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Feast of the Annunciation - March 25th
WF&F ^ | March 25, 2004

Posted on 03/25/2004 6:21:54 AM PST by NYer

The Annunciation
he Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, is one of the most important in the Church calendar. It celebrates the actual Incarnation of Our Savior the Word made flesh in the womb of His mother, Mary.

The biblical account of the Annunciation is in the first chapter of the Gospel of Saint Luke, 26-56. Saint Luke describes the annunciation given by the angel Gabriel to Mary that she was to become the mother of the Incarnation of God.

Here is recorded the "angelic salutation" of Gabriel to Mary, 'Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee" (Ave, gratia plena, Dominus tecum - Lk 1:28), and Mary's response to God's will, "Let it be done to me according to thy word" (fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum) (v. 38)

This "angelic salutation" is the origin of the "Hail Mary" prayer of the Rosary and the Angelus (the second part of the prayer comes from the words of salutation of Elizabeth to Mary at the Visitation).

The Angelus, a devotion that daily commemmorates the Annunciation, consists of three Hail Marys separated by short versicles. It is said three times a day -- morning, noon and evening -- traditionally at the sound of a bell. The Angelus derives its name from the first word of the versicles, Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae (The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary).

Mary's exultant hymn, the Magnificat, found in Luke 1:46-55, has been part of the Church's Liturgy of the Hours, at Vespers (evening prayer), and has been repeated nightly in churches, convents and monasteries for more than a thousand years.

The Church's celebration of the Annunciation is believed to date to the early 5th century, possibly originating at about the time of the Council of Ephesus (c 431). Earlier names for the Feast were Festum Incarnationis, and Conceptio Christi, and in the Eastern Churches, the Annunciation is a feast of Christ, but in the Latin Church it is a feast of Mary. The Annunciation has always been celebrated on March 25, exactly nine months before Christmas Day.

Two other feasts honoring Our Lord's mother, the Assumption (August 15), and the Immaculate Conception (December 8), are celebrated as Holy Days of Obligation in the United States and many other countries. New Year's Day, January 1, is observed as a Solemnity of Mary. The Annunciation was a Holy Day throughout the Universal Church until the early 20th century. Many Catholics who are deeply concerned with the defense of the life of unborn children believe it would be fitting if the Feast of the Annunciation were restored to this status. Although it seems unlikely that it will be added to the Church calendar, we can certainly take on the "obligation" ourselves to attend Mass. In any case, it is most appropriate that we encourage special celebrations in the "Domestic Church".

One sign of the significance this Christian feast had throughout Western culture is that New Year's Day was for centuries celebrated on March 25. It was believed by some ancient Christian writers that God created the world on March 25, and that the fall of Adam and the Crucifixion also took place March 25. The secular calendar was changed to begin the year on January 1 (in 1752 in England and colonies, somewhat earlier on the continent).

Another remnant of the historic universality of Christianity in the West is the use of BC (before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini The Year of Our Lord) to denote periods of time in history. There has been an attempt in some circles to change BC to BCE (before the common era), and AD to CE (common era) -- and although it is true that the religious significance of our system of dating has been effectively obliterated -- nevertheless, Christians and non-Christians alike consent to the birth of Christ as the "fulcrum" of the dating the events of human history.

TOPICS: Activism; Apologetics; Catholic; Current Events; Ecumenism; General Discusssion; History; Ministry/Outreach; Prayer; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; mary

1 posted on 03/25/2004 6:21:54 AM PST by NYer
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To: american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; CAtholic Family Association; narses; ...

Date: 2004-03-24

On the Meaning of the Annunciation

John Paul II Entrusts Fears of the World to Mary

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 24, 2004 ( Here is a translation of the address John Paul II gave today at the general audience, which he dedicated to comment on the meaning of Thursday's solemnity of the Annunciation.

* * *

1. Tomorrow we celebrate the solemnity of the Annunciation, which allows us contemplate the Incarnation of the eternal Word, made man in Mary's womb. The Virgin's "yes" opened the doors to the realization of the salvific plan of the heavenly Father, a plan of redemption for all people.

This feast, which this year falls in the middle of Lent, on one hand refers us to the beginnings of salvation, and on the other invites us to turn our gaze to the paschal mystery. We look at Christ crucified who has redeemed humanity, fulfilling to the end the will of the Father. On Calvary, in his last moments of life, Jesus entrusted us to Mary as Mother and to her he has commended us as children.

Associated to the mystery of the Incarnation, Our Lady is co-participant in the mystery of redemption. Her fiat, which we recall tomorrow, echoes that of the incarnate Word. In profound syntony with Christ's and the Virgin's fiat, each one of us is called to unite his own "yes" to the mysterious plans of Providence. In fact, only from full adherence to the Divine Will do that joy and true peace spring which we all ardently desire also for our times.

2. On the vigil of this feast, at once Christological and Marian, my thoughts turn to some significant moments at the beginning of my pontificate: the 8th of December of 1978 at St. Mary Major, when I entrusted the Church and the world to Our Lady; the 4th of June of the following year, when I renewed this entrustment in the Shrine of Jasna Gora. In particular, I am thinking of the 25th of March of 1984, Holy Year of the Redemption. Twenty years have gone by since that day, when in St. Peter's Square, in spiritual union with all the bishops of the world "convoked" in advance, I wished to entrust the whole of humanity to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, responding to what Our Lady had requested at Fatima.

3. Humanity was then going through difficult times, of great concern and uncertainty. Twenty years later, the world continues to be fearfully marked by hatred, violence, terrorism and war. Among the numerous victims that the news records every day, there are so many defenseless people, stricken while carrying out their duty. In today's Day, dedicated to the memory and to prayer for the "Martyr Missionaries," we cannot but remember the priests, consecrated persons, and lay faithful deceased in mission land in the course of 2003. So much blood continues to be spilt in many regions of the world. The need is still urgent for people to open their hearts to a courageous effort of reciprocal understanding. The hope for justice and peace is ever greater in every part of the earth. How can we respond to this thirst for hope and love other than by taking recourse to Christ, through Mary? To the Holy Virgin I repeat also today the supplication I addressed to her then. "Mother of Christ, may the infinite salvific power of the Redemption be revealed once again in the history of the world: power of merciful Love! May it put a stop to evil! May it transform consciences! May the light of hope be revealed to all in your Immaculate Heart!"

[Translation by ZENIT]

[At the end of the audience, one of the Holy Father's aides read the following summary in English:]

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Tomorrow we celebrate the solemnity of the Annunciation, recalling the Virgin's unconditional "yes" which opened the way to God's salvific plan for all men and women. This feast, in the heart of Lent, draws our minds to Calvary where, in full obedience to the will of the Father, the crucified Christ redeemed humanity.

Like the fiat of Mary and of Jesus, we too are called to unite our own "yes" to God's Providence. Only in this way can the joy and peace for which the world longs emerge.

Through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, let us entrust ourselves to the power of Christ's merciful love.

[John Paul II then greeted pilgrims in several languages. In English, he said:]

I extend a special welcome to the English-speaking visitors and pilgrims here today, including groups from England, Sweden and the United States of America. May your visit to Rome be a time of spiritual enrichment. Entrusting you to the protection of Mary, I invoke upon you the grace and peace of her Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.

2 posted on 03/25/2004 6:25:05 AM PST by NYer (Prayer is the Strength of the Weak)
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To: NYer; All

The second Sunday of the Season of Announcement commemorates the announcement to Mary that she is to be the Mother of God. The feast actually recalls two aspects of the same salvific mystery: the incarnation of the divine Word and the motherhood of Mary. For this reason, the feast was given different names according to the aspect which was being emphasized. With time, the incarnation of the Son of God was stressed on the feast of the Birth of our Lord and today's feast became a Marian feast.

In addition to this second Sunday of the Season of Announcement, the Maronite Church celebrates the Annunciation on March 25th. The feast of the Annunciation appeared in the West, in Italy, during the fifth century, and was eventually adopted by the Maronite Church.

The great announcement to Mary, the fulfillment of the promises of the prophets, took place in the humble home of Mary in Nazareth. At the time, Mary was probably between fourteen and sixteen. Again it was Gabriel, the messenger of the end times, who brought the wonderful message to the young girl.

In many ways, the announcement to Mary can be compared to the announcement to Zechariah. Both apparitions took place during the day and both Zechariah and Mary were to be found at prayer. Mary, the Queen, is speaking with her Lord in her own home. It was necessary for Zechariah to go to the Temple and encounter the Lord in the holy of holies. When the angel appeared to Zechariah, he was described as "standing". During the announcement to Mary, the angel greets her with signs of respect, gives her the good news and departs. He is not described as "standing". The angel himself praises Mary, "You have found favor with God".

In the name of all of humanity, Mary consented to be the instrument through which salvation was to be brought into the world. One recalls Eve, who consented to bring darkness and sin into the world. With Mary, the New Eve, salvation history is at a turning point. She is to be the "Mother of the Light".

The Maronite calendar commemorates this feast twice during the year: today and on the Second Sunday of Announcement. Today's feast goes back to the fourth century, when it was decided to celebrate Christmas on December 25th; the Annunciation was naturally celebrated nine months before. This is a great feast in both the East and the West since it recalls the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God in the womb of the Virgin.

Mother of God (Wa in kana jismouki)

Mother of God, O Gentle One,
treasure of mercy and our hope.
You are our refuge and in you we place our trust.
Intercede for us, O Virgin Mary
and have compassion on our dead.

Though your body may be far from us,
Virgin Mother when you pray.
But your prayers are always with us
giving us protection and shelter.

We implore you to ask him who honoured you
when he became incarnate from you.
Ask him for us sinners, forgiveness
and his mercy for ever and ever.

You are our Mother, you are our hope
you are our glory and you are our refuge.
Be our advocate before your Son
that in his mercy, he may forgive our sins.

Do not abandon us, O Gentle Mother.
You are full of all the graces.
Pray for your children, all your children,
who give you thanks for ever and ever.

Fr Geoffrey Abdallah.

3 posted on 03/25/2004 6:37:50 AM PST by NYer (Prayer is the Strength of the Weak)
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To: *Catholic_list; father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; attagirl; ...
Annunciation Ping!
4 posted on 03/25/2004 6:54:28 AM PST by NYer (Prayer is the Strength of the Weak)
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To: NYer
Beautiful prayer. Blessed be God forever.
5 posted on 03/25/2004 11:57:07 AM PST by franky (Pray for the souls of the faithful departed. Pray for our own souls to receive the grace of a happy)
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March 25, 2004 Month Year Season

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Old Calendar: Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Again Lent's austerity is interrupted as we solemnly keep a feast in honor of the Annunciation. The Annunciation is a mystery that belongs to the temporal rather than to the sanctoral cycle in the Church's calendar. For the feast commemorates the most sublime moment in the history of time, the moment when the Second Divine Person of the most Holy Trinity assumed human nature in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Thus it is a feast of our Lord, even as it is of Mary, although the liturgy centers wholly around the Mother of God. — The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

The Station is at the church of Saints Sylvester and Martin, which is one of the most venerable in Rome. It was originally built by Pope St. Sylvester, and still bears his name: but in the sixth century, it was consecrated to St. Martin of Tours. In the seventh century, it was enriched with the relics of Pope Saint Martin, which were brought from Chersonesus, where he had died a martyr a few years before. This church was the first Title of St. Charles Borromeo. It was also that of the learned liturgiologist, the Blessed Joseph-Mary Tommasi, whose body is now venerated in this church, and has been miraculously preserved, even to this day, in a state of incorruption.

The Annunciation
A tradition, which has come down from the apostolic ages, tells us that the great mystery of the Incarnation was achieved on the twenty-fifth day of March. It was at the hour of midnight, when the most holy Virgin was alone and absorbed in prayer, that the Archangel Gabriel appeared before her, and asked her, in the name of the blessed Trinity, to consent to become the Mother of God. Let us assist, in spirit, at this wonderful interview between the angel and the Virgin: and, at the same time, let us think of that other interview which took place between Eve and the serpent. A holy bishop and martyr of the second century, Saint Irenaeus, who had received the tradition from the very disciples of the apostles, shows us that Nazareth is the counterpart of Eden.'

In the garden of delights there is a virgin and an angel; and a conversation takes place-between them. At Nazareth a virgin is also addressed by an angel, and she answers him; but the angel of the earthly paradise is a spirit of darkness, and he of Nazareth is a spirit of light. In both instances it is the angel that has the first word. 'Why,' said the serpent to Eve, 'hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise?' His question implies impatience and a solicitation to evil; he has contempt for the frail creature to whom he addresses it, but he hates the image of God which is upon her.

See, on the other hand, the angel of light; see with what composure and peacefulness he approaches the Virgin of Nazareth, the new Eve; and how respectfully he bows himself down before her: 'Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with thee! Blessed art thou among women!' Such language is evidently of heaven: none but an angel could speak thus to Mary.

Scarcely has the wicked spirit finished speaking than Eve casts a longing look at the forbidden fruit: she is impatient to enjoy the independence it is to bring her. She rashly stretches forth her hand; she plucks the fruit; she eats it, and death takes possession of her: death of the soul, for sin extinguishes the light of life; and death of the body, which being separated from the source of immortality, becomes an object of shame and horror, and finally crumbles into dust.

But let us turn away our eyes from this sad spectacle, and fix them on Nazareth. Mary has heard the angel's explanation of the mystery; the will of heaven is made known to her, and how grand an honor it is to bring upon her! She, the humble maid of Nazareth, is to have the ineffable happiness of becoming the Mother of God, and yet the treasure of her virginity is to be left to her! Mary bows down before this sovereign will, and says to the heavenly messenger: 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word.'

Thus, as the great St. Irenaeus and so many of the holy fathers remark, the obedience of the second Eve repaired the disobedience of the first: for no sooner does the Virgin of Nazareth speak her fiat, 'be it done,' than the eternal Son of God (who, according to the divine decree, awaited this word) is present, by the operation of the Holy Ghost, in the chaste womb of Mary, and there He begins His human life. A Virgin is a Mother, and Mother of God; and it is this Virgin's consenting to the divine will that has made her conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost. This sublime mystery puts between the eternal Word and a mere woman the relations of Son and Mother; it gives to the almighty God a means whereby He may, in a manner worthy of His majesty, triumph over satan, who hitherto seemed to have prevailed against the divine plan.

Never was there a more entire or humiliating defeat than that which this day befell satan. The frail creature, over whom he had so easily triumphed at the beginning of the world, now rises and crushes his proud head. Eve conquers in Mary. God would not choose man for the instrument of His vengeance; the humiliation of satan would not have been great enough; and therefore she who was the first prey of hell, the first victim of the tempter, is selected to give battle to the enemy. The result of so glorious a triumph is that Mary is to be superior not only to the rebel angels, but to the whole human race, yea, to all the angels of heaven. Seated on her exalted throne, she, the Mother of God, is to be the Queen of all creation. Satan, in the depths of the abyss, will eternally bewail his having dared to direct his first attack against the woman, for God has now so gloriously avenged her; and in heaven, the very Cherubim and Seraphim reverently look up to Mary, and deem themselves honored when she smiles upon them, or employs them in the execution of any of her wishes, for she is the Mother of their God.

Therefore is it that we, the children of Adam, who have been snatched by Mary's obedience from the power of hell, solemnize this day of the Annunciation. Well may we say of Mary those words of Debbora, when she sang her song of victory over the enemies of God's people: 'The valiant men ceased, and rested in Israel, until Debbora arose, a mother arose in Israel. The Lord chose new wars, and He Himself overthrew the gates of the enemies." Let us also refer to the holy Mother of Jesus these words of Judith, who by her victory over the enemy was another type of Mary: 'Praise ye the Lord our God, who hath not forsaken them that hope in Him. And by me, His handmaid, He hath fulfilled His mercy, which He promised to the house of Israel; and He hath killed the enemy of His people by my hand this night. . . . The almighty Lord hath struck him, and hath delivered him into the hands of a woman, and hath slain him.' — The Liturgical Year, Abbot Gueranger O.S.B.

Things to Do:

· Swedish Waffles
· Waffles
· Name Day Cake
· Jellied Macaroni Ring
· Luscious Coffee Ring
· Angel Food Cake I
· Angel Food Cake II
· European Chocolate Icing
· Classic Angel Food Cake
· Boiled White Icing
· Table Blessing for the Solemnity of the Annunciation
· Annunciation Novena


· Preschool Parent Pedagogy: How to Tell Stories
· Annunciation: A Little Play for Preschool Children
· Namedays
· Mary Garden
· Ave Maria Dear
· Salve Regina
· 'Tis Said of Our Dear Lady
· Stella Matutina
· Beautiful, Glorious
· A Single Branch Three Roses Bore
· Virgin Blessed, Thou Star the Fairest
· Feast of the Annunciation
· Annunciation Day
· Annunciation Tableau
· Angelus Lesson
· Celebrating the Feasts of the Blessed Virgin
· Feast of the Annunciation


God our Father, your Word became man and was born of the Virgin Mary. May we become more like Jesus Christ, whom we acknowledge as our redeemer, God and man. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

6 posted on 03/25/2004 12:09:57 PM PST by Coleus (Abortion and Euthanasia, Don't Democrats just kill ya!)
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March 25, 2004
Annunciation of the Lord

The feast of the Annunciation goes back to the fourth or fifth century. Its central focus is the Incarnation: God has become one of us. From all eternity God had decided that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity should become human. Now, as Luke 1:26-38 tells us, the decision is being realized. The God-Man embraces all humanity, indeed all creation, to bring it to God in one great act of love. Because human beings have rejected God, Jesus will accept a life of suffering and an agonizing death: "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends" (John 15:13).

Mary has an important role to play in God’s plan. From all eternity God destined her to be the mother of Jesus and closely related to him in the creation and redemption of the world. We could say that God’s decrees of creation and redemption are joined in the decree of Incarnation. As Mary is God’s instrument in the Incarnation, she has a role to play with Jesus in creation and redemption. It is a God-given role. It is God’s grace from beginning to end. Mary becomes the eminent figure she is only by God’s grace. She is the empty space where God could act. Everything she is she owes to the Trinity.

She is the virgin-mother who fulfills Isaiah 7:14 in a way that Isaiah could not have imagined. She is united with her son in carrying out the will of God (Psalm 40:8-9; Hebrews 10:7-9; Luke 1:38).

Together with Jesus, the privileged and graced Mary is the link between heaven and earth. She is the human being who best, after Jesus, exemplifies the possibilities of human existence. She received into her lowliness the infinite love of God. She shows how an ordinary human being can reflect God in the ordinary circumstances of life. She exemplifies what the Church and every member of the Church is meant to become. She is the ultimate product of the creative and redemptive power of God. She manifests what the Incarnation is meant to accomplish for all of us.


Sometimes spiritual writers are accused of putting Mary on a pedestal and thereby discouraging ordinary humans from imitating her. Perhaps such an observation is misguided. God did put Mary on a pedestal and has put all human beings on a pedestal. We have scarcely begun to realize the magnificence of divine grace, the wonder of God’s freely given love. The marvel of Mary—even in the midst of her very ordinary life—is God’s shout to us to wake up to the marvelous creatures that we all are by divine design.


"Enriched from the first instant of her conception with the splendor of an entirely unique holiness, the virgin of Nazareth is hailed by the heralding angel, by divine command, as ‘full of grace’ (cf. Luke 1:28). To the heavenly messenger she replies: ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word’ (Luke 1:38). Thus the daughter of Adam, Mary, consenting to the word of God, became the Mother of Jesus. Committing herself wholeheartedly and impeded by no sin to God’s saving will, she devoted herself totally, as a handmaid of the Lord, to the person and work of her Son, under and with him, serving the mystery of redemption, by the grace of Almighty God" (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 56).

7 posted on 03/25/2004 12:12:09 PM PST by Coleus (Abortion and Euthanasia, Don't Democrats just kill ya!)
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To: NYer
We cannot even begin to grasp how much God loves us and how much He is willing to do to be able to demonstrate that.


This is especially poignant for me today because we saw "The Passion" last night. Very powerful, very moving. I could barely breathe.

8 posted on 03/25/2004 1:19:58 PM PST by Bigg Red (Never again trust Democrats with national security!)
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To: Coleus
Thank you for that wonderful story!
9 posted on 03/25/2004 1:42:02 PM PST by NYer (Prayer is the Strength of the Weak)
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To: Bigg Red

This is especially poignant for me today because we saw "The Passion" last night. Very powerful, very moving. I could barely breathe.

Yes .. this is the reaction of so many. The Stations of the Cross will take on a new meaning for you now, as will the Rosary.

10 posted on 03/25/2004 1:46:40 PM PST by NYer (Prayer is the Strength of the Weak)
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To: NYer
11 posted on 03/26/2004 4:39:27 PM PST by Bramuce
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To: NYer

BTTT on the Solemnity of the Annuniciation, being celebrated this year on March 25, 2007!

12 posted on 03/26/2007 9:30:53 AM PDT by Salvation (" With God all things are possible. ")
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To: Salvation
'Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word.'



13 posted on 03/26/2007 9:47:49 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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