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Feast of Nativity: A Reflection...
By Alban D'Souza

September 8, 2011

Christians around the globe celebrate with utmost joy and devotion the feast of Nativity or simply the birthday of Mary Mother of our savior Jesus Christ as well as our Heavenly Mother.

The feast is celebrated on September 8. This Nativity Feast is commonly called as 'Monthi Fest' in Konkani. There will be 9 days Novena as a preparation for the feast and on the 10th day the feast is celebrated. The feast is very popular among the Christians of Mangalore, Goa and the Konkani people settled in Mumbai. Christians celebrate this feast as Nove-Jevnche or in other words festival of Harvest. The new crop (corn) or kanas is blessed by the priest in the church as thankfulness to God for the new harvest as the giver and provider of bread and distributed to all the faithful gathered around in the church for the special mass/prayer. The faithful then take this corn/kanas home and use it in food (warm or sweet items). The head of the family says a special prayer and then the meal is had together with all the family members. Hence, it is also a festival of family unity.

This feast is celebrated with joy and happiness as it is the harvest festival as well. The farmer gets ready to harvest new crop for the year .

There is a special joy for the children during this period because, as I said earlier, during the 8 days Novena children bring a variety of flowers in the basket to the church which are then showered and offered in front of Mother Mary’s statue every day. It is amazing to see children gather around the altar. There is a significant preparation for 8 days before the feast to respect Mother Mary. At the end of the celebration of Mass, the church authorities distribute sweets/sugarcane to the children.

As per history, salvation (God’s plan to redeem man from sin through Jesus) was pre-planned. If we go back to Bible - Old Testament - God sent several Prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jacob, Abraham Moses and so many, but still mankind did not turn to God, but God loved man so much that He at last sent his own son Jesus Christ in order to save man from bondage or sin so that man can re-unite with God, who forgives every sin by the blood of Jesus who gave away his life for the sake of mankind’s redemption or salvation.

With this plan God selected Mother Mary in His salvation plan, and accordingly God sent Angel Gabriel to Mary and gave the message that she will bear a son through the Holy spirit (we know St Joseph was her Posco husband, that is, caretaker husband) and the son will be called Emmanuel (Jesus) l or simply God amongst us. This made Mary exhausted and fearful, but Gabriel told her, "Do not be afraid. I was sent by God to convey this message to you." At once Mary lost her fear and kneeled down and bowed to God and obeyed with all her faith what God had decreed. She said to Angel Gabriel, "I am the handmaid of the Lord."

Mother Mary’s faith was so strong that at once she praised God and said let it be done to me accordingly. Great was the response by Mary. Thereby, Mary became a part of salvation of mankind, not only the mother of Jesus but the Heavenly mother of all mankind, to one who believes. She was God’s mother and sinless, that is why God took her to heaven with body and spirit and she is with God in Heaven. This is our belief. She will intermediate between us and God if we pray to her constantly, because she is the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thus the feast of Nativity (Monthi fest) is a festival of peace and unity, of joy and love and happiness .The entire family gets together during this special season. I wish joy, blessings and message of Nativity through our Mother Mary shower upon among all mankind.

God bless all.

Comments on this article
Harry D'silva, Kallianpur/KuwaitThursday, September 15, 2011
Nice Article about monthi feast.one of our friend writting article it too great to read.thanks for that and waiting to read more articles from you
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Sarita, DohaTuesday, September 13, 2011
Mary,mother of Jesus Christ was chosen by God.She willingly obeyed God even though she must have faced taunts and ridicule for being with child before her marriage.She is a model for us to accept God's will in our life no matter how hard it is.Incidentally no where in the Bible,it is written that she was taken body and soul to heaven and that we should pray through her.Jesus clearly says in John 16:23-24 that we have to ask in His name.When Jesus Himself intercedes for us,do we need anyone else!
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Justus, Kulshekar/DohaSunday, September 11, 2011
Nice informative article Alban. We hope to have more from you in future.
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Victor Crasto, Udyavara/Doha, QatarSaturday, September 10, 2011
Nice article Alban. Hope to see more article from you. God bless you.
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Richard Fernandes, Thottam/MuscatFriday, September 09, 2011
Thank you, Keep it up, wish you & ur family a happy feast.
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Dr Urban , Udayavar/MalaysiaThursday, September 08, 2011
Good artcile. Family unity is the backbone of Prosperity and Gods love. All Catholic families must forget any differences in their families and make it a point to celebrate this feast at a extended family. Due to nuclear families, family's are restricted nowdays only to father, mother 1 or children. As per Indian tradition a family constitutes, parents all the brothers, spouses and children. How many of our families can show that spirit wherein big families join in their ancestral native to celebrate this great feast of unity. Let mother Mary bless each family to bring the spirit of unity. God bless us all.
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HENRY MISQUITH, BahrainThursday, September 08, 2011
Nice article.....Alban, keep it up.
Wishing you and your family a happy feast of nativity of the Blessed VIRGIN MOTHER MARY. May our blessed Mother protect all of you and bless you with peace and prosperity always.
Henry Misquith,Bahrain.
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martina, belmond-usaThursday, September 08, 2011
thank you Alba D'souza for the beautyul articel of monthi feast. i remember my childhood i used to take flower's to belmond church we would go and collect wild flower's in the evening next morning we will take it to church. Not to forget the vegetable's five seven or nine kind.those good old memories.
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Mark, UdyavaraThursday, September 08, 2011
Hey Alban,

Nice Article. Searching for your email id. Not successful. Please send an email to me: udyavara@yahoo.com

Mark D' Almeida
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Kurt Waschnig, Oldenburg GermanyThursday, September 08, 2011
Dear Alban D'Souza thank you so much for your writing.
I celebrated Feast of Nativity three times with friends in M´lore. Attending and being among other believers made me happy and gave me joy and happiness and the certainty never to forget the needy and poor.

The feast of Nativity (Monthi fest) is a festival of peace and unity, of joy and love and happiness.

The "Monthi Fest" shall open our eyes and hearts and we shall, share with the needy and the poorest of the poor.

There will be 9 days Novena as a preparation for the feast and on the 10th day the feast is celebrated. The feast is very popular among the Christians of Mangalore, Goa and the Konkani people settled in Mumbai.

During the nine days Novena the poorest of the poor shall too feel joy, happiness. It is a harvest festival.

To share with the poor gives us the certainty we do what Jesus wants.

Believers attend a special mass, they pray and worship and what is so important human beings who believe in God receive a wonderful gift.
Believers get the certainty God is with them, they are never alone and they have a meaning of life in a globalised world.

Faith makes life rich and gives self confidence and strength and faith opens the eyes to see the needy and to help.


Best regards

Kurt Waschnig Oldenburg Germany

e-mail: chess2550@gmx.de

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Alban D Souza, Udyavara Mumbai Doha QatarThursday, September 08, 2011
Thanks Mr. Naveen Frank/Mangalor/Sharjah. I was inspired to write this religious article, and this is my first article. I really appreciate your encouragement. I noted your extra knowledge about history of Montifest Farangipet - Mangalore / Goa. I am a devotee of Mother Mary and constantly pray the novenas of Mother Mary. Thanks.
To tell you more about me I am from Udyavara Parish presently working in Doha-Qatar.
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Robert Lewis & fly., Brahmavar/Mumbai/BahrainThursday, September 08, 2011
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Naveen Frank, Mangalore/SharjahThursday, September 08, 2011
Brilliantly explained by Alban D'souza. But not many of us are aware as to why we call it “ Monti Fest”

-The festival derives its name from the Monte Mariano Church at Farangipet, and was initiated by Joachim Miranda, a Goan Catholic priest at Farangipet in 1763. Though Tippu Sultan destroyed the churches of Canara, he spared Monte Mariano Church in deference to the friendship of his father Hyder Ali with Father Miranda. In certain Goan Christian dialects the festivals name is corrupted to "Moti Fest "   SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

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Lloyd, Bajpe/EnglandThursday, September 08, 2011
Thanks for the beautiful article, Alban. It refreshed all my childhood days. I wish all the daijiworld viewers a blessed monthi fest. God bless.
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Astral, Mangalore/BahrainThursday, September 08, 2011
Happy Nativity Feast To You All. And This is a very nice article !! God Bless All !!
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Shanti Fernandes, Bejai/PuneThursday, September 08, 2011
Nice article on Monthi Fest.very informative. God Bless U.
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