days to Life Campaign that's starting at the end of this month.

    I'm making it my mission to tell as many Catholic bloggers as I can about this and I may be repeating myself here :)

  5. What a beautiful candlelight procession that must be, in honor of Our Lady. What a blessing and gift to those in your community!