The Angel announced to the Virgin the
Great Son of the Father’s great Counsel.
The Angel said, "Rejoice", to Mary on the twenty-fifth.
By her holy intercessions, O God, have mercy on us and save us, for Thou art good and lovest mankind. Amen.
When Mary became of age, according to Hebrew custom of the time, she could no longer stay at the Temple [see the section on the Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple, Nov 21], but had to either return to her parents or marry. Since Joachim and Anna had died, and Mary had proclaimed her vow of celibacy to the High Priest, it was decided to betroth her to an elderly distant relative who would protect and care for her. She, therefore, went to live in Nazareth with the elderly Joseph, who was a carpenter.
Here according to tradition, while Mary was reading from the prophet Isaiah about the birth of the Messiah to a virgin, the angel Gabriel appeared to her. "And the angel came in unto her and said, "Hail, thou who art highly favored, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.' And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying and cast about in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, 'Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor 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 Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. Therefore also that Holy Being who shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.' . . . And Mary said, 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word." And the angel departed from her" (Luke 1: 28-38).
From the very beginning, the Church saw in the Mother of God one who would pray for all of mankind. She is the haven of the mothers of the world. She teaches how to live in total faithfulness to the will of God. She, who kept in her heart the divine words, is an example of faithfulness, love and service.
From: Missionary Leaflet # E50
Copyright © 1999 and Published by
Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Church, Los Angeles, CA
Editor: Bishop Alexander (Mileant)
Today is the beginning of our salvation,
The revelation of the eternal mystery!
The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin
As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.
Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:
Rejoice, O Full of Grace,
The Lord is with You!
Kontakion - Tone 8
O Victorious Leader of Triumphant Hosts!
We, your servants, delivered from evil,
sing our grateful thanks to you, O Theotokos!
As you possess invincible might,
set us free from every calamity
So that we may sing:
Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!
- She in Whom Salvation was Begun - Article from Monachos.net
- Sermon on the Annunciation - St. Proklos, Patriarch of Constantinople
- Explanation of the Annunciation, from The Orthodox Faith, by Fr. Thomas Hopko
(Links provided for quick selection and ordering.)
- The Life of the Virgin - by St Maximus the Confessor
- Mary, the Mother of God, Sermons - by St. Gregory Palamas
- Celebration of Faith vol. III: The Virgin Mary - by Fr. Alexander Schemmann
- The Orthodox Veneration of Mary, the Birthgiver of God - by St. John Maximovich
- Mary ~ The Untrodden Portal of God - by George Gabriel
- On the Dormition of Mary - Patristic Homilies on the Feast, ed. by Brian E. Daley
- On the Mother of God - by Jacob of Serug
- Wider Than Heaven - Eighth Century Homilies on the Mother of God