Latest Stories

Mary today


Today, September 8 is the 251st day of the year (252nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 114 days remaining until the end of the year.

It’s the birthday of famous people like Peter Sellers (Pink Panther fame), often accredited as one of the greatest comedians of all time, John Thomas, Boston Celtics’ forward and Pink (born Alecia Beth Moore) who became famous for  her rendition of “Lady Marmalade.”

Also today in 1276 , John XXI was elected Pope; in 1522, Spanish navigator Juan de Elcano returned to Spain after completing the 1st circumnavigation of the globe and Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition began; in 1930,  comic strip “Blondie” made its first appearance; in 1941, the entire Jewish community of Meretsch, Lithuania is exterminated,  to name a few of the historical events remembered today.

The world can have an endless list of September 8 events and birthday celebrants. I’m sure we have our own personal lists, too. But allow me today to give honor to a birthday celebrant and an important historical event that signaled the end of many years of expectation and ushered in the  time of hope, grace and salvation to all of us.

Today is the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus – the one girl who changed the world. Her image has become a beacon of light for the whole Christian people.

In the Catholic Church,  the lives and deaths of saints are usually  celebrated, even angels. In the Philippines, the celebration is magnified in every nook and corner of a sitio or barangay where a “kapilya” (chapel) is located. There is no place without a “kapilya” and where there is a “kapilya” there is a feast of a saint being celebrated. You can’t miss it. There are 9 days and nights of celebration complete with music blasting through giant speakers.

But the Virgin Mary is the most celebrated patroness in these chapels with so many titles:  Mother of Perpetual Help, Virgin of the Rule, Our Lady of the Angels, Mary Help of Christians, Immaculate Conception, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Peace,  Our Lady of the Rosary,  to name a few.

Why all these honors?

The book Dictionary of Mary presents that “the birth of Mary is ordained in particular toward her mission as Mother of the Savior. Her existence is indissolubly connected with that of Christ; it partakes of a unique plan of predestination and grace. God’s mysterious plan regarding the incarnation of the Word embraces also the Virgin who is His Mother. In this way, the Birth of Mary is inserted at the very heart of the History of Salvation.”

This young girl’s “yes” to the angel Gabriel who visited her in her home in Nazareth and told her that she was to bear a son whom she shall name Jesus, the Son of the Most High triggered the fulfillment of our salvation.

Even though she didn’t fully understood the meaning of the heavenly message and how the maternity could happen because she was a virgin, Mary trusted the words of the angel and said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:26-38)

That one line is the greatest form of humility of surrender. Deep in her heart, I’m sure Mary was confused. Who is she to be chosen among all other women? Yet, she bowed to the will of God because she believed. Period.

In fact Mary’s entire life is a prayer of surrender, a great example for all of us to follow. That’s why she is our Mother.

Let us celebrate her birth today with joy  and honor her image as the hope and light for the whole Christian people.

It crossed my mind that though our Blessed Mother is not with us physically  today and all we can honor is her image in her many titles, there is a simple way to honor the Virgin and that is to make sure her name lives in all of us, whether it be our name or the names of members of our family.

I really pray that would-be parents take extra care in naming their children. It should not be what is popular, nice to hear or uniquely coined. Appendaging our children’s name with that of Mary’s is a blessing as well as a great reminder for them to live the life of their namesakes.

These are some Marian names taken from our Blessed Mother’s titles: Luz (light), Mercedes (mercy), Regina (queen), Consuelo (consolation), Dolores (sorrows), Madonna (my lady), Maris (the sea), Milagros (miracles), Nieves (snows), Pilar (pillar), Remedios (remedies), Socorro (help), Soledad (solitude) and of course, Rosario (rosary).

Live these names if you have them. Live the life of humility, obedience, faithfulness and surrender of our Blessed Mother. Live Jesus in our hearts through her.

Thank you God for giving us Mother Mary on this day.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: faith , Mama Mary , Religion , Virgin Mary

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • Lacson eyes P106-B ‘Yolanda’ rehab masterplan
  • What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  • Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • Napoles surgery in Makati hospital successful
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Visiting chefs from Denmark get creative with ‘ube,’ ‘ buko,’ ‘calamansi,’ mangoes
  • Salted baked potatoes
  • A first in a mall: Authentic Greek yogurt–made fresh in front of diners
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Philippine Airlines to stop shipment of shark fins
  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  • Marketplace