|Our Lady of Victory at Naxxar parish, Malta.|
Today we celebrate the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Connected to this feast is the Immaculate Conception which we celebrated exactly 9 months ago, to emphasize the duration of a human pregnancy, even for Mary, being born of her mother Saint Anne. The feast of the Nativity started in the 5th century when a basilica was built in Jerusalem where St Anne lived and where Mary was born, traditionally around 12 BC. Saints Joachim and Anne had their own feast on July 26, but today we honor Mary’s birthday. Imagine the joy to see this little girl being born, in the obscurity of her town, with no Angels, no shepherds, no Kings, but that’s because she didn’t want to take the attention from her Son, who would be born 16 years later. 4 parishes in Malta are dedicated to the Nativity of Mary, Senglea, Mellieha, Xaghra on the island of Gozo and Naxxar, where my chapel is located and where I say Mass frequently in the parish church. Processions are held in each parish in the evening, and obviously the churches are dressed up to their very best.