The Nativity of Our Lady

By Charla Spalluto Misse

When my son was 3 while we were driving to preschool, I explained that I was going to Mass for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, in other words, for our Mother Mary’s birthday.

My son’s “job” at that time was to pick balloons for all celebrations. So, he asked when he would pick the balloons for the birthday celebration.

While I hadn’t planned on a birthday party for Mary, it sounded like a terrific idea to me!  During the day, I would buy flowers and cake ingredients for our party that evening. We would go for balloons after school.

Later that day, together at the store, we silently studied the many balloons filled and hanging high in the corral. He had a knack for picking the perfect balloons for each person. I wondered which he would pick for the most blessed and beautiful of persons.

I lifted him up so he could grab the string which he had carefully traced down from the correct balloon.  Then, I saw what he had chosen: a pure white star.

And, unlike all our other celebrations where he chose three balloons, this time, he only wanted one. I was speechless. I hadn’t told him that I had bought white roses and was making a white chocolate cake.  When I asked him why he picked that balloon, he said he wanted it to be perfect, just like her.

Since then, we’ve celebrated Mary’s birthday every year with white roses, a white chocolate cake and a single white star balloon. I am so humbly grateful that my son brought this grace into our home, allowing us to reflect on Mary’s unblemished holiness and to feel her limitless maternal comfort and protection.

And this year, on Sept. 8, I invite you to have your own birthday party for the Mother of our Savior, celebrating the gift that she is to us.

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