Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Honoring Mary's Birthday and Her Holy Name

On the Church's liturgical calendar only three births are celebrated: Jesus, John the Baptist, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Holy Mother Church celebrates the birth of the Blessed Mother on September 8.
Keeping with Jewish custom, our Lady's parents named her eight days after her birth. The feast of the Holy Name of Mary, therefore, follows that of her birthday and is celebrated on September 12

The Breviary states, “In danger, in difficulty, or in doubt, think on Mary, call on Mary. Let her not be away from thy mouth or from thine heart, and that thou mayest not lack the succour of her prayers, turn not aside from the example of her conversation. If thou follow her, thou wilt never go astray. If thou pray to her, thou wilt never have need to despair … If she help thee, thou wilt reach home safe at the last - and so thou wilt prove in thyself how meetly it is said: And the Virgin's name was Mary.”

On these two feasts of Our Lady, may we honor her, calling upon Mary's sweet name in love and in need, placing ourselves under her Motherly protection. We also can honor Mary's holy name by singing or reciting the beautiful hymn “Ave Maris Stella.”

Hail Star of the Sea
Hail, thou Star of ocean,
God's own mother blest,
Ever sinless Virgin,
Gate of heavenly rest.

Oh ! by Gabriel's Ave,
Uttered long ago,
Eva's name reversing,
Stablish peace below.

Break the captive's fetters;
Light on blindness pour ;
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore.

Show thyself a Mother;
May the Word Divine,
Born for us thine Infant,
Hear our prayers through thine.

Virgin all excelling!
Mildest of the mild;
Freed from guilt preserve us,
Meek and undefiled.

Keep our life all spotless,
Make our way secure,
Till we find in Jesus,
Joy for evermore.

Through the highest heaven,
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son, and Spirit,
One same glory be. Amen.

Or in the Latin...

Ave Maris Stella

Ave, Maris Stella,
Dei Mater alma,
Atque semper virgo,
Felix coeli porta.

Sumens illud Ave
Gabrielis ore,
Funda nos in pace,
Mutans Evae nomen.

Solve vincia reis
Profer lumen caecis,
Mala nostra pelle,
Bona cuncta posce.

Monstra te esse Matrem,
Sumat per te preces
Qui pro nobis natus,
Tulit esse tuus.

Virgo singularis,
Inter omnes mitis,
Nos culpis solutos
Mites fac et castos.

Vitam praesta puram,
Iter para tutum;
Ut videntes Jesum
Semper collaetemur.

Sit laus Deo Patri,
Summo Christo decus,
Spiritui Sancto,
Tribus honor unus. Amen.

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