The Birth of Mary

The Nativity of Mary – Giotto, in the Scrovegni Chapel
Padua, Italy (c. 1305)

Nativity of Mary Prayer:

Impart to your servants, we pray, O Lord, the gift of heavenly grace, that the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin may bring deeper peace to those for whom the birth of her Son was the dawning of salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen”

Chesterton wrote much about Mary, the mother of our Lord, Jesus Christ. But his perspective is an interesting one – as a former Protestant who as an adult converted to Catholicism.

In his work, The Well and the Shallows, Chesterton discusses this change in his view about Mary which he likens to a sudden and greater appreciation and acknowledgement for this simple act of obedience that she performed and how our entire salvation hung upon her simple willingness that undoes the damage of Eve. Truly her birth, is a moment to honor for the human race. She does not take her son’s place, but He gives her honor for all that she did. Truly, she is indeed the most blessed of women! And a wonderful example for all women to follow.

“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.” (Luke 1:28)

“I was brought up in a part of the Protestant world which can best be described by saying that it referred to the Blessed Virgin as the Madonna…

Mary and the Convert” is the most personal of topics, because conversion is something more personal and less corporate than communion; and involves isolated feelings as an introduction to collective feelings. But also because the cult of Mary is in a rather peculiar sense a personal cult; over and above that greater sense that must always attach to the worship of a personal God. God is God, Maker of all things visible and invisible; the Mother of God is in a rather special sense connected with things visible; since she is of this earth, and through her bodily being God was revealed to the senses. In the presence of God, we must remember what is invisible, even in the sense of what is merely intellectual; the abstractions and the absolute laws of thought; the love of truth, and the respect for right reason and honourable logic in things, which God himself has respected. For, as St. Thomas Aquinas insists, God himself does not contradict the law of contradiction.”

G. K. Chesterton, Mary and the Convert, The Well and the Shallows, 1935

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