Birth of the Virgin Mary is not in the Bible

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila - The Philippine Star

It’s been a distressing week for us in Cebu because last Sept. 1, 2020, Nelson Garcia, the younger brother of Gov. Gwen Garcia, passed away due to Covid-19. He was the former mayor of the Municipality of Dumanjug.Then last Sunday Sept. 6, 2020, Mayor Marlon Garcia, two-term mayor of Barili, Cebu also passed away due to Covid-19. What can we say? So allow me to reprint the official report from Gov. Gwen that I got from her Facebook page announcing the passing of her younger brothers.

“With profound sorrow, we announce the passing of Mayor Marlon Fiel Garcia, who joined his Creator at dawn today, September 6. Mayor Marlon’s demise occurs 5 days after his brother, Mayor Nelson, passed on, also at Chong Hua Hospital. He was passionate in his advocacy for the upliftment of the lives of the people of Barili, Cebu, whom he served as mayor since 2016, and previously, as vice mayor. He wholeheartedly served the Province of Cebu as vice president of internal affairs of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines - Cebu Chapter.

In the weeks leading to his untimely passing, Mayor Marlon was eager to be discharged so he could continue on in his relentless efforts for the economic revival of Barili. Mayor Marlon fought bravely until the very end.

As a devoted, son, brother, husband, father, and public servant, we will remember him for his courage and compassion, and his kind and gentle ways. We ask for your continued prayers in this time of deep and unbearable grief.”

?Indeed, this is the first time we learned of two brothers victimized by Covid-19. We can only sympathize with the Garcia family, notably 95-year-old former Cebu Governor and Congessman Pablo Garcia, Gov. Gwen Garcia, her brother Winston Garcia, Byron Garcia and Congressman PJ Garcia.

Also another personality that passed away last Sunday, Ethel Soliven Timbol was the youngest sister of the late Maxiimo V. Soliven who was the eldest of the Soliven siblings. May we request our pious readers to please pray for the repose of their souls.

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Today, the Catholic Church celebrates the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on its traditional fixed date of Sept. 8, nine months after the Dec. 8 celebration of her Immaculate Conception as the child of Saints Joachim and Anne. So you would know, the circumstances of the Virgin Mary’s infancy and early life are not directly recorded in the Bible. However, the Catholic Church always holds on its traditions describing the circumstances of her birth that are cited by some of the earliest Christian writers from the first centuries of the Church. Mind you, few Catholics do not even know this piece on the Blessed Virgin Mary’s nativity.

The “Protoevangelium of James,” which was probably put into its final written form in the early second century, describes Mary’s father Joachim as a wealthy member of one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Joachim was deeply grieved, along with his wife Anne, by their childlessness. “He called to mind Abraham,” the early Christian writing says, “that in the last day God gave him a son Isaac.”

Joachim and Anne began to devote themselves extensively and rigorously to prayer and fasting, initially wondering whether their inability to conceive a child might signify God’s displeasure with them. As it turned out, however, the couple was to be blessed even more abundantly than Abraham and Sarah, as an angel revealed to Anne when he appeared to her and prophesied that all generations would honor their future child: “The Lord has heard your prayer, and you shall conceive, and shall bring forth, and your seed shall be spoken of in all the world.”

According to what was written in the Protoevangelium of James, after the nativity of Mary, Anne “made a sanctuary” in the infant girl’s room, and “allowed nothing common or unclean” on account of the special holiness of the child. The same writing records that when she was one year old, her father “made a great feast, and invited the priests, and the scribes, and the elders.” The protoevangelium goes on to describe how Mary’s parents, along with the temple priests, subsequently decided that she would be offered to God as a consecrated virgin for the rest of her life, and enter a chaste marriage with the carpenter Joseph.

Of course eventually the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary was prophesied in the Old Testament by the prophet Isaiah 7: 13 who wrote, 13 Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Then all about the Virgin Mary is written in the Bible.

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