Reflection for 18 Sunday of Ordinary Time, week beginning 1 August 2021.
Thursday of the coming week, August 5th, is the optional memorial of the basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome. It is the largest church in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the western world.
Mary was proclaimed ‘Mother of God’ at the Church Council of Ephesus in 431. ‘Theotokos’ in Greek = ‘God-bearer’. To mark this, Pope Sixtus 111 had a basilica built in her honour.
In our day, Mary has revealed to the visionaries of Medjugorje (in Bosnia-Herzegovina) that August 5th is her true birthday. (The Church celebrates it formally on 8th September, since that is 9 months on from December 8th – the great feast of the Immaculate Conception.)
What is surely fascinating, therefore, is that there must have been a well-known tradition in the first 5 centuries AD, that August 5th was her birthday. This would have been circulated by word of mouth (i.e. in the Oral Tradition) rather than being written down as such.
Why not pray the Rosary’s Mysteries of Light (Luminous Mysteries) on Thursday in honour of her? Ask her for her ongoing intercession for you and your family, during the pandemic and beyond.