September is the month in which some Christian churches keep the feast day of the birth of Mary, the Mother of Jesus (8 September). In the Catholic Church, Mary is often referred to as ‘Our Lady’, a title that personalises her to us. She is a lady (or mother) for all of us.
Though there is no record of Mary’s actual day of birth, this feast was celebrated by Christians in Syria and Palestine as early as the sixth century, when on a particular September 8 a church in Jerusalem was consecrated in Mary’s honour.
By celebrating her birthday, Christians celebrate the first dawning of redemption with the appearance in the world of the Saviour’s mother, Mary.
The Blessed Virgin occupies a unique place in the history of salvation. Mary was free from sin throughout her life because only a perfect human being was good enough to give birth to the Son of God.
Read Father Dowling’s full column in this week’s (2 October) people’s paper.