According to Sacred Tradition which we received from the earliest Christians, we commemorate the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 8–nine months after the solemn feast of her Immaculate Conception. Mary was born to her elderly parents, Joachim and Anne, and was preserved from being touched by original sin at the moment she was conceived in the womb of her mother. Today let us consider how carefully God planned our redemption and salvation, preparing for the Incarnation of His Son a perfect and worthy vessel who is to become our model of faith and discipleship. As we greet her Happy Birthday through prayer, let us offer her the gift of our loving devotion by choosing to turn away from sin, to pray for sinners, and to make reparation for our own sins and shortcomings. Hail, Holy Queen! You are full of grace! Happy birthday!