The Annunciation of the Lord

The Angelus

The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
(Hail Mary…)

Behold the handmaid of the Lord
Be it done unto me according to Thy Word.
(Hail Mary…)

And the Word was made flesh
And dwelt among us.
(Hail Mary…)

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.

Pour forth we beseech Thee O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His passion and cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection, through the same Christ, Our Lord, Amen.

The Annunciation

Excerpt from, The Divine Life of the Most Holy Virgin, by Venerable Mary of Agreda, pages 52-53:

…Mary was troubled, because, through her profound humility,she believed herself the least of all creatures, and again she could not understand how she was to become a mother, yet, at the same time, preserve her vow of chastity.  The Archangel having explained the difficulties and dissipated her doubts, the Blessed Virgin humbly bowed her head and gave her consent to the ineffable mystery of the Incarnation of the Word.  Absorbed in the thought that God wished her to become His Mother, she offered ardent acts of love and conformity to the Divine Will.  Her chaste heart, generally compressed by the ardor of its motions and of her affection, distilled three drops of blood, which fell into her virginal womb.  Of these the Holy Ghost formed the little body of our Saviour, so that, by the force of divine love, the most pure heart of Mary alone furnished that from which was formed the divine body of the Son of God.  The Incarnation was really effected at the moment in which Mary, bowing her head, pronounced the words:  Ecce ancilla Domini; fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum – “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word.”  At the same instant the most holy soul of our Saviour was created and infused into His body, and His Divinity was united to His humanity by the Hypostatic Union.  This was operated on Friday, the 25th of March, at dawn of day, the same hour in which Adam had been created.

Feast of the Annunciation

“Mary’s meeting with the angel is like the summation of her entire preceding life of contemplation.  It is the first thing we learn about her.  We do not know who she is, we do not know her past.  But when we learn that she saw the angel, the whole composition of her soul becomes visible.  The angel which appears is the fulfillment of her prayer – not in the sense that she had prayed for the appearance or prepared herself for it, but rather in the sense that she has held herself in readiness for a mission still unknown to her.  She has lived in an attitude of prayer, and in virtue of this life she is capable in the crucial moment of seeing and obeying the angel who comes to her.  Both vision and obedience flow from the same source in her; from the openness toward the mission which God may give her, when and in whatever way he likes.  Her obedience is the prototype of every future instance of Christian obedience, which draws its whole meaning from the life of prayer and the perception of God’s will.”  [Adrienne von Speyr: Handmaid of the Lord. From the Chapter, “Mary and the Angel“, pg. 27]

Magnificat (J.S. Bach) – turn off the Sonific Songspot before playing!

Prayer to St. Gabriel the Archangel

Although we will be celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord on March 31st this year (due to the octave of Easter), I would like to share this prayer to the glorious archangel/saint today:

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, I venerate you as the Angel of the Incarnation, because God specially appointed you to bear the messages concerning the God-Man to Daniel, Zechariah, and the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Give me a very tender and devoted love for the Incarnate Word and his Blessed Mother more like your own.  I venerate you also as the “Strength from God” because you are the giver of God’s strength, consoler and comforter chosen to strengthen God’s faithful and teach them important truths.  I ask for the grace of a special power of the will to strive for holiness of life.  Steady my resolutions; renew my courage; comfort and console me in the problems, trials and sufferings of daily living, as you consoled our Savior in his agony and Mary in her sorrows and Joseph in his trials. I put my confidence in you.  Saint Gabriel, I ask you especially for this favor: (mention your request). Through your earnest love for the Son of God made man and for his Blessed Mother I beg of you, intercede for me that my request may be granted, if it be God’s holy will.

Pray for us, Saint Gabriel the Archangel, that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.