The Nativity of Mary

Unto you a child is born! But no, it's not Christmas. On Sept. 8, we celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, exactly nine months after we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception on Dec. 8.

And what could be more appropriate than a cake for a birthday?

One of the workers at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy (who prefers to go unnamed, but whose cake-baking skills are legendary) shared with us this recipe for the occasion. Try it out, or bake your favorite cake to celebrate the birthday of the Mother of All the Living, the Queen of All Hearts, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Lemon Cake

1/3 cup soft butter
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups sifted flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup milk
Grated rind of one lemon
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat together soft butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Add grated lemon rind, lemon juice and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together and add alternately with milk to the sugar mixture. Pour batter into greased 9 inch round cake pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes.

In the meantime, heat juice of one lemon with 1/3 cup sugar in a small saucepan until sugar is dissolved. After cake is baked, take out of baking pan and place on a cake plate. Pour warm lemon sugar mixture over warm cake.

Lemon Butter Frosting

½ cup butter
½ cup cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. lemon juice
4 cups confectioners' sugar

Mix all together with electric mixer.

After the cake has cooled, frost with lemon butter frosting and decorate with blue borage flowers.

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Let St. Teresa of Avila, a Doctor of the Church, teach you the power of prayer.

"My mission - to make God loved - will begin after my death," she said. "I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses."

Follow God's example. Love Mary and trust her with everything you've got.