Saturday, March 25th was the Solemnity of the Annunciation. This is the Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, marking his Incarnation.
Luke 1:26-38 26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
“The Son of God became man for our salvation, but it was in Mary and by Mary. God the Holy Ghost formed Jesus Christ in Mary, but it was only after having asked her consent by one of the first ministers of His court.” (True Devotion to Mary, page 8)
-St. Louis De Montfort
“God the Son descended into her virginal womb as the New Adam into His terrestrial paradise, to take His pleasure there and to work in secret marvels of grace.” (True Devotion to Mary, page8) -St. Louis De Montfort
“God made Man found His liberty in seeing Himself imprisoned in her womb. He made His omnipotence shine forth in letting Himself be carried by that humble maiden. He found His glory and His Father’s in hiding His splendors from all creatures here below and revealing them to Mary only. He glorified His independence and His majesty in depending on that sweet Virgin in His conception, in His birth, in His presentation in the temple, in His hidden life of thirty years and even in His death, where she was to be present in order that HE might make with her but one same sacrifice and be immolated to the Eternal Father by her consent.” (True Devotion to Mary, pages 8-9) -St. Louis De Montfort
“God the Holy Ghost, being barren in God-that is to say, not producing another Divine Person-is becoming fruitful by Mary, whom He has espoused. It was with her, in her and of her that He goes on producing daily, to the end of the world, the predestinate and the members of the Body of that adorable Head. This is the reason why He, the Holy Ghost, the more He finds Mary, His dear and inseparable spouse, in any soul, the more active and mighty He becomes in producing Jesus in that soul and that soul in Jesus Christ.” (True Devotion to Mary, page 9) -St. Louis De Montfort
This lovely painting of the Annunciation was created by the Spanish Baroque painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo between 1648-1655.
In Murillo’s renditions of the Annunciation he included the tradition that Mary was in the process of sewing the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the outer room which housed the Altar of Incense in the Temple in Jerusalem; other artists, such as El Greco, do that too.
Mother of Christ, our hope, our Patroness,
Star of the sea, our beacon in distress,
Guide to the shores of everlasting day,
God’s holy people on their pilgrim way.
Virgin by vow but Mother of all Grace,
Chosen by God to be His dwelling-place,
Blessed are you: God’s word you did believe,
Your “Yes” undid the “No” of sinful Eve.
Daughter of God, who bore His holy One,
Dearest of all, the Christ, your loving Son,
Show us His face, O Mother, as on earth,
Loving us all, you gave our Savior birth.
(Music: H. Lawes, 1596-1662)
(Text: Alma Redemptoris)
(Translator: James Quinn, S.J.)
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