Nativity of the Blessed Virgin

Friends in Christ, in the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola we find that one day he met a Moor while riding his mule along a road. They began to discuss religion, and the Moor did not say good things about the Blessed Virgin; but the Moor was in a hurry, and went on ahead out of sight. Now as Ignatius thought more about this, about what the man had said, he became very angry, and wished that he had defended the honor of Mary better.
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He thought that perhaps he should go after that Moor and stab him, for what he said. But coming to a fork in the road, he did not know which path the Moor had taken. He decided he would let go of the reins, and allow the mule to choose the path. If the path led to the Moor, he would stab him. Otherwise not. Fortunately, the mule did not take the path of the Moor, and Ignatius later learned that violence is not the way of a Christian. Nevertheless, we see from this incident the great love that he had for Mother Mary and her honor.
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Today is the birthday of Mary, her Nativity. When Mary was born to St. Anne and St. Joachim, it was without sin. Mary was the culmination of a long, long time of humanity waiting. As we see in the Gospel, generations and generations prepared and waited for the Savior, and now is finally born, the Mother of the Savior, the beginning of the New Dispensation.
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At the age of 3 Mary wanted to go and learn and pray at the Temple, as did many of the virgins, so her parents took her, where she prayed and studied night and day. She knew from the prophets, that the savior would be born of a virgin, and she prayed often for that virgin, whoever she was. It did not dawn on her, that SHE would be that girl. But she did pray often, that she would live to see the Redeemer whenever he was to come.
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In the Church, in the Mystical Body of Christ, Jesus is the head, and we are the members, St. Paul says this. Of Mary it can be said, that she is the neck, of the Mystical Body. Pope St. Pius X, following St. Bernard, said this very thing in his encyclical Ad diem illum in 1904. He said that in the Mystical Body, Christ is the Head and Mary is the neck through which the head exerts its power and strength on the body. It is through Mary, that all spiritual gifts are communicated to us.
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The Blessed Virgin remains always close to us if we call on her. She knows what it is like to grow up, like other children, because she did. She knows our troubles almost before we tell her. Let us therefore always defend the honor of this good Mother, and call on her often. St. Antoninus says, it is impossible that the Mother of God should pray in vain. Her prayers are always heard, because they are the prayers of a Mother. Pray for us Mary, especially as we honor you on your birthday.

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