On Tuesday March 25 Ave Maria University hosts students and townsfolk alike at its second annual grand Annunciation Feast. This is the seventh year the town and parish have celebrated the Annunciation; this day marks the sixth anniversary of the Oratory’s consecration on this feast day in 2008 by Bishop Frank Dewane.
For all who carry the Ave Maria banner – town, parish and university – this is the feast day of
both Our Lord and His mother, our patroness, the Virgin, who on this day was greeted by the angel Gabriel with those two special words, Ave Maria! – Hail Mary!
When Gabriel then delivered God’s invitation to bear His son, Mary’s acceptance of that invitation with her fiat – Let it be done to me – marked the precise moment of the Incarnation, when the Word was made flesh and began to dwell among us so that He might save us. This is the glorious moment depicted in deep marble relief by maestro Marton Varo on the grand tympanum of the Oratory.
All hail, Mary, the mother of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! And may worship of Our Lord, feasting and celebrations befitting such a great and glorious occasion commence!
This is from the students who established this celebration last year:
“That these blessings may be abundant and lasting in Christian society, it is necessary that the Incarnation of our Savior should be as widely as possible recognized and understood, and to the end nothing would serve better than the public celebration of the special feast of the Annunciation. For people are instructed in the truths of faith, and brought to appreciate the inner joys of religion far more effectually by the annual celebration of our sacred mysteries than by any official pronouncement of the teaching of the Church. Such pronouncements usually reach only a few and the more learned among the faithful; FEASTS REACH THEM ALL; the former speak but once, the latter speak every year – in fact, forever. The church’s teaching affects the mind primarily; her FEASTS affect both mind and heart, and have a salutary effect upon the whole of man’s nature. Man is composed of body and soul, and he NEEDS these external festivities so that the sacred rites, in all their beauty and variety, may stimulate him to drink more deeply of the fountain of God’s teaching, that he may make it a part of himself, and use it with profit for his spiritual life.”