This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Saturday, August 28, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
The Nativity of St. Mary
An Invitation to Prayer
We praise you, O Jesus,
as we honor your holy mother.
—Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you. (Cf. Luke 1:28)
O Lord, my heart is not conceited,
nor my manner haughty.
I am not involved in great things,
nor in matters far beyond me.
If I were not modest,
—like a toddler with its mother—
but vaunted myself,
would it go well with my soul?
Let Israel trust in the Lord
from now and for the ages!
A Note from our History
This feast arose in the fifth century from the dedication of a church near the sheep pool and Bethesda in Jerusalem and dedicated on September 8th to Saint Mary “at the place where she was born.” The present day Crusader church, erected by 1135, is dedicated to St. Ann, the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus. Later in that century the Muslims regained the city. Unlike many of the other Crusader churches which were then destroyed, this basilica became a madrasa, or Muslim seminary. In the 19th century, in gratitude for French support during the Crimean War, the Ottoman sultan gave the church to the French Emperor Napoleon III. Although some restoration was required, what most pilgrims see today is the original Crusader basilica.
O God Most High, you sit upon the Thrones of heaven, and yet prepared a throne for your Word upon this earth in the body of Mary, mother of your Son. You, who fashioned the heavens above, created a living heaven in her body, for the Word assumed flesh from her—and within her—by the work of your Holy Spirit. Your Word dwelt in her incarnate, and she gave birth to him so that God is truly Immanuel, truly “God With Us.” As we remember the great blessing of her birth, we praise and glorify you who work your wonders in such surprising and amazing ways. Glory to you! Amen!