Today we celebrate the great Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, the day that Jesus Christ becomes incarnate in the womb of Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit, after she gives her fiat, her yes – “be it done.” Since Mary freely participated through her own consent, she works with her Son in the redemptive work of salvation. She is the Mother of Christ, and at the cross, becomes the Mother of not only all Christians, but of all humanity.
To commemorate this beautiful Solemnity, here are 10 heart-piercing quotes from different saints, theologians, religious, and Popes that express the beauty of God’s divine economy through Mary at the Annunciation –
“Following her example of obedience to God, we can learn to serve delicately without being slavish. In Mary we don’t find the slightest trace of the attitude of the foolish virgins, who obey, but thoughtlessly. Our Lady listens attentively to what God wants, ponders what she doesn’t fully understand and asks about what she doesn’t know. Then she gives herself completely to doing God’s will: Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to your word. – St. Josemaria Escriva
“How often in these situations must Mary have returned inwardly to the hour when God’s angel had spoken to her, pondering afresh the greeting: ‘Rejoice, full of grace!’ and the consoling words: ‘Do not be afraid!’ The angel departs; her mission remains, and with it matures her inner closeness to God, a closeness that in her heart she is able to see and touch.” – Pope Benedict XVI
“The scene of the Annunciation merits consideration for another reason, too: it is not only wholly Christological; it is wholly trinitarian as well…The angel’s initial salutation…brings her the greeting of the ‘Lord’, Yahweh, the Father…she will give birth to the ‘Son of the Most High’…the Holy Spirit will overshadow her…” – Hans Urs Von Balthasar
“The whole ecclesial movement of women can and should reflect the light of Gospel revelation, according to which a woman, as the representative of the human race, was called to give her consent to the Incarnation of the Word. It is the account of the Annunciation that suggests this truth when it tells that only after the “fiat” of Mary, who consented to be the Mother of the Messiah, did ‘the angel depart from her’ (Lk. 1:38). The angel had completed his mission: he could bring to God humanity’s “yes”, spoken by Mary of Nazareth.” – Pope St. John Paul II
“But all the sublimity of Mary’s moral personality, all the depth of her virginal devotion, and all the strength of her faith culminate in the word which she spoke to the angel: ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word.’ These were no common, everyday words…They were words out of the depths and recesses of a soul that was pure and noble beyond all earthly measure, words that were her being, her expression, her achievement…” – Karl Adam
“When the angel appeared to Mary, God was announcing this love for the new humanity. It was the beginning of a new earth, and Mary became ‘a flesh-girt Paradise to be gardened by the new Adam.’ As in the first garden Eve brought destruction, so in the garden of her womb, Mary would now bring Redemption.” – Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
“Such ‘consent,’ given by Mary, is not merely private, but expresses the willing participation of man, of humanity, in the work of salvation. In the freedom of Mary, at that instant, were contained all the desires, fears, and hopes of man in need of redemption. And the New Eve spoke her full, total yes to the angel of light, just the first Eve had once spoken her yes to the angel of darkness. Moreover, the response given by Mary to the angel also expresses, in addition to her consent, a humble and unconditional dedication to the plan of God entrusted to her.” – Fr. Settimio M. Manelli, F.I.
“Mary showed complete trust in God by agreeing to be used as an instrument in his plan of salvation. She trusted him in spite of her nothingness because she knew he who is mighty could do great things in her and through her. Once she said “yes” to him, she never doubted. She was just a young woman, but she belonged to God and nothing nor anyone could separate her from him.” – St. Teresa of Calcutta
“…In the pronouncing of the word fiat, ‘be it done unto me’; the Virgin’s answer is definite and final; its force impresses us. It is more than a simple ‘yes.’ Once the request was answered, there could be no subsequent changes of heart; it demanded a complete submission of the will; an abandonment of herself, not to do some specific thing, but to do all the things that God had planned for her in exactly the way that He intended that they should be done; she was asked to renounce completely the right to plan her own life.” – Fr. Federico Suarez
“The Church Fathers were fond of exploring the relationship between Eve, mother of all the living, and the new Eve, Mary the Mother of God. Where Eve grasped and lost, Mary surrendered and received; where Eve said no to the alluring mystery, Mary said yes. The angel of the Lord — an agent from a realm beyond what can be seen and known — appears to the maid of Nazareth and greets her in what Balthasar describes as the language of heaven: ‘Hail, full of grace.’” – Fr. Robert Barron