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Tomorrow, Sept. 8, is a special day in the Church calendar for a very special lady.
Church Militant's Nick Wylie discusses the significance of the upcoming feast.
Ven. Abp. Fulton J. Sheen: "Isn't it reasonable to expect that if we pre-existed our mother, we would have made her the perfect woman? Well, God pre-existed His own mother, and therefore He would try to make her just as perfect as He could."
Sept. 8 is the Feast of Our Blessed Mother's Nativity.
Just as the Nativity of Jesus is celebrated exactly nine months after the Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel, so too is Mary's birth celebrated nine months after her Immaculate Conception — in which she was saved from Original Sin from the moment she was conceived.
The earliest documentation of the feast of her birth comes from the sixth century, but some believe it could be much older than that.
The birth of Mary has long been seen as the first glimmer of light coming into a dark and sinful world, preannouncing the coming of the true light, which is Christ.
Mary and Jesus are so intertwined in the work of salvation that St. Louis de Montfort proclaimed, "It is an infallible mark of reprobation to have no esteem and love for the holy Virgin; while on the other hand, it is an infallible mark of predestination to be entirely and truly devoted to her."
Abp. Sheen: "Tell me, Peter, how do these souls gain entry into My Kingdom? Peter said, 'Don't blame me, Lord. Every time I close the door, your mother opens a window.'"
According to a medieval legend, a holy man in France in the fifth century was shown a vision of the angels rejoicing in Heaven on Sept. 8, and was told it was in celebration of Mary's birth. If the angels celebrate the day, the Church on earth should celebrate too.
Mary's Nativity became a holy day of obligation in the 12th century and remained so until 1918, when the number of those days was greatly reduced.