Feast of the Annunciation,
(25th March, 9 Months prior to Christmas)

The Annunciation of Mary - by ALBANI, Francesco - from The Hermitage, Saint Petersburg

The Angel Gabriel 'Relates' God's Word to Mary, as God the Father and the Holy Spirit 'Hover' over the Scene, in Anticipation-of Mary's Fiat. The Lily is Symbolic-of Mary's Virginity and Purity, and the Old Testament Book is Symbolic-of Mary's Intimate Knowledge of the 'Coming' Messiah, to be 'Born' of a Virgin.

Fear not, Mary; for thou hast 'Found' Grace with God


Feast of the Annunciation

by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

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First Meditation

When God was Pleased to 'Send' His Son on Earth, that by 'Becoming' Man, He might 'Redeem' Lost Man. He 'Chose' Him a Virgin Mother, who, amongst All Virgins, was the most-Pure, the most-Holy, and the most-Humble. Behold, whilst Mary was in her Poor Dwelling, 'Beseeching' God to-Send the Promised Redeemer, an Angel stood-before her, and 'Saluted' her, 'Saying' , "Hail, Full-of-Grace; the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou, among Women". And what was the Conduct of this Humble Virgin, when she 'Heard' so Honorable a Salutation? She was not 'Elated', but was 'Silent' and 'Troubled', considering herself indeed Unworthy of such Praises: "she was Troubled at his Saying":

O Mary,
thou art so Humble,
and I am so Filled with Pride;
Obtain for me, Holy Humility.



Second Meditation

Think you that these Praises 'Caused' Mary, at-least-to 'Suspect' that she might be the 'Destined' Mother of the Redeemer? No; they only 'Caused' her to 'Conceive' a Great Fear of herself; so-much-so, indeed, that the Angel had to 'Encourage' her: "Fear not, Mary; for thou hast Found Grace with God". He then 'Announced' to her, that she was the 'Chosen' Mother of the Redeemer of the World: "Behold thou shalt Conceive in thy Womb, and shalt Bring-forth a Son, and thou shalt call His Name Jesus".

Blessed art thou, O Mary,
how Dear wast thou to God,
and how Dear art thou still to Him!
Have Pity on me.



Third Meditation

"And now, O Holy Virgin", 'Says' Saint-Bernard, "why dost thou Delay thy Consent? The Eternal Word 'Awaits' it, to 'Clothe' Himself with Flesh, and 'Become' thy Son. We also 'Await' it, who in Misery, are 'Condemned' to Eternal Death. If thou 'Consentest', and 'Acceptest' to Become His Mother, we shall be made Free. Quickly, O Lady, 'Answer'. 'Delay' not the Salvation of the World, which 'Depends' on thy 'Consent'". But let us 'Rejoice', for Mary already 'Hears' the Angel: "Behold the Handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me, according-to thy Word". "Behold", she 'Says', "the Slave of the Lord, who is Bound to do all that her Lord 'Commands'". If He 'Chooses' a Slave for His Mother, it is not she who is to be 'Praised', but the Goodness of that Lord, alone, Who is thus Graciously Pleased to Honor her.

O most Humble Mary, thou, by this thy Humility, didst so Enamor thy God, that thou didst Draw Him to thee, so-as-to 'Become' thy Son, and our Redeemer. I know that thy Son 'Refuses' thee nothing, that thou 'Askest' Him. Ask Him to Forgive all the Offenses which I have Committed against Him; Ask Him to Grant me Perseverance until Death. In Fine', Recommend my Soul to Him; for thy Recommendations meet with no-Denial, from a Son Who Loves thee so-much. O Mary, thou hast to Save me; thou art my Hope.