This coming Sunday, September 8, is our parish patronal feast day – the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our parish is named in honor of the birth of Mary.
I would suspect that there have been more people, places, and things named after our Blessed Mother than after any other person in history. It might make a good party game. See who can list the most people, places, and things named after Mary.
There have been many cities named after Mary. For example, “Los Angeles” was named after “Mary, Queen of the Angels.” There have been flowers named after Mary like, “Lady Slippers” and “Marigolds.” Well known universities, like “Notre Dame,” were named in honor of our Blessed Mother. The largest of the ships used by Christopher Columbus when in 1492 he sailed the ocean blue was named the “Santa Maria.”
Of course, we all can think of friends and relatives who have been named in honor of Mary. There are the obvious cognates like Maria, Marion, Miriam, and Marie. In addition to these, the name “Delores” is Latin for “sorrows” and often is used in honor of “Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows.” “Regina” means “queen” and “Madonna” means “my lady” – both names are often used to honor Mary. In the time I spent in South America I met young ladies named “Concepción” and “Asunción” in honor of Mary’s Immaculate Conception and Assumption. I even met a man named “Rosario” in honor of Mary and the rosary.
So our parish is part of a long list of people and groups who wanted to have a share in the great beauty, grace, and spiritual care of our Blessed Mother.
All of those people surely are not mistaken. Spend some time in quiet with our Blessed Mother on our parish feast day and in the days to come and you will feel your heart being nourished in faith and love. Into your life the gift of Christ will be born in a new way.
Nativitas tua, Dei Genitrix Virgo. Gaudium annuntiavit universo mundo!
Thy Nativity, O Virgin Mother of God, hath brought joy to the whole world!
Don’t let the day pass without some sort of celebration or prayerful commemoration. Blessed Feast Day to all of you,