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Today, with no historical basis but with the approbation of the Church and of Christians around the world, we celebrate the birth of Mary, the mother of Jesus, the courageous young woman who brought Jesus into the world. On this day we pray especially for pregnant women and those who are unable to carry a child. We pray additionally in thanks for Mary, faithful mother and model of fidelity to God

John Philip Newell offers a prayer on this day when the earth is turning to autumn and new hope may be planted as a seed in our souls. Can you feel it?

I have tasted the fruit of the earth, O God. I have seen the autumn trees hang heavily with heaven’s gifts. I have known people pregnant with your spirit of generosity. Let these be guides to me this day. And may Mary who knew her womb filled with your goodness teach me the wisdom that is born amidst pain. May I know that deeper than any fallowness in me is the seed planted in the womb of my soul. May I know that greater than any barrenness in the world is the harvest to be justly shared. (Celtic Benediction, p. 29)