THE House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a measure seeking to observe September 8 of every year as special working holiday.
The holiday commemorates the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
According to the main author, Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas, the bill is in honor and thanksgiving to The Lady, who conceived the Lord for the redemption and salvation of the entire humanity.
“The celebration of her birth shall be the Christians’ expression of love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary,” he said.
“Saint Augustine described the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary as an event of cosmic and historic significance, and an appropriate prelude to the birth of Jesus Christ,” Fariñas cited.
Based on the General Roman Calendar, September 8 is the ninth month following the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary which is celebrated on December 8.
At present Republic Act No. 10966, also principally authored by Fariñas, declares December 8 of every year a special non-working holiday in the entire country to commemorate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.
He noted that RA10966, enacted on December 28, 2017, aims to enable Filipino Catholics to venerate and celebrate their devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
While there are no exact accounts or documents on the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Fariñas said the Protoevangelium of James, which was written at the early years of the 2nd century, filled in the historical accounts and provided for the evolution of the Christian belief and the development of the Christian piety.
“ The beliefs and venerative practices handed down to generations of pious believers highlight the important role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in our Christian faith,” Fariñas said.
He said in the Philippines, “Catholicism is fervent and deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is reflected by the celebrations, particularly acts of veneration, praying for miracles, and the attribution of granted petitions through intercession.”
Fariñas mentioned that consecration and feasts are celebrated in accordance with the Roman Catholic dogmas which include the birth of the Virgin Mary.