Virgin Mary's birth

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Sculpture of the Birth of Mary (detail), Augsburg around 1520

The feast of the Birth of Mary is celebrated on September 8th in the liturgical year of the Roman Catholic Church , the Orthodox Church and the Anglican Church . It commemorates the birth of Mary , mother of Jesus Christ .


The festival developed at the end of the 5th century from the consecration of today's St. Anne's Church in Jerusalem , a basilica that is built on the site that has long been considered the birthplace of Mary. In the 7th century, the feast of the birth of the Theotokos was celebrated in the Eastern and Western churches . The feast of the birth of Mary later determined the solemn feast of the Virgin and Mother of God, conceived without original sin, to be December 8th, nine months before September 8th.


Numerous churches and monasteries around the world are dedicated to the patronage of the birth of Our Lady (see also Church of the Birth of Mary ).

In the Tyrolean towns of Nassereith and Obsteig , a high mass is celebrated on the Sunday after the birth of Mary, followed by a procession . In Neuleiningen in Rhineland-Palatinate , on the Saturday after the birth of the Virgin Mary, there is a Marian celebration in the pilgrimage church of St. Nicholas followed by a procession of lights through the castle village, which is illuminated with candles. On the following Sunday the big day of pilgrimage is celebrated with many pilgrims; The high point is the pilgrimage service.


In Christian iconography , the birth of Mary is a frequent motif as an individual representation, but above all as part of cycles on the life of Mary , the life of St. Anna , the mother of Mary, or on the childhood and youth history of Jesus. Paintings and sculptures of the Birth of Mary often contain genre-like elements that can provide information about obstetrics and customs around birth and the puerperium at the time when the works of art were created. Well-known representations are the fresco Ghirlandaios in the Florentine church of Santa Maria Novella or the painting Birth of the Virgin by Pietro Lorenzetti in Siena.

The birth of Mary as a public holiday

In 1969, the birth of the Virgin Mary was abolished as a public holiday in the Principality of Liechtenstein , as May 1st had previously been a public holiday. In 1986, September 8th became a public holiday again, in memory of Pope John Paul II's pastoral trip to Liechtenstein on September 8th of the previous year. In order not to increase the total number of public holidays, the feast of the Annunciation was also deleted as a public holiday.

Lottery day

In peasant rules , the feast of the birth of the Virgin Mary is associated with the beginning of autumn : “The birth of the Virgin, the swallows fly” and “Marie birth sin de Nüete [nuts] good”. The feast of the birth of the Virgin Mary is popularly known as “Little Women's Day”.


In Telgte (Westphalia) the traditional Marian Birth Market takes place on a Tuesday after the holiday . In Lebach , Saarland, there is an annual Marian Birth Market at the beginning of September.


  • Birth of Mary . In: Lexicon of Art . Volume 2. EA Seemann, Leipzig 2004, p. 675.

Web links

Commons : Nativity of Mary  - collection of images

Individual evidence

  1. The repertoire of hymns for the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Mother, which emerged in the Old Jerusalem Liturgy , has been preserved in an old Georgian translation: Charles Renoux: L'Hymnaire de Saint-Sabas (Ve – VIIIe siècle) , Vol. 2 (Patrologia Orientalis 53, 1) . Turnhout 2015, 579-588
  2. Schiess Rütimann: Commentary on Art. 19 LV. In: Commentary on the Liechtenstein Constitution. Online comment. Liechtenstein Institute, August 31, 2016, accessed on September 7, 2017 .
  3. 30 years of the Pope's visit to Liechtenstein. In: Liechtenstein Fatherland. September 7, 2015, accessed September 7, 2017 .
  6. ^ Homepage of the city of Telgte: Mariä-Birth-Market , accessed on August 26, 2018.
  7. Homepage of the city of Lebach , accessed on August 26, 2018.