The Annunciation

The Annunciation

The archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary and announced that she had been chosen by God to give birth to his Son, the long-awaited Savior of the world.

Mary had free will and made a choice to give her humble and faithful consent to God’s will. This is known as her fiat. Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit at that moment and God became man.

The Annunciation is the very first Joyful Mystery of the Rosary and the inspiration for the Angelus prayer. Gabriel’s respectful greeting to Mary is the first part of the Hail Mary.

A shared feast of Jesus and of Mary, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord is celebrated by Catholics on March 25, exactly nine months before the birth of Jesus at Christmas.

A birth announcement:

Announcing the birth of Christ in advance:

The Annunciation is a critical moment in human history:

But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Luke 1: 34-38

The Blessed Mother shows how to respond to God:

Without Mary’s cooperation, Jesus would not be conceived:

Mary shows how faith seeks understanding:

Mary could have said “No”:

Every historical realization of the Church and every one of her institutions must be shaped by that primordial wellspring. They must be shaped by Christ, the incarnate Word of God. It is he that we are constantly celebrating: Emmanuel, God-with-us, through whom the saving will of God the Father has been accomplished. And yet – today of all days we contemplate this aspect of the Mystery – the divine wellspring flows through a privileged channel: the Virgin Mary. St Bernard speaks of this using the eloquent image of aquaeductus. In celebrating the Incarnation of the Son, therefore, we cannot fail to honour his Mother. The Angel’s proclamation was addressed to her; she accepted it, and when she responded from the depths of her heart: “Here I am… let it be done to me according to your word”, at that moment the eternal Word began to exist as a human being in time.”

Pope Benedict XVI, Homily, 25 March 2006

Announcing God’s plan for the throne of Israel: 

The Annunciation to Mary inaugurates “the fullness of time”, the time of the fulfillment of God’s promises and preparations. Mary was invited to conceive Him in Whom the “whole fullness of deity” would dwell “bodily”. The divine response to her question, “How can this be, since I know not man?”, was given by the power of the Spirit: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church 484

Celebrating the Annunciation where the angel Gabriel met Mary:

Contemplating the Annunciation in art:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Catholic traditions and treasures:

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