Here is an extract from the Proto-Evangelium of James: ‘Suddenly, an angel of the Lord stood in front of her, saying, “Anna, Anna, the Lord God has heard your prayer. You will conceive and give birth and your child will be spoken of everywhere people live.” And Anna said, “As the Lord God lives, whether I give birth to either a male or a female child, I will bring it as an offering to the Lord my God and it will be a servant to him all the days of its life.” … Then, Joachim came with his flocks. Anna was standing at the gate. When she saw Joachim coming with his flocks, Anna ran and wrapped herself around his neck, saying, “Now I know that the Lord God has blessed me greatly. See, the widow is no longer a widow and the childless woman has conceived in her womb.” And Joachim rested for the first day he was home. … After nine months, Anna gave birth and she said to the midwife, “What is it?” The midwife said, “A girl.” Anna said, “My soul exalts this day.” And she put her baby to bed. After her days were completed, Anna … gave her the name Mary’.

Let us rejoice today in this little one who will become the Mother of the Lord. May her intercession bring us closer to her Son, and may He bless us all this day.