Rev. Peter M.J. Stravinskas: A Happy Birthday to Our Lady

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*Image: The Nativity of the Virgin by Andrea di Bartolo, 1400/1405 [National Gallery, Washington, DC]

By Rev. Peter M.J. Stravinskas, The Catholic Thing, Sept. 8, 2023

Father Peter Stravinskas holds doctorates in school administration and theology. He is the founding editor of The Catholic Response and publisher of Newman House Press. Most recently, he launched a graduate program in Catholic school administration through Pontifex University.


We know relatively little of Our Lady’s origins; our information comes mostly from the Protoevangelium of St. James, which contains many pious legends and stories about her parents (Anne and Joachim) and infancy. We know, for a fact, however, that every devout Jewish woman dreamed of being the mother of the Messiah, or at least of giving birth to a daughter who would be.

The Church Universal commemorates Mary’s nativity on September 8.  Though the Church normally honors saints on the dates of their death, not their birth, there are three exceptions: Our Lord, Our Lady, and St. John the Baptist.  Why those? Because Our Lord and His Blessed Mother were conceived without original sin, while it’s common Catholic belief that the Baptist was born without sin due to his sanctification in the womb at the pregnant Mary’s visitation of Elizabeth, causing John to “leap for joy.” (Luke 1:44). …

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