Updated: Mar 20
On September 8, the Catholic church celebrates Mother Mary’s birth.
Usually, it is a saint’s day of death that is recognized as the feast day as that is the day when they entered eternal life. The Catholic church does celebrate three birthdays: Jesus’ birth, St. John the Baptist’s birth, and Mother Mary’s birth.
Fr. Francis B. Ongkingco in Cebu Daily News states there are only two exceptions where the saint’s birthdays are celebrated: Our Lady and St. John the Baptist. This is because their birthdays are so intimately associated with Jesus’ birth. St. John the Baptist was born to announce the coming of our Lord, while our Lady was born to bear God in Her womb and give birth to Him. If John the Baptizer was born to market the Good News, Mary was born to deliver the Good News!
I find it interesting that both St. John the Baptist’s parents and Mother Mary’s parents were infertile. To me, this shows God working for our salvation. Where there did not seem to be a way, God made a way. Luke 1 announces the Birth of John. Luke 1:7 recounts that Zechariah and Elizabeth “had no child because Elizabeth was barren and both were advanced in years.”
The bible doesn’t mention about infertility of Mary’s parents. Catholic News Agency cites that the “Protoevangelium of James” outlines some of the beliefs of Catholics regarding the birth of Mary. Joachim and Anne, the parents of Mary, at first thought that their infertility was because they thought that God was displeased with them. So, they prayed and fasted. Similar to how an angel announced to Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus, Catholic News Agency, relates that “an angel revealed to Anne when he appeared to her and prophesied that all generations would honor 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.“