The Nativity Of Mary
In the “Apocryphal” writings we read that the Virgin Mary was sprung from the royal family of David and educated at Jerusalem in the Temple of the Lord. Her father’s name was Joachim and her mother’s Anna. Her father’s family was of Galilee and her mother’s was of Bethlehem. By some, Joachim is described as exceedingly rich. Tradition is unanimous that Mary was an only child, an heiress, and, therefore, so many of the eligible men were eager to obtain her hand in marriage.
Joachim and Anna lived chastely without any children for about twenty years, in the favor of God and the esteem of men. They vowed that if God should favor them with any issue, they would devote it to the service of the Lord, for which reason they went every season of the year to the Temple. Again, the “Apocryphal” tells us that both Joachim and Anna suffered much because of their childlessness, for to be thus was considered a punishment from God. However, their prayers and sacrifices were rewarded and being informed by an angel that they would have a child, they offered ten she-lambs and twelve tender calves to the Lord in the Temple. And Anna brought forth, and inquiring of the midwife, she was told it was a girl, and she said: “My soul has been magnified this day.” And she laid her child down. The days having been fulfilled, Anna was purified, and gave the breast to the child and called her name Mary. In Mary’s soul from the very beginning was the bliss of heaven; in the first instant of her conception, Mary, by a singular grace and privilege granted by God, was preserved exempt from all original sin. “Thou art all fair, O my Love, and there is not a spot in thee.” And “Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as any army set in array.”
Holy Mother Church has selected September 8, as the day to celebrate the feast of Mary’s Nativity, THEOTOKOS DEIPARA [which means] Mother of God. She surpasses all in that she is the mother of her Creator—giving her sanctity and greatness.
Joachim and Anna bestowed the name of Mary on their little daughter, and she has become “Our Lady”, the greatest lady of all. What a happy choice of name! Mary is of all names the most common and the least vulgar, the name which is never really given, but lent, to those who have the honor to bear it, for it belongs by particular right to her who was the first to make it glorious. “O MARY! How great is thy name!”