The Universal Church celebrates three birthdays in the liturgical calendar – the birthday of Jesus Christ (25 December), John the Baptist (24 June) and Blessed Virgin Mary (8 September). Before Mary was born, her parents - Joachim and Anne - were unable to conceive. They were deeply saddened by this, yet prayed and fasted fervently, until one day an angel appeared to Anne and prophesied that all generations would honour their future child: “The Lord has heard your prayer, and you shall conceive, and shall bring forth, and your seed shall be spoken of in all the world.” Her parents offered Mary to God as a consecrated Virgin for the rest of her life.
The moment she was born, Mary became a future Mother of Our Lord Jesus, the Saviour of the World. Her birth was exactly nine months after the Solemnity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which falls on 8 December. The Bible does not record her infancy nor her early childhood, but traditionally the Church has celebrated her nativity since the sixth century.
On Thursday, 8 September 2022, our Parish celebrated our Spiritual Mother’s birthday in our Church. About 300 Parishioners gathered in front of the grotto to recite the Luminous Mystery of the Rosary. Unfortunately, we couldn’t complete all five decades at the grotto as it started to drizzle. The remaining two decades were recited inside the Church and the prayer concluded with the Litany to Our Lady. This was followed by the Eucharistic celebration. After Mass, the Legion of Mary members had a cake cutting ceremony and served some light refreshments. It was a pleasant celebration in honour of the BVM- reminding us to follow her example in faith.
In the months of August and September, there are several Chapels and a Parish in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur celebrating the feast of the BVM and her birthday. The Parish of Our Mother of the Perpetual Help in Mentakab, Pahang celebrated their feast day on her Queenship as Queen of Heaven and Earth (22 August 2022). Three other chapels will celebrate their feast days of Our Lady of Annai Velangkani (Our Lady of Good Health) this weekend (10 September 2022). These chapels are situated in Gadong (Seremban), Assam Jawa (Kuala Selangor) and Kampung Pandan (Ampang). The chapels are well-known and believed to have healing powers, drawing over 2000 people every year during their feast days.
Mother Mary is a very special Spiritual Mother and dear to Catholics - and even to others of different faiths. Many of our elderly faithful recite the Rosary without fail as they believe strongly that she gives them her care and protection from all anguish, struggle, distress and illness. When we pray the Rosary, she intercedes for our needs and protects us against all harm, evil and danger.
As we journey together, let us embrace her as our Mother and learn to be obedient to the will of God by saying, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done according to Your word,” (Luke 1: 38).