Thursday, September 8, 2016

Nativity of Mary: Maria Bambina

Today is the Nativity of Mary or in simpler terms, the Virgin Mary's Birthday. This is a special feast day celebrated on every 8th of September. The winegrowers in France called today the feast "Our Lady of the Grape Harvest". In tradition, grapes are brought to the local church to be blessed and then some of the blessed grapes (still on the vine) are placed within the hands of the statue of Mary. Grapes are also included in the meals on this day.

France is not the only country with special traditions to honor Mary on her birthday. In Goa, the feast of Mary's Nativity, called the "Monti Fest." Today is celebrated like a United States Thanksgiving! There are festivals and blessings on the harvest of new crops.

In my research of this special day, I came across the amazing website that discusses the devotion to the Holy Infant Mary (Maria Bambina). If you have some free time I think you should check out the website and learn about some special traditions tied to Mary as an infant and child. 

To celebrate today there are so many different ways to honor Mary! You could make it as extravagant as having a full birthday party celebration in her honor or as simple as sharing a birthday cake as a family. You can enjoy some blue treats and foods like jello, blueberries in fruit salad or baked goods. Also check out Life, Love and Sacred Art for a Free Printable.

My family had a simple meal in Mary's honor because we had football practice and lots of homework tonight. We had some Italian Baked Chicken with homemade mashed potatoes and baby peas. I chose chicken and mashed potatoes because they are white to symbolize Mary's purity in infancy because she was born without sin. We added the baby peas because... well... they were baby peas. Sorry that was as far as my imagination went with our vegetable tonight. I am disappointed I forgot to snap a picture of our dinner because the boys and I were ravenous after our busy day. 

I also wanted to bake a cake to celebrate as well but the boys are not allowed to have treats because they are grounded until this weekend. I think I still might bake a cake in Mary's honor over the weekend because I will be starting another Vegan for a Week Challenge on Monday. You can see our last Vegan Challenge Here. Check out how I keep our Liturgical Celebrations next week fun and tasty with these added food restrictions. I promise you won't be disappointed. 

I also finished off the amazing bottle of wine my husband bought for us earlier in the week. Remember today is also called Our Lady of the Grape Harvest! As a lover of wine, I could not pass up the opportunity to honor Mary with that love!

How did your family honor Mary today? 

In Honor of Our Lady's Nativity:

Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O sacred Virgin; give me strength against thine enemies, and against the enemy of the whole human race. Give me strength humbly to pray to thee. Give me strength to praise thee in prayer with all my powers, through the merits of thy most sacred nativity, which for the entire Christian world was a birth of joy, the hope and solace of its life.

When thou wast born, O most holy Virgin, then was the world made light.
Happy is thy stock, holy thy root, and blessed thy fruit, for thou alone as a virgin, filled with the Holy Spirit, didst merit to conceive thy God, as a virgin to bear Thy God, as a virgin to bring Him forth, and after His birth to remain a virgin.

Have mercy therefore upon me a sinner, and give me aid, O Lady, so that just as thy nativity, glorious from the seed of Abraham, sprung from the tribe of Juda, illustrious from the stock of David, didst announce joy to the entire world, so may it fill me with true joy and cleanse me from every sin.
Pray for me, O Virgin most prudent, that the gladsome joys of thy most helpful nativity may put a cloak over all my sins.

O holy Mother of God, flowering as the lily, pray to thy sweet Son for me, a wretched sinner. 


Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for us!


  1. Thanks for sharing, Jessica! I'm noticing all the feasts for the first time this year.

    1. Of course! The Liturgical year is so amazing to celebrate!