Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord


“Would you like to know how he is born of a virgin and, after his nativity, the mother is still a virgin? “The doors were closed, and Jesus entered.” There is no question about that. He who entered through the closed doors was neither a ghost nor a spirit. He was a real man with a real body. Furthermore, what does he say? “Touch me and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” He had flesh and bones, and the doors were closed. How do flesh and bones enter through closed doors? The doors are closed, and he enters, whom we do not see entering. Whence has he entered? Everything is closed up. There is no place through which he may enter. Nevertheless he who has entered is within, and how he entered is not evident. You do not know how his entrance was accomplished, and you attribute it to the power of God. Attribute to the power of God, then, that he was born of a virgin and the virgin herself after bringing forth was a virgin still.”1

“Therefore blessed Mary had to have a husband who would be both a perfectly sure witness to her integrity and a completely trustworthy foster father for our Lord and Savior, who was born of her. He was a husband who would, in accordance with the law, make sacrificial offerings to the temple for him when he was an infant. He would take him, along with his mother, to Egypt when persecution threatened. He would bring him back and would minister to the many other needs consequent upon the weakness of the humanity which he had assumed. It did no great harm if, for a time, some believed that he was Joseph’s son, since from the apostles’ preaching after his ascension it would be plainly evident to all believers that he had been born of a virgin.”2

“The angel greeted Mary with a new address, which I could not find anywhere else in Scripture. I ought to explain this expression briefly. The angel says, “Hail, full of grace.” … I do not remember having read this word elsewhere in Scripture. An expression of this kind, “Hail, full of grace,” is not addressed to a male. This greeting was reserved for Mary alone.”3

“Learn of character from the Virgin. Learn of modesty from the Virgin. Learn of prophecy from the Virgin. Learn in the mystery. It is the nature of virgins to tremble at every entrance of a man and to be afraid at every address by a man. Let women learn to imitate the purpose of modesty. She was alone in the inner room which none among men may see. Only the angel found her. Alone without a companion, alone without a witness, lest she be corrupted by ignoble speech, she is greeted by the angel. Learn, virgin, to shun lewdness of words. Moreover, Mary was afraid at the angel’s greeting.”4

“Because death made its entrance through a woman, it was fitting that life return through a woman. The one, seduced by the devil through the serpent, brought a man the taste of death. The other, instructed by God through the angel, produced for the world the Author of salvation.”5

“Why, doubter, do you shake your silly head?
An angel makes this known with holy lips.
Will you not hearken to angelic words?
The Virgin blest, the shining messenger
Believed, and by her faith she Christ conceived.
Christ comes to men of faith and spurns the heart
Irresolute in trust and reverence.
The Virgin’s instant faith attracted
Christ into her womb and hid him there till birth.”6


  1. Jerome, Homily 87.
  2. Bede, Homilies on the Gospels 1.3.
  3. Origen, HOMILIES ON THE GOSPEL OF LUKE 6.7. Just, A. A. (Ed.). (2005). Luke (p. 14). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  4. Ambrose, EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL OF LUKE 2.8. Just, A. A. (Ed.). (2005). Luke (p. 15). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  5. Bede, HOMILIES ON THE GOSPELS 1.3. Just, A. A. (Ed.). (2005). Luke (p. 15). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  6. Prudentius,
    THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST 566–84. Just, A. A. (Ed.). (2005). Luke (pp. 15–16). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
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