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Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a Christian feast day that celebrates the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The earliest document that describes commemorating the Nativity of Mary, also known as Marymas, comes from a hymn written in the sixth century and it is likely the feast originated after the Council of Ephesus. The dedication of the Basilica Sanctae Mariae ubi nata est, now called the Church of Saint Anne in Jerusalem, is connected with the first known liturgical commemoration of the feast. Eastern monks brought the celebration to Rome towards the end of the 7th century.

Today the Roman Catholic Church celebrates this feast on September 8th, nine months after the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Prior to the reforms of Pope Pius XII, the Nativity was celebrated as an Octave (first established in 1243 by Pope Innocent IV). The Byzantine Rite celebrates the Nativity of the Theotokos on the same date.

Several Marian devotions juxtapose the Feast with their own respective images:

  • Cuba - Our Lady of Charity

  • Phillippines - Virgen de los Remedios de Pampanga

  • Phillippines - Nuestra Senora de la Natividad de Pangil

  • India - Our Lady of Good Health

  • India - Our Lady of Victories

India in particular celebrates the feast as a major celebration and octave among Saint Thomas Christians with the name നൽ‌പിറവി (Nalpiravi). From September 1 to September 8 a strict abstinence of meat and alcohol is observed an special vegetarian meals are prepared in families. Praying the Holy Rosary is an important custom and a ceremonial pudding named Pachoru (പാച്ചോറ്) is prepared.

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