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Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
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  • Feast Day: March 25th

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord is the Christian Celebration of the announcement by the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, marking his Incarnation.  The Angel Gabriel told Mary to name her son Jesus, meaning “Savior”. According to Luke 1:26, the Annunciation occurred “in the sixth month” of Elizabeth’s pregnancy with John the Baptist.  Irenaeus (130 – 202) of Lyon regarded the conception of Jesus as March 25th, coinciding with the Passion.  Generally the Church celebrates this Solemnity then, when it does not fall in the Octave of Easter.  

The Roman Catholic Church holds that the Annunciation took place in Galilee, particularly at Nazareth.  The Basilica of the Annunciation marks the site.  The Annunciation has been a key topic in Christian art in general, as well as in Marian Art in the Catholic Church, especially in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.  Many Catholics have this artwork in their homes to honor the event.  

In the Bible, the Annunciation is narrated in the book of Luke, Luke 1:26-38.  Luke 1:26, “And in the sixth month the Angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.  And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.  And the angel said unto her, fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favor with God.  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.  Then said Mary unto the Angel, how shall this be, seeing I know not a man?  And the Angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.  And, behold, thy cousin Elizabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.  For with God nothing shall be impossible.  And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to they word.  And the Angel departed from her”.