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Aletia: Saturday, September 8, 2018 – Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

According to tradition, Mary’s parents were barren until God answered their prayers.

Little is known authoritatively about the Virgin Mary’s early childhood and family. However, an ancient text from the year 145, called The Protoevangelium of Jamesprovides a narrative that many saints have turned to when wanting to learn more about the Virgin Mary.

According to the unknown author, a man named Joachim was saddened at not being able to conceive a child with his wife, Anne. It’s recorded, “Joachim was exceedingly grieved, and did not come into the presence of his wife; but he retired to the desert, and there pitched his tent, and fasted forty days and forty nights, saying in himself: I will not go down either for food or for drink until the Lord my God shall look upon me, and prayer shall be my food and drink.”

Similarly, Anne “mourned in two mournings, and lamented in two lamentations, saying: I shall bewail my widowhood; I shall bewail my childlessness.” Then Anne “saw a laurel, and sat under it, and prayed to the Lord, saying: O God of our fathers, bless me and hear my prayer, as You blessed the womb of Sarah, and gave her a son Isaac.”

The Angel Appears

In the midst of her prayers an angel appeared and said, “the Lord has heard your prayer, and you shall conceive, and shall bring forth; and your seed shall be spoken of in all the world.” At the same time an angel appeared to Joachim, saying, “Joachim, Joachim, the Lord God has heard your prayer. Go down hence; for, behold, your wife Anne shall conceive.”

The two conceived a child shortly thereafter and then according to the story “her months were fulfilled, and in the ninth month Anne brought forth. And she said to the midwife: What have I brought forth? And she said: A girl. And said Anne: My soul has been magnified this day. And she laid her down. And the days having been fulfilled, Anne was purified, and gave the breast to the child, and called her name Mary.”

The account echoes many of the stories in the Old Testament, where couples were barren until they cried out to God. Angels are often the bearers of good news to them, proclaiming that they will bear a child. Yet in this case, instead of a boy, the announcement is a girl who “shall be spoken of in all of the world.”

The Catholic Church’s Beliefs

While the story is not known to be a factual account, the Church does refer to the parents of the Virgin Mary as Joachim and Anne.

Whatever happened, it would have been fitting for her birth to be miraculous, as the Church teaches that the Virgin Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin in the womb of her mother. The Solemnity of Mary’s Immaculate Conception is celebrated annually on December 8, nine months before the Feast of the Birth of Mary on September 8.

 

Read about 3 Saintly Teenagers Who Can Inspire Young People Today

Think you’re not old enough to make a difference? Do you think you’re not old enough to be saintly? Age has nothing to do with success. Read these short stories about saintly teenagers who lived their faith to the end! And be inspired to do the same…

The list includes a “computer geek,” “popular girl,” and “smart kid.”

When reading the lives of the saints, it can sometimes be discouraging. Why? Because we’re not able to find anyone who is even remotely like us. It can seem as though only old priests, nuns and monks can be saints. Its almost as if you have to be a gray-haired religious to be holy.

However, this is nowhere near the truth. Pope Francis clearly points this out in his exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate.

To be holy does not require being a bishop, a priest or a religious. We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves.

Young people especially are capable of becoming saints, though we often think that is impossible. Their zeal and energy, if pointed in the right direction, can change the world.

Meet 3 Amazing Teenagers

Here is a short list of three teenagers who prove that holiness is possible for everyone, and how God uses their gifts and talents for his greater glory.

Bl. Chiara Badano

Badano was a popular girl in her class with lots of friends. She frequently played sports, sang, danced and stayed out late with friends. Bl. Chiara was paralyzed at 17 and offered everything to God, saying, “For you, Jesus, if you want it, I want it too!” She died of cancer at 18 with the words, “Goodbye. Be happy because I’m happy.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CarloAcutis.com

Servant of God Carlo Acutis

Acutis loved computers and used them to spread the faith. One of his most significant computer ventures was cataloguing all the Eucharistic miracles of the world. He said, “The more Eucharist we receive, the more we will become like Jesus, so that on this earth we will have a foretaste of Heaven.” He died of leukemia at age 15.

Courtesy of Anickazelikova.cz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Servant of God Anna Zelíková

Zelíková was a simple teenager who loved Jesus dearly. She wrote, “true beauty is hidden in faithfulness in little things. I always desired to do great and heroic deeds of love, but when I saw that I was unable, I was grieved by it. Now I find great heroism precisely in little things, so that now I haven’t the slightest regret whether I can do something or not.” She died of tuberculosis at age 17.