|"The Nativity of the Virgin" by Jan Erasmus Quellinus|
HistoryThe Bible doesn't say anything about the birth of Our Lady, but tradition and a book called the Protoevangelium of James gives us one version of the story. Mary's parents, Anna and Joachim, were godly people who loved the Lord. They were never able to have a baby, but they prayed and prayed that God would give them a child. When they were quite old and everybody else would have given up any hope, they received a message from the Lord that they would have a child who would be part of God's plan of salvation for the world. Saint Augustine (whom we learned about a couple weeks ago) called Mary, "the flower of the field from whom bloomed the precious lily of the valley."
Today, plant some Lily of the Valley bulbs in your yard. These are also called "Our Lady's Tears." Next spring, around Easter time, the bulbs will bloom and become another reminder of what Our Lady did for all of us by agreeing to be the mother of Christ. (And you can make a birthday cake for Mary, too, if you like!)
Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our deaths!
More reading for parents:EWTN
Women for Faith and Family