Happy Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord to Mary

Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 09:15

"In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.”

"Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

Today, we celebrate The Annunciation of Our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The feast of the #Annunciation marks the visit of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, during which he tells her that she will give birth to Jesus.

Throughout the Church’s liturgical calendar there are several solemnities, feast days and memorials in honour of Our Lady. We celebrate Our Blessed Lady as the Mother of God which is not accepted by all Christians – many will accept Mother of Christ but not Mother of God. For us, Jesus Christ is God the Son, the second person of the Most Holy Trinity. Therefore, as his mother, Mary is the Mother of God. However, this does not place Mary in a position superior to God or to her Divine Son, but acknowledges that she is mother of Jesus while also acknowledging exactly who her Son is – God. 

The Vatican II document, Lumen gentium, says: ‘At the message of the angel, the Virgin Mary received the Word of God in her heart and in her body, and gave Life to the World. Hence she is acknowledged and honoured as being truly the Mother of God and Mother of the Redeemer.’ (Lumen gentium 52).

Gabriel also saluted Mary as "full of grace" (Luke 1:28), and it is God's grace that gave Mary everything that she needed in order to fulfil her vocation as the Mother of God.

Our Lady, pray for us. 

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Pictured at the top is a painting by Adam Kossowski of  The Annunciation, read more about his work at the Shrine, here.  The image below is from one of the old prayer cards, printed in the Shrine in the 1950s and 1960s.