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The Annunciation of Our Lord to Mary

'The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary
and she conceived of the Holy Spirit.'
Mary's 'fiat', her 'yes':
'Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
be it done unto me according to thy word.'
1st Joyful Mystery of the Rosary  
Solemnity - 25th March (9 months b4 Jesus' birth)

On Feast of the Annunciation 1858, Our Lady said in her apparition to Bernadette in Lourdes
"I am the Immaculate Conception."

On 25th March 1984, the Jubilee of Families in the Jubilee Year of the Redemption, Pope St John Paul II, in union with all the world's bishops, entrusted the whole of humanity to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as requested by Our Lady in Fatima.

On this feast day in 1987, St JPII gave us his encyclical on Mary, Redemptoris Mater      
and, in 1995, his encyclical on the Gospel of Life, Evangelium Vitae      

Pope Francis's Message for WYD/JMJ 2018       
Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found grace close to God” (Lk 1, 30)

Pope Francis's words on this feast day in: 2017. Benedict XVI's words in: 2006. St JPII's words in: the Jubilee 2000, 1987, 1983, 1981 & 1979.

Pope St John Paul II's homily on the Annunciation      

"Like Abraham, Mary is asked to answer "yes" to something that has never happened before. Sarah is the first of the barren women in the Bible who conceive by the power of God, just as Elizabeth will be the last. Gabriel speaks of Elizabeth to reassure Mary: “See: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son” (Lk 1, 36).

Like Abraham, Mary must walk in the dark, trusting in the One who has called her. However, even her question “How is it possible?” suggests that Mary is ready to answer "yes", notwithstanding her fears and uncertainties. Mary does not ask if the promise is realizable, but only how it will be realised. It is not surprising, therefore, that finally she pronounces her fiat: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). With these words Mary shows herself the true daughter of Abraham and becomes the Mother of Christ and Mother of all believers."

3 2us by Father Leo Maasburg      

"By accepting the Annunciation and by saying 'Amen' as we say at the reception of every Communion, Our Lady said yes to stand with the Lord under the Cross, not only under the Cross on Golgotha but under the Cross of his life. When we say yes at the reception of Communion we echo her voice and we say yes to our cross, to the crosses of day to day life which we have to carry, the cross of anxiety, the cross of unsuccess, the cross of pain, many crosses big and small. But we say yes because we know we contribute to the plan of God which is the redemption of the world, the plan of God which embraces in love the whole world. Our sufferings, our yes to our sufferings, not only redeem us but they contribute to the redemption of the world. This is the big annunciation: we are called, as Our Lady, to be collaborators in the redemptive work of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Praised be to Him for ever and ever. Amen."

Catechesis with Papa Benedict XV:
The Virgin Mary: Icon of obedient faith      

"In the angel's greeting, Mary is called “full of grace”; in Greek the term “grace”, charis, has the same linguistic root as the word “joy”. Also in this expression the source of Mary’s rejoicing is further clarified: joy comes from grace, comes that is from communion with God, from having such a vital connection with Him, from being the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, totally shaped by the action of God. Mary is the creature who in a unique way has opened the door to her Creator, she placed herself in his hands, without limits. She lives entirely from and in the relationship with the Lord; she is in an attitude of listening, attentive to recognizing the signs of God along the pathway of his people; she is inserted into a history of faith and hope in the promises of God, which constitutes the fabric of her existence. And she submits freely to the word received, to the divine will in the obedience of faith."

He was Conceived by the Work of the Holy Spirit      

""The angel says to Mary: “The power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow”. This is a recall to the holy cloud which, in the pathway of the exodus, stopped over the tent of meeting, over the ark of the covenant, that the people of Israel were carrying with them, and that indicated the presence of God (cf Ex 40, 34-38). Mary, therefore, is the new holy tent, the new ark of the covenant: with her “yes” to the words of the archangel, God receives a dwelling place in this world, He whom the universe cannot contain comes to dwell in the womb of a virgin."

Catechesis by Pope Saint John Paul II      
General Audience, Wednesday 24 March 2004 - also in Croatian, French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

1. Tomorrow we will celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation, which makes us contemplate the Incarnation of the Eternal Word made man in the womb of Mary. The Virgin's "yes" opened the doors to the realization of the heavenly Father's salvific plan, the plan of redemption for all men.

If on the one hand this feast, which this year falls in the heart of Lent, brings us back to the beginnings of salvation, on the other it invites us to turn our gaze towards the Paschal Mystery. Let us look at Christ crucified who redeemed humanity by accomplishing the Father's will to the very end. On Calvary, in the last moments of his life, Jesus entrusted Mary to us as Mother and handed us over to her as her children.

Associated with the Mystery of the Incarnation, Our Lady participated in the Mystery of the Redemption. Her Fiat, which we will recall tomorrow, echoes that of the Incarnate Word. In intimate harmony with the Fiat of Christ and of the Virgin, each of us is called to unite our own "yes" to the mysterious designs of Providence. Indeed only from full adherence to the divine wills does that joy and true peace spring which we all ardently long for in our time as well.

2. On the eve of this feast, both Christological and Marian, my thoughts go to certain significant moments at the beginning of my pontificate: to 8th December 1978 when at Santa Maria Maggiore I entrusted the Church and the world to Our Lady; to 4th June the following year when I renewed this consecration at the Shrine of Jasna Gora. In particular, I am thinking of 25th March 1984, the Holy Year of the Redemption. Twenty years have passed since that day when in St Peter's Square, in spiritual union with all the world's bishops "convoked" beforehand, I wanted to entrust the whole of humanity to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, responding to what Our Lady had asked at Fatima.

3. Humanity was then living through difficult times, of great concern and uncertainty. Twenty years later, the world is still frighteningly marked by hatred, violence, terrorism and war. Among the numerous victims that are recorded in the news every day, there are so many defenceless people, struck while fulfilling their duties. On today's Day dedicated to remembrance and prayer for the "Missionary Martyrs", we cannot fail to recall to mind the priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful who have died in mission lands during 2003. So much blood continues to be shed in many regions of the globe. There is an urgent need for men to open their hearts to a courageous effort of reciprocal understanding. The expectation of justice and peace
in every part of the world is becoming ever greater. How can we respond to this thirst for hope and love if not by having recourse to Christ, through Mary? To the Holy Virgin I repeat again today the supplication I made to her then:

"Mother of Christ, let there be revealed once again in the history of the world the infinite salvific power of the Redemption: the power of merciful Love! May it stop evil! May it transform consciences! In your Immaculate Heart may the light of Hope be revealed for everyone!""

3 2us by Father Anthony Doe       

""Let it be done to me according to your word." It's the prayer that sums up the attitude of faith; it's the prayer that Our Lady wants to encourage us to pray every day, with great openness of heart, because it's the prayer that allows Jesus to come and make his home deep within us, incarnate his presence in us, and so enable us then to share with him that great prayer for the mercy of the Father on the world."

3 2us by Father John Edwards SJ       

"We should be so grateful that we have a mother like Mary. A mother is one who gives life. The life of Christ, which is meant to be in each one of us, comes as a condition through Mary. As St Augustine said: "From one woman, death (meaning Eve), from a woman, life (meaning Mary). On 25th March we should, among other things, be very grateful to our mother."