Wednesday, September 8, 1999
First Reading: Micah 5: 1-4 or Romans 8: 28-30
Psalms: Psalm 13: 6 and Isaiah 61: 9
Gospel Reading: Matthew 1: 1-16, 18-23
Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary is one of the first links between the Old Testament and the New Testament and the origins of the feast date back to the fifth century when a basilica was built on the site where the pool of Bethesda was as told in John 5: 1-9. The scholars of those days deducted that it was also the site of where Our Lady's parents Saint Joachim and Saint Anne lived and Mary was born. Since Mary was the temple in which God chose her to become the Mother of Jesus Christ,Savior, the Church felt it important to honor her feast. Though it started in the east, by the seventh century Rome was celebrating it in the universal Church instituted by Pope Sergius I in the early 700's. In the 13th century the feast became a Solemnity with a day of fasting the day before. Though there were various dates over the centuries on which different countries and cultures celebrated her birth, the Church officially attributed the Blessed Mother's birth to September 8 - nine months after the Feast of Mary's Immaculate Conception.