Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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Kelly
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Posted: Sept 02 2005 at 9:22pm | IP Logged Quote Kelly

OK, what great ideas do people out there have for celebrating the Feast Day of Mary??? Inspire me, please!

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Posted: Sept 02 2005 at 9:22pm | IP Logged Quote Kelly

Excuse me, I mean the Birthday of Mary!

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Marybeth
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Posted: Sept 04 2005 at 8:37am | IP Logged Quote Marybeth

We placed our largest statue of her on our buffet table. You see her immediately when you come up our stairs to the main level. I placed candles all around it. We are having a birthday cake and decorating the house. We will be reading our Mary story books the next few days.

I am interested to hear other people's ideas.

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alicegunther
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Posted: Sept 04 2005 at 9:04am | IP Logged Quote alicegunther

Our Mary is born on the Feast of the Birth of Mary, so we always celebrate in a big way, with a special cake and singing. We also try to attend Mass and the children spend time picking flowers in the garden to place before our large statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

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Posted: Sept 04 2005 at 9:51am | IP Logged Quote Marybeth

Oh, Alice, what a beautiful birthday for your little Mary to have!

I hope she has a wonderful day.

We would love to pick flowers on Thursday except the drought didn't leave too many behind for us to enjoy!

Maybe we will shop for a little bouquet.

Happy celebrating!!

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Posted: Sept 04 2005 at 11:31am | IP Logged Quote Marybeth

I was just doing a little on-line research for Mary's birthday. Does anyone know of a good site to get some nice coloring pages?

I saw how to make a cake and decorate with ten candles one for each Hail Mary for a decade of the rosary.

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jdostalik
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Posted: Sept 04 2005 at 2:27pm | IP Logged Quote jdostalik

Hi Marybeth,

I did a quick search and found these lovely coloring pages , including one of my favorite images of our Lady as Madonna of the Streets.

Alice, my littlest, Tess, was born on the Feast of Mary's Birth, too!    She turns 1 year old this week, so we plan on making a birthday cake in honor of Our Lady (and Tess!), and doing the activity from CHC's A Year with God.    We hope to pray our evening Rosary with the added Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary.   What a wonderful day to celebrate the gift of life!

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alicegunther
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Posted: Sept 04 2005 at 2:40pm | IP Logged Quote alicegunther

jdostalik wrote:
Alice, my littlest, Tess, was born on the Feast of Mary's Birth, too!     


How lovely! Happy Birthday, Tess!

We are truly blessed.

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Posted: Sept 04 2005 at 2:45pm | IP Logged Quote Marybeth

Happy Birthday Tess!!

Thanks Jennifer for the coloring pages. I just printed out one of the Holy Family.

We are off to visit a 33 ft. statue of Mary which travels throughout the Chicagoland area. It is at our parish from 9/4-9/11. They are having Confessions, a rosary procession, Mass and a birthday party for Mary. It should be just a glorious time.

God bless,

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Karen E.
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Posted: Sept 07 2005 at 9:53am | IP Logged Quote Karen E.

Tomorrow is also my Elizabeth's baptismal birthday, so we always celebrate doubly as well. Cake for Lizzy and in honor of Our Lady, and in the past the girls and I have:

*made birthday cards for Mary
*made wall decorations in honor of Mary (using blue, discussing it as Mary's color -- one year the girls used paper plates and tissue paper and made abstract blue designs, and another year they did pictures of Mary)
*discussed what the Immaculate Conception means
*watched a video about St. Bernadette
*made a special effort to pray Marian prayers, or to learn a new one

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Posted: Sept 07 2005 at 11:20am | IP Logged Quote MaryM

Karen E. wrote:
*discussed what the Immaculate Conception means


A great video on Mary is the one from Steve Ray in the Footprints of God series (Mary video summary). It really brings the Marian teachings to life and is enjoyable for children as well as adults. Karen's comment made me think of how Steve Ray presents this doctrine in the video. Many of you are probably familiar with this analogy of the Immaculate Conception:

"Suppose a man falls into a deep pit, and someone reaches down to pull him out. The man has been "saved" from the pit. Now imagine a woman walking along, and she too is about to topple into the pit, but at the very moment that she is to fall in, someone holds her back and prevents her. She too has been saved from the pit, but in an even better way: She was not simply taken out of the pit, she was prevented from getting stained by the mud in the first place. This is the illustration Christians have used for a thousand years to explain how Mary was saved by Christ."

In the video Steve Ray actually does a visual illustration of this analogy which I think is great for kids.

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Karen E.
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Posted: Sept 07 2005 at 12:52pm | IP Logged Quote Karen E.

MaryM wrote:

"Suppose a man falls into a deep pit, and someone reaches down to pull him out. The man has been "saved" from the pit. Now imagine a woman walking along, and she too is about to topple into the pit, but at the very moment that she is to fall in, someone holds her back and prevents her. She too has been saved from the pit, but in an even better way: She was not simply taken out of the pit, she was prevented from getting stained by the mud in the first place. This is the illustration Christians have used for a thousand years to explain how Mary was saved by Christ."


Kimberly Hahn used this same analogy to talk about how God saved her from a sinful life -- she said she used to give a witness talk that began, "God saved me from a life of drinking, drugs and promiscuity ..." and she went on to explain that by His grace she had been saved from those things before ever experiencing them.

I've also used baptism to explain the Immaculate Conception to the kids -- I tell them, "You know how each of us must be baptized in order to be washed clean of original sin? When God allowed Mary to be without sin while she was still in her mother's womb, that was God's way of 'baptizing' her directly."

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Posted: Sept 07 2005 at 1:45pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Just passing along some links for the feastday:

Devotion to Maria Bambina (Baby Mary)

Birthday of Mary from Women for Faith and Family

Catholic Culture's Nativity of Mary ideas

I love the idea of a birthday cake. I also like to decorate with blue and fleur-de-lis. I might pick up a bunch of flowers that symbolize Mary for our table setting. Putting out blue candles and singing "Happy Birthday" to Mary is very simple, but will bring home the message to my almost 2yo son. Candles (any shape) means singing Happy Birthday.

How about making some cookies in the shapes of Marian symbols, such as the above-mentioned fleur-de-lys? (Could someone please tell me which is the accepted spelling?) Or decorating simple cookies with blue and white icing? Yummy!

Poor ds can't have many of these treats...so I'm trying to think of ways to incorporate "blue" into the foods he can have...nothing with eggs, wheat or milk. Right now, I'm thinking blue popsicles or dyeing some Italian ice blue. He'll love it. But blueberries will be included if they look good at the store.



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Posted: Sept 07 2005 at 3:07pm | IP Logged Quote Meredith

Karen E. wrote:
I've also used baptism to explain the Immaculate Conception to the kids -- I tell them, "You know how each of us must be baptized in order to be washed clean of original sin? When God allowed Mary to be without sin while she was still in her mother's womb, that was God's way of 'baptizing' her directly."


Karen, I love this . What a great way to explain Our Lady's special sinlessness. I've always tried to explain it by means of her blessedness and that God made her the most holy woman on earth, even more holy than Eve, due to her commiting the original sin, but the baptism concept is wonderful! Thank you .

Jenn, thank you too for the great list of sites, they look great.

The coloring pages are a site I haven't seen before either, thanks Jennifer!

Happy Feast!

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Posted: Sept 07 2005 at 3:18pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

A couple more thoughts:

A cupcake rosary would be a great dessert.

I'm thinking blue glitter or blue sanding sugar would be fun to use in decorating a craft or food (choose your weapon )

Also found an interesting entry from Wilson's Almanac. Scroll down. I love getting folklore of weather related to feast days:

The Pennsylvania Dutch sing

Itís Blessed Virginís Birthday,
The swallows do depart;
Far to the South they fly away,
And sadness fills my heart.
But after snow and ice and rain
They will in March return again.

A wonderful custom that our family used on the feast of the Immaculate Conception but it could also be brought out for this day is The Mary Candle. There are different entries with similar ideas:
Mary Candle II
Advent or Mary Candle I
Advent or Mary Candle II.

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Posted: Sept 07 2005 at 3:41pm | IP Logged Quote MaryM

jenngm67 wrote:
A cupcake rosary would be a great dessert.

I think we are saving that one for next month on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (although, I'm sure no one would complain if I made cupcakes twice!) I think I'm going to do the mini-muffin cupcakes instead of full size. What have others done?

jenngm67 wrote:
The Pennsylvania Dutch sing

Itís Blessed Virginís Birthday,
The swallows do depart;
Far to the South they fly away,
And sadness fills my heart.
But after snow and ice and rain
They will in March return again.

I love the swallow connection and the mention of returning in March - ties in to the swallows' return to Capistrano on St. Joseph's Feast Day.

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Posted: Sept 07 2005 at 4:36pm | IP Logged Quote alicegunther

jenngm67 wrote:
A couple more thoughts:

A cupcake rosary would be a great dessert.
.


Jenn, that is BRILLIANT!!!!! I am going to do this with my Little Flowers group.

Years ago, I let all the girls make round suncatchers and asked them to sign their names. The circles formed a beautiful rosary in our sunroom. We had a priest friend visit, and I even asked him to make a circle and sign it. Our family spent the year praying for each and every person who signed a circle. It was truly special.

This cupcake suggestion reminds me of those suncatchers. If you were having a few friends over, you could ask five of the moms to provide 10 cupcakes each in pastel shades. What a beautiful idea!

Love, Alice

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Posted: Sept 07 2005 at 7:28pm | IP Logged Quote momwise

MaryM wrote:
I think I'm going to do the mini-muffin cupcakes instead of full size.


Ooohhh.....that's a great idea! The thought of 50+ cupcakes has kept me from ever doing this. This is now going to be the plan for Our Lady of the Rosary

alicegunther wrote:
Years ago, I let all the girls make round suncatchers and asked them to sign their names. The circles formed a beautiful rosary in our sunroom.


Alice, how did you do that? Did you tie them up in the window at varying heights to form an actual Rosary? (hey I know it's another dumb question but remember I'm the one who tried to picture the Decl. of Ind. written on a butterfly wing )

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Posted: Sept 07 2005 at 9:25pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

momwise wrote:
MaryM wrote:
I think I'm going to do the mini-muffin cupcakes instead of full size.


Ooohhh.....that's a great idea! The thought of 50+ cupcakes has kept me from ever doing this. This is now going to be the plan for Our Lady of the Rosary


I really like the mini-muffin idea! I was thinking making a decade rosary...12 muffin tin makes 10 hail marys, Our Father and Glory Be for a mini-celebration! I think I would save the 50 plus for the actual feast of the Rosary!

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Posted: Sept 07 2005 at 9:33pm | IP Logged Quote alicegunther

momwise wrote:

Alice, how did you do that? Did you tie them up in the window at varying heights to form an actual Rosary? (hey I know it's another dumb question but remember I'm the one who tried to picture the Decl. of Ind. written on a butterfly wing )


Gwen, you couldn't ask a dumb question if you tried!

Yes, the room we had was all windows, so I arranged the suncatchers in a pleasing Rosary shape. The circles did not need "chain" to attach them. I just clustered the slightly smaller circles (about 5 inches in diameter) in groups of ten with larger "Our Father" circles (about 8 inches in diameter) between them. Then I had my own children make a Blessed Mother medal and a cross--all out of inexpensive black construction paper, contact and colored tissue! The suncatchers gave the whole project a stained glass effect, although it faded a bit with time. I think if I'd used kite paper instead of tissue, it would have lasted longer.

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