What we celebrate today and what you need to know

“Rejoice, Caesarithomeni, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women”. With these words, the angel Gabriel, sent by God, presents himself to the Virgin Mary, announcing to her that she will give birth to Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

As we celebrate the joyous news of the divine incarnation, the Annunciation of the Theotokos (March 25) is one of the most celebrated feasts of the Mother of God in Christianity.

According to the Gospel of Luke (Chapter 1: 26-38), six months after Gabriel announced to Zacharias about the birth of John the Forerunner by his wife Elizabeth, the archangel went to the city of Galilee at the command of God. In Nazareth, there lived a good and pure virgin Mariam (Mary), betrothed to the carpenter Joseph.

“Rejoice, Caesarithomeni, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you women,” greeted the angel to Mary, and she was perplexed and wondered what this greeting meant. Then, the angel wanted to reassure her, revealing the plan of the divine economy, that is, God's plan for the salvation of man: “Do not be afraid, Mary, God has counted you worthy of a great blessing. You will give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.

He shall be very great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High, and his kingdom shall be everlasting. “How can these things happen because I have no husband?” Maria asked reasonably.

Then, the angel answered: “The Holy Spirit will visit you, and the power of God will cover you and protect you. And the one you give birth to will be holy and without sin. If you want to be sure, find your cousin Elizabeth. She is barren but she is in the sixth month of pregnancy. Nothing is impossible for God.” After that, Mary humbly answered: “Behold, handmaid of the Lord, give birth to me according to your word” and the Archangel Gabriel left her. Since then, the Virgin Mary has been carrying Christ, the Son of God, who became man for the salvation of mankind.

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In this way, our Virgin Mary becomes a vessel chosen by God, incarnate in her womb as the Son and Word of God. And this is because it is undefiled and transformed into a temple of the Saviour. The Word of God, “the indivisible portion,” entered the womb of the Most Holy Theotokos to redeem mankind from corruption and death, as the Virgin acknowledged and obeyed God's command.

The origin of the feast of the Mother of God is not exactly known. Saint Helen built a basilica in Nazareth that traditionally included the Virgin's house where she received the Annunciation, which may have influenced the creation of the local holiday. The first evidence of it is found in Saint Proclus, Patriarch of Constantinople in AD 430, and in the Paschal Chronicle (AD 624), which is described by divine teachers as having been founded on March 25. In 560, Justinian I proposed March 25 as a suitable day to celebrate the Annunciation of the Virgin. Various reasons led to this particular establishment.

Although the celebration of the Annunciation falls within Great Lent, which is a period of mourning (celebrations and festivals are prohibited) and no Divine Liturgy is celebrated on weekdays, however, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is exceptionally celebrated on this particular day. , according to Canon 52 of the Fifteenth Ecumenical Council. In addition, our Church honors the Mother of the God-Man and Savior of the World with the Akathistos Hymn Sequence or Salutation to the Most Holy Theotokos. The Agathistos Hymn is sung in parts on the first four Fridays of Great Lent and in full on the fifth Friday.

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Finally, on this particular day, the traditional dish in most homes is, as usual, codfish (codfish) with garlic.

Its modern Greek translation Apostolic cut (Heb. 2:11-18) reads:

“Brothers, all have one Father: the Purifier and the purified, so he is not ashamed to call them brothers. As the scripture says: I will declare your greatness to my brothers, I will praise you in the church. In other places: I will believe in him. And he continues: Here, I also God to me. And the children that gave. Therefore, since these “children” were human, Jesus also became human, to destroy the one who had power over death, the devil, with his death, and to free those who were condemned by the fear of death. It is clear that he did not come to help the angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, He was to become like his brothers in all things, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God to forgive the sins of the people, so that, having himself suffered and been tempted, he could help those who are now being tempted.

Its modern Greek translation Gospel section (Luke 1:24-38) says:

“In those days, Zechariah's wife Elizabeth became pregnant. But she hid her pregnancy for five months, saying: “God saw my grief and freed me from the shame I felt in front of people because I didn't have a child.” In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean city of Nazareth, a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. She was called the Virgin Mary. The angel appeared to her and said to her: “Rejoice, blessed by the grace of God, the Lord is with you. You are blessed by God above all women.

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As soon as she saw him, troubled by his words, she tried to explain what this greeting meant. The angel said to her: “Do not be afraid, Mary, God has given you His grace. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the descendants of Jacob forever. , of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary asked the angel: “I have no conjugal relationship with a man, how can this happen to me?” The angel answered her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of God will cover you, so that the holy child you will bear will be called the Son of God. Know also that your cousin Elizabeth has given birth to a son in her old age. Nothing is impossible with God.” Then Maryam said, “I am the Lord's servant, let his will be done unto me as thou hast told me.” The angel left her.”

Ἦhos d'.
“Today is the capital of our salvation, and the revelation of the eternal mystery; the Son of God, the Son of the Virgin, becomes, and the Gabriel of grace is evangelized. For we help the Virgin with him; rejoice, beloved, the Lord is with you.

Ἦhos pl. d'.
“To the victorious general, deliverer of afflictions, I record the thanks of your city Theotokos. But since I was indomitable, free me from all dangers, I cry to you: Hail, nymph, flower.”

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