Saint of the Day ~ March 25

SOLEMNITY OF THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD

The Solemnity of the Annunciation celebrates the coming of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary to announce to her the special mission which God the Eternal Father had chosen for her in becoming the Mother of His Only-Begotten Son, the Eternal Word becoming Incarnate within Mary’s womb.

We are continually reminded of the importance of this great Solemnity for our salvation in various devotional prayers. Two examples that highlight this importance are the Joyous Mysteries of the Rosary and the Angelus.

The feast of the Annunciation is believed to have probably originated soon after the date for celebrating Christmas was universalized throughout the Church, and probably after the 3rd Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (431 A.D.). In the Latin Church, this feast is first mentioned in the Sacramentary of Pope Gelasius (d.496).

The Solemnity of the Annunciation celebrates the fulfillment of God’s promise of salvation through the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity. This point of our salvation was deeply discussed by many of the Church Fathers – explaining it to the faithful, teaching about the deep love which God has for each of us. Some of the Church Fathers who wrote on this were Saint Clement of Rome, Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Saint Justin Martyr, Saint Athanasius, Saint Gregory of Nyssa and Saint Augustine.

The universal Church usually celebrates the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord on March 25.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org, catholicculture.org and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Collect of the Roman Missal from the Proper for The Annunciation of the Lord)

“O God, who willed that Your Word should take on the reality of human flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, grant, we pray, that we, who confess our Redeemer to be God and man, may merit to become partakers even in His Divine Nature.

“Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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