The quarterly newsletter for Assumption BVM Church

January, 2016 | Archived Did you know

Did you know…

…that we celebrate the birthday of Mary (patroness of our parish) in September? The “Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary” falls on September 8th. Why that date? Because it follows nine months after the Immaculate Conception on December 8th.

Here’s the background. From the sixth century, the Eastern (Byzantine) Church has celebrated the “Feast of the Conception of Saint Anne” (the day Saint Anne conceived her daughter Mary in her womb) on December 9th. Eastern monks brought that feast to Rome in the seventh century. Then, as Marian theology developed in the West, the “Conception of Saint Anne” evolved into the “Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.” Its date was moved to December 8th on the Roman calendar, and Mary’s birthday was set exactly nine months later.

So there you have it! And here’s an added bonus: remembering the December 8th-September 8th connection will help you avoid the common error of thinking the Immaculate Conception refers to Jesus. It doesn’t! It refers to Mary’s conception! And her birthday comes nine months later!

–Deacon Eric Umile

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