The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.
When eight days were completed for his circumcision,
he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel
before he was conceived in the womb.
HISTORY OF SOLEMNITY OF MARY
The Catholic Church observes many important feasts during the Twelve Days of Christmas. This includes the feasts of Saint Stephen, Saint John the Apostle, the Holy Innocents, and the Holy Family. However, none of these feasts are as important as the one observed on the eighth day of Christmas — the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God.
In the early centuries, Christmas was originally celebrated on January 6, along with the Feast of the Epiphany. After Christmas started to be celebrated with its own day and feast on December 25, the octave or eighth day of Christmas took on a new meaning. Celebrating the feast of the Mother of God, Mary, on January 1, became a common tradition in the East and most of the West. As this holiday was never officially established by the Church in the universal calendar, celebrating the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus Christ took the place of the Solemnity of Mary on January 1.
When the Novus Ordo was introduced, the liturgical calendar was revised, and the Feast of the Circumcision was sidelined in favor of reviving the ancient practice of the Solemnity of Mary. Thus, January 1 was once again dedicated to the Mother of God, and this time as a universally celebrated feast.
The Church has deemed the Solemnity of Mary a holy day of obligation. This day reminds Christians of the role she played as a Blessed Virgin, which eventually led to their salvation. After all, the birth of Christ wouldn’t have been possible without Mary.