Deacon Anthony Cincotta
The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
'The Birth of the Virgin' by Bartolome Esteban Murillo, circa 1660.
Dear Holy Mother Mary,
It is with great humility and gratitude that I write this letter as I reflect on your birth. All your children are accustomed to wishing each other a "Happy Birthday," but I don't think many of us have taken the time to acknowledge your birthday in a personal way. Perhaps, we have not paused to thank God for the day you were born. It must have been an amazing day in the history of creation but probably was a typical day in Nazareth.
Of course, your parents were excited, as were their family, neighbors, and friends. None of them could have known about the rejoicing in heaven at your birth. God's plan to send the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity among us to save the human race from its unending free fall into sin and death. Because of you, was about to come to pass.
I admit that I have many questions for you. I wonder if the sun was shining the day you were born. Did the birds sing more joyfully that morning? Did a very young boy named Joseph, who lived close by, know about your birth?
I thank you, Mary, for your perfect life. I thank you for your openness and your "Yes" to the archangel Gabriel. I thank you and Joseph for raising Jesus to be so full of compassion and love, that He was a friend to all of us—sinners and sufferers. I thank you for being such a strong and comforting presence to the twelve apostles in those early days as you waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Most of all, I thank you for your presence in my life.
On your birthday, with my full heart, I will pray how St. Ignatius prayed to you:
"Dear Mary, place me with your Son. Let me know Him, love Him, and serve Him more closely. Stand guard over my heart and let His gift of peace remain there when the everyday disturbances of life threaten to take it away. And, finally, Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for this sinner, now and at the hour of my death. Amen."
With all my love,