Saturday, September 8, 2012

Maria Bambina

"She is the flower of the field from whom bloomed the precious lily of the valley. Through her birth the nature inherited from our first parents is changed."    
 ~St. Augustine of Hippo

“The Blessed Virgin is the spoiled child of the Blessed Trinity.
She knows no law. Everything yields to her in heaven and on earth.
The whole of heaven gazes on her with delight.
She plays before the ravished eyes of God himself.”
~Raissa Maritain

The feast of the Nativity of Our Lady is one of our favorites. It has, quite naturally, become one of the milestones of the liturgical year in our family. September is such a bittersweet month in the life of the Church; this week we celebrate the birth of the Blessed Mother, only to commemorate her seven sorrows a week from today. And, of course, between those two feasts we have the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on the 14th. 

What makes this day - and, in fact, the entire month - even more beautiful is the way it is gravitated by the change in seasons and the harvest. In France, the feast of the Nativity of Mary was celebrated by a blessing of grapes. In Austria, cattle and sheep were brought down from the hills in a festive caravan, to prepare for the cold winter months ahead.  September marks a period of transition, both in the patterns of the seasons and in the feasts we commemorate. In this month we remember the joyous event of the birth of the Theotokos, but we do not forget the tears she shed and the sword that pierced her heart. 

This year we celebrated Mary's birthday by planting seeds for the fall. We also started this lovely novena from the Maria Bambina website:

 Holy Child Mary of the royal house of David, Queen of the angels,
Mother of grace and love, I greet you with all my heart.
Obtain for me the grace to love the Lord faithfully during
all the days of my life. Obtain for me, too, a great devotion
to you, who are the first creature of God's love.
Hail Mary, full of grace................
O heavenly Child Mary, who like a pure dove was born
immaculate and beautiful, true prodigy of the wisdom of
God, my soul rejoices in you. Oh! Do help me to preserve
the angelic virtue of purity at the cost of any sacrifice.
Hail Mary, full of grace................
Hail, lovely and holy Child, spiritual garden of delight, where,
on the day of the Incarnation, the tree of life was planted,
assist me to avoid the poisonous fruit of vanity and pleasures of the world.
Help me to engraft into my soul the thoughts, feelings,
and virtues of your divine Son.
Hail Mary, full of grace................
Hail, admirable Child Mary, Mystical Rose, closed garden,
open only to the heavenly Spouse. O Lily of paradise,
make me love the humble and hidden life;
let the heavenly Spouse find the gate of my heart always open
to the loving calls of His graces and inspiration.
Hail Mary, full of grace................
Holy Child Mary, mystical dawn, gate of heaven,
you are my trust and hope.
O powerful advocate, from your cradle stretch out your hand,
support me on the path of life.
Make me serve God with ardor and
constancy until death and so reach an eternity with you.
Hail Mary, full of grace................


Blessed Child Mary, destined to be the Mother of God and our loving Mother, by the heavenly graces you lavish upon us, mercifully listen to my supplications. In the needs which press upon me from every side and especially in my present tribulation, I place all my trust in you.

O holy Child, by the privileges granted to you alone and by the merits which you have acquired, show that the source of spiritual favors and the continuous benefits which you dispense are inexhaustible, because your power with the Heart of God is unlimited.

Deign through the immense profusion of graces with which the Most High has enriched you from the first moment of your Immaculate Conception, grant me, O Celestial Child, my petition, and I shall eternally praise the goodness of your Immaculate Heart.

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