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 chose 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.

A joyful event, the Annunciation is the very first 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.

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”:

Indeed, at the Annunciation Mary entrusted herself to God completely, with the “full submission of intellect and will,” manifesting “the obedience of faith” to him who spoke to her through his messenger. She responded, therefore, with all her human and feminine “I,” and this response of faith included both perfect cooperation with “the grace of God that precedes and assists” and perfect openness to the action of the Holy Spirit, who “constantly brings faith to completion by his gifts.”

Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, 25 March 1987

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 in a modern world:

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