If Christmas celebrates the coming of the Sun of Justice, who broke through the dense darkness in which humanity walked, today we commemorate the appearance of the Stela Matutina, who announces the light of the dawn of salvation.
Newsroom (September 09, 2021, 11:30 AM, Gaudium Press) Pope Sergius I introduced the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The liturgy festively commemorated it and was added to the Church in the seventh century by Pope Sergius I with solemn processions.
Veils and shadows
The Old Testament was full of symbols, prefigures, and prophecies concerning the Promised Messiah, but none were totally revelatory. The veil with which Moses covered his face remains above all those enigmatic writings (Cf. 2 Cor 13:15).
What was Joachim, a just man, thinking when he saw the dense darkness that surrounded the people of the Covenant? And Anne, when she realized the absence of offspring because of her barrenness? Either the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob renewed the wonders he had done with Sarah, Rebecca, and Rachel, or the number of the just on Earth would be forever extinct. All that remained was to trust in what nature would consider absurd.
Surrounded by intense ordeals, the saintly couple did not cease to elevate prayers and supplications, imploring from God the grace to belong to the lineage of the Messiah’s predecessors.
The dawn of salvation
After a prolonged wait, probably about two decades of marriage without offsprings, an angel is sent to Joachim and Anne to announce to them the immeasurable grace that they would receive: they would have a daughter, intimately linked to the Messiah, and they should call her Mary, who would be the “dawn of salvation”.
After the regular gestation period, the day determined for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin arrived, possibly at noon. St. Anne, calm and recollected, gave birth to a Child, whose mere existence already marked all fields: in heaven, the Angelic Choirs sang to God for their newborn Queen; on earth, the good felt comforted, the bad felt embarrassed; in limbo, new consolation shortened the wait for righteous souls; in hell, new chaos installed itself.
The first rays
Since the liturgy not only makes us commemorate a past event but renews it each year, transmitting to the faithful the same graces as before, we are invited to trust in God, even if nature or men seem to deny his promises.
Like St. Joachim to St. Anne, let us believe that the Morning Star already foreshadows the first rays of the dawn of salvation.
By Fernando Mesquita
Compiled by Ena Alfaro
 Cf. CHANTREL, J. Histoire des Papes, Paris: Dillet, 1863, v. 6, p.187
 Prayer for September 8. In: Roman Missal, 12 ed. Paulus, 2008, p. 653