Celebrating Mary's Birthday

Mary and Cake   The Church marks the Blessed Virgin's birthday on September 8th, nine months after the the Feast of her Immaculate Conception on December 8th.  Just as we remember members of our families by celebrating their birthdays, we may celebrate hers and honor her thereby.   

     For the occasion, we can make her a cake, decorating it with roses and candles. Of course, it would be too many candles to mark each year that has passed since she was born, but there are ways around this. In 1984 the 2,000th anniversary of her birth was celebrated, and accordingly then, Sept. 8th, 2020, will mark her 2,036th birthday. You could decorate a cake with the Roman numerals MMXXXVI for 2,036, or write MM for 2,000 and put 36 candles on the cake for the remainder of the years.

    One can also make a Rosary cake. Take a sheet cake, or half of one, and decorate it with white icing and pink and blue decorations, leaving a space to place a Rosary made of jelly beans a pretty blue would be nice to stand for the beads. The Cross can be formed from pieces cut from a stick of gum or by cutting up some Bit O'Honey candy. While one can set the Rosary on the cake in any pleasing shape, you may form the "beads" in the shape of a dove to symbolize both peace and the Holy Spirit. Small roses can be placed around the perimeter of the cake for the mysteries (you can even place thorns on five to stand for the Sorrowful Mysteries).

    To serve a greater number of people, especially children, you may extend idea of the Rosary cake, by making "Hail Mary Cakes." These are white cupcakes with white icing, having a single blue jelly bean on top to stand for a Hail Mary prayed on a single Rosary bead. One may also make a sheet cake with white icing, cut it in pieces, and place a jelly bean atop each piece. 
    There is a Jelly Belly jelly bean that is a nice blue called Berry Blue, but if they ever come back out with one they retired in 1995 called Ice Blue Mint, try that.            John Riedell                          

Above plate painted by the late Rosemary Adami of Germantown Hills, Illinois.

                                 2,000th Anniversary Cake, 1984


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