By Christina Hermoso
Roman Catholics, particularly Marian devotees in many parts of the world including the Philippines, celebrate tomorrow one of the oldest Marian solemnities and one of the cardinal feasts of the liturgical devotion to the Blessed Mother – the Feast of the Nativity of Mary.
In Catholic churches, Marian shrines, and schools under the patronage of the Holy Mother in the country, celebratory masses, novenas, living rosaries, solemn processions, and the traditional “Harana kay Maria” (serenade for Mary) will be observed.
The Liturgy of the Hours, one of the highest expressions of liturgical worship, which involves the recitation of morning, midday, and evening prayers, will be held in many churches. The last of the triduum masses that began last Sept. 6 will also be celebrated today.
Many religious congregations such as the Sons of the Holy Mary Immaculate and the Society of Divine Word will profess their religious vows today to signify their total love, devotion, and commitment to the Virgin Mary.
The Catholic Church observes only two birth anniversaries of saints, that of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, and St. John the Baptist, the precursor of Christ, on June 24.
“The birth of the Blessed Mother celebrates the dawning of the day of redemption, the moment when she, who was to be the mother of our Savior, was born. In celebrating the Nativity of Mary, Christians anticipate the Incarnation and birth of her Divine Son and give honor to the mother of our Lord,” Church officials said.
The Feast of the Nativity of Mary originated in Jerusalem, Israel as early as the 6th century. It was extended to the Universal Church by Pope Sergius I in the year 687. The Virgin Mary was born in Nazareth, Galilee to Sts. Joachim and Ann, who were then both advance in years. They prayed and fasted for a child and in answer to their prayers, God granted them a daughter who was to be the Mother of the Messiah.
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