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Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Commemorated on March 25
Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
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 favoured, 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 favour 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 for ever; 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 Elisabeth, 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 thy word. And the angel departed from her. (St. Luke 1:26-38, King James Version)   

The Feast of the Annunciation, Lady Day, falls nine months before Christmas, in accordance with the ancient tradition that the angel's words came true, and Jesus was conceived, as soon as Mary assented. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum, her words read in the Latin Vulgate; modern Catholic thought makes much of Mary's "Fiat" as an exemplary alignment of human will with God's, demonstrating the power of free will when unconditionally agreeing to the divine plan: Gabriel's words "troubled" Mary, but her consent made possible Christ's incarnation, just as his agonized assent in Gethsemane made possible our redemption. This joyful feast usually occurs during the penitential season of Lent in the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant churches that celebrate it.   




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