Today is the Feast of the Annunciation in the liturgical calendar and until 1752, it marked the beginning of the new year in Britain and her colonies overseas, including the future United States. To read my history of the feast, click here.
Within the church's calendar, the feast honours the visit of Saint Gabriel the Archangel to the Virgin Mary to inform her that she was to conceive the Christ Child.
"And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: 'Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.' Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: 'Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.'"
- The Gospel according to Saint Luke, Chapter II
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