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 earliest representation of the Annunciation, in the Catacomb of Priscilla in Rome (late 200s, above), shows Mary seated on a throne and a wingless angel gesturing toward her, both in Roman garb (Simon-Peter, "January 2009," The Sequere Me Blog,

Silk cloth, Constantinople, c800 ("Museo Sacro - I,"

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.   

Also commemorated this date:   
bulletOnze-Lieve-Vrouw, Wijnendale, Torhout, West Flanders, Belgium (Our Dear Lady of Wijnendale) 
bulletOnze-Lieve-Vrouw van Zeven Weeën, Waasmunster, East Flanders, Belgium (Our Dear Lady of Seven Sorrows). Procession.
bulletOnze-Lieve-Vrouw ter Druiven, Aalst, East Flanders, Belgium (Our Dear Lady of the Grapes)
bulletNotre-Dame de Bonne Espérance, Vellereille-les-Brayeux, Estinnes, Hainaut, Belgium (Our Lady of Good Hope)
bulletOnze-Lieve-Vrouw ter Muylen, Liedekerke, Flemish Brabant, Belgium (Our Dear Lady of the Mules)
bulletNotre-Dame de la Consolation, Ittre, Walloon Brabant, Belgium
bulletCairo, Egypt, Shubra district. Apparitions began, 1986, at St. Demiana Coptic Orthodox Church.
bulletNotre-Dame de Signy, Signy-l'Abbaye, Ardennes, Champagne-Ardenne, France. Cistercian abbey founded, 1135.

Fresco, Fra Angelico, 1450, San Marco, Florence, Italy (

bulletNotre-Dame du Mûrier, Batz-sur-Mer, Croisic, Brittany, France (Our Lady of the Mulberry). Church dedicated, 1496.
bulletNotre Dame, Poissy, Yvelines, Île-de-France, France
bulletNotre-Dame de Bonne Nouvelle, Frouville, Val-d'Oise, Île-de-France, France (Our Lady of Good News). Apparition, 1560.
bulletNotre-Dame, Arcachon, Gironde, Aquitaine, France. Feast day; chapel rededicated, 1987, after arsonist burned it; statue unharmed.
bulletNotre Dame du Cédon, Pavie, Gers, Midi-Pyrénées, France (on Cédon River). Plague ended after town vowed annual pilgrimage, 1631.
bulletUnseren Lieben Frau am Anger, Berchtesgaden, Upper Bavaria, Germany. Ährenkleidmadonna (Our Lady of Corn), Franziskanerkirche.
bulletVári Boldogasszony, Esztergom, Esztergom, Hungary (Blessed Virgin of the Castle). In Bakócz Chapel in Cathedral.
bulletMary of Nazareth, Nazareth, North, Israel. International Center opened, 2011.
bulletMadonna della Possenta, Ceresara, Mantova, Lombardy, Italy. Fair; mass, music, food.
bulletSanta Maria delle Grazie, Pavia, Pavia, Lombardy, Italy. Church built after healing of paralyzed boy at wayside shrine March 25, 1609.
bulletMadonna dello Zocco, Velezzo Lomellina, Pavia, Lombardy, Italy (Our Lady of the Log). Also day after Easter.
bulletMadonna Mora, Mira, Venezia, Veneto, Italy, Borbiago district
bulletMadonna di Monte Carmelo, Loana, Savona, Liguria, Italy (Our Lady of Mount Carmel). Church dedicated, 1609. Feast July 16.
bulletMadonna dei Garzoni, Conselice, Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
bulletSanta Maria di Tornasano, Filottrano, Ancona, Marche, Italy 
bulletOnze Lieve Vrouw van alle Volkeren, Amsterdam, Netherlands (Our Lady of All Nations). First apparition to Ida Peerdeman, 1945.
bulletNuestra Señora de los Remedios, Llanos, Penagos, Santander, Cantabria, Spain 
bulletMarie-Reine de l'Univers, Tambacounda, Senegal (Mary Queen of the Universe). Cathedral blessed March 25, 1973.
bulletMarie Reine, Thiès, Senegal. Church inaugurated, 1965.
bulletVirgen de Carrsaquedo, Grañón, La Rioja, Spain. Romería to sanctuary 2 miles from town; mass; potatoes and sausage.
bulletNuestra Señora de la Gloria, Ara, Jaca, Huesca, Aragon, Spain
bulletVirgen de la Cinta, Tortosa, Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain. Apparition, 1178.
bulletNuestra Señora de Peñas Albas, Cabezuela del Valle, Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain (Our Lady of the White Rocks)
bulletNuestra Señora de Lares, Puebla de Alcocer, Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain. Romería.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly