Shrine of St. Frideswide, Christ Church Cathedral Oxford.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

September 8th; Feasts of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Ethelburga of Kent

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been celebrated on this day since Pope Sergius I introduced it to the calendar in the 7th century. Daughter to Sts. Anne and Jochim, Mary birth was an omen of the coming of Christ, though no one knew it at the time. All that is written of it is strictly apocryphal, but it was told by one of the 12 disciples - possibly St. James the Greater.

 Birth of the Virgin Mary.

St. Mary and St. Ethelburga's church at Lyminge.

St. Ethelburga, who's feast is also celebrated today, was the daughter of the converted Christian king, St. Ethelbert of Kent. She originally was married to St. Edwin, King of Northumbria, but after his death resulting from the Mercian pagan attacks she fled with Paulinus, Archbishop of York, back to Kent. She then founded a convent at Lyminge, where she, as abbes, dedicated the rest of her life to the work of the Lord. Her relics were venerated until the dissolution of the monasteries in Canterbury.

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