Temperatures in the low 40s this morning; it is in fact the same lower 50s that we have been blessed with for several days. Perhaps there are reasons of professional competence why the iPad is ending its relationship with the Dark Sky people in the new year, ahem. The skies are cloudy although some stars are visible and the waxing Moon still graces the morning sky-- although I'm rather late today (but I never do regret a sound sleep: sometimes I'm lazy and stay abed 'sleeping' when I don't need to; six and half hours is perfectly sufficient).
Today is the feast of Our Blessed Lady's Maternity which was carved out of the complex of events and concepts surrounding the Nativity of the Most Blessed Savior. The 1911 Catholic Encyclopaedia:
The feast was first granted, on the petition of King Joseph Manuel, to the dioceses of Portugal and to Brasil and Algeria, 22 January, 1751... and was assigned to the first Sunday in May... At present the feast is not found in the universal calendar of the church....
That is Father Frederick Holweck. Pius XI established the feast in the general Roman Calendar in... 1911, for October 11. It was suppressed by Paulus VI who (who! rather, the obnoxious and sometimes wicked band of ideologues and anarchists who were charged with messing about with the implementation of the Second Vatican Council's Sacrosanctum Concilium, they created the 'feast of the Mother of God' on the 1st January) instituted in the place of what is in the Traditional Rite the feast of Our Lord's Circumcision and the Octave of Our Lord's Nativity. The Mass is Ecce Virgo concipiet-- Christmas in October!-- which seems to me of fairly recent fabrication; someone knows who assembled the texts, doubtless.
... In 1931, Pope Pius XI extended the feast of the Virgin’s Maternity to the universal calendar, assigning it to October 11th, which was then the first free day of the month. A breviary lesson was added to the feast, which explains that the Pope intended it to serve as a liturgical commemoration of the 15th centenary of the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus. The third Ecumenical council was held in that city in 431 to refute the heresy of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, by which he rejected the liturgical use of the title “Mother of God” for the Virgin Mary. Shortly thereafter, Pope Sixtus III (432-40) built the basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, the oldest church in the world dedicated to the Mother of God, which still preserves a famous mosaic with episodes of Her life on the arch over the altar. Pope Pius XI also notes in this lesson that he had arranged for extensive restorations of the basilica, “a noble monument of the proclamation of Ephesus,” and particularly of the mosaic.
Cum anno millésimo nongentésimo trigésimo primo, univérso orbe cathólico plaudénte, solémnia celebraréntur expléti sǽculi décimi quinti, postquam in Ephesína sýnodo beáta María Virgo, de qua natus est Iesus, contra Nestórii hǽresim Mater Dei a Pátribus, Cælestíno Papa præeúnte, conclamáta est, Summus Póntifex Pius undécimus faustíssimi evéntus memóriam, perénni suæ pietátis testimónio perpetuándam vóluit. Itaque quod iam in Urbe exstábat nóbile Ephesínæ proclamatiónis monuméntum, triumphálem arcum in Basílica sanctæ Maríæ Maióris in Exquíliis, a decessóre suo Xysto tértio mirábili ópere musívo ornátum, témporis iniúria fatiscéntem felíciter restituéndum una cum ala transvérsa Basílicæ munificéntia sua curávit. Lítteris vero encýclicis, Œcuménici Concílii Ephesíni genuínis lineaméntis descríptis, ineffábile divinæ Maternitátis beátæ Maríæ Vírginis privilégium, pie copioséque illustrávit, ut tam excélsi mystérii doctrína áltius fidélium ánimis insidéret. Insímul autem benedíctam inter omnes mulíeres, Maríam Matrem Dei Nazarenámque Famíliam nobilíssimum præ ómnibus exémplum propósuit imitándum tum dignitátis ac sanctitúdinis casti connúbii tum educatiónis iuventúti sancte tradéndæ. Demum, ut neque litúrgicum deésset monuméntum iussit ut festum divínæ Maternitátis beátæ Maríæ Vírginis cum Missa et Offício própriis die undécima octóbris sub ritu dúplici secúndæ classis quotánnis ab univérsa Ecclésia celebrarétur.