The Feast of the
Annunciation 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.
And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent
from God into a city of Galilee, called 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 being come in, said unto her:
"Hail, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women"
Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and
thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the
angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.
Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and
thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called
the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the
throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for
ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said to the
angel: "How shall this be done, because I know not
man?" And the angel answering, said to her:
"The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High
shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born
of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth,
she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth
month with her that is called barren: Because no word shall be
impossible with God".
And Mary said: "Behold the
handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word".
And the angel departed from her.
The feast of the Visitation,
May 31, recalls to us the
following great truths and events: The visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary
to her cousin Elizabeth shortly after the Annunciation.
The Bible teaches
visitation as an important ministry:
And Mary rising up in those days, went
into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda. And she entered
into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.
And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary,
the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy
Ghost: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said:
"Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the
fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord
should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation
sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed
art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished
that were spoken to thee by the Lord".
And Mary said: "My soul doth magnify the Lord. And
my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the
humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations
shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things
to me; and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation unto
generations, to them that fear him".
"Shall call me blessed"... These words are
a prediction of that honour which the church in all ages should pay to
the Blessed Virgin. Let Protestants examine whether they are any way
concerned in this prophecy.
The Magnificat is a canticle frequently sung (or
said) liturgically in Christian church services. Also known as the Song
My soul magnifies the Lord; my spirit has found joy in God my Saviour,
Because he has looked graciously upon the lowliness of his handmaid.
Behold, from this day forward all generations will count me blessed;
Because he who is mighty, he whose name is holy, has wrought for me his
He has mercy upon those who fear him, from generation to generation;
He has done valiantly with the strength of his arm, driving the proud
astray in the conceit of their hearts;
He has put down the mighty from their seat, and has exalted the lowly;
He has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away
He has protected his servant Israel, keeping his merciful design in
remembrance, according to the promise which he made to our forefather,
Abraham and his posterity for evermore.