Mary

Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you,” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. (Luke 1:28-33)

Mary is the greatest among the saints. At the Annunciation, Mary said “yes” to God and became the Mother of Jesus, the eternal Son of God incarnate. We believe in Mary’s Immaculate Conception (that she was without sin from the moment of her conception and she remained “full of grace” by the saving work of the son she was to bear) and that, because of her sinless state, she was assumed bodily into heaven. The Church also teaches that Mary is ever-virgin – before and after the birth of Jesus.

Mary embraced her vocation of being God’s partner in the work of redemption. Mary is the mother of Jesus, who is God. Jesus made her sinless from her first moment of existence in her mother's womb because of the singular role she was to play in our salvation. No other human person offers as vital and direct a link in the coming of Christ. The Magnificat, or Canticle of Mary, is the longest set of words uttered by a woman in the New Testament.

 

Feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Assumption

Celebrated every year on August 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary commemorates the death of Mary and her bodily assumption into Heaven, before her body could begin to decay—a foretaste of our own bodily resurrection at the end of time. Because it signifies the Blessed Virgin's passing into eternal life, it is the most important of all Marian feasts and a Holy Day of Obligation.

Immaculate Conception

Few doctrines of the Catholic Church are as misunderstood as the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which Catholics celebrate every year on December 8. It is a Holy Day of Obligation. 

The Immaculate Conception refers to the condition that the Blessed Virgin Mary was free from Original Sin from the very moment of her conception in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne.

Presentation

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a memorial celebrated every year on November 21, commemorates "that dedication of herself which Mary made to God from her very childhood under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit who filled her with grace at her Immaculate Conception." Also known as the Dedication of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the feast originated in the East, where it is called the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos Into the Temple.

Annunciation

The feast of the Annunciation of the Lord celebrates the angel Gabriel's appearance to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-38), his announcement that the Blessed Virgin had been chosen to be the mother of Our Lord, and Mary's fiat—her willing acceptance of God's holy plan.

The Annunciation is celebrated on March 25, unless that date falls on a Sunday in Lent, at any time during Holy Week, or at any time in the octave of Easter (from Easter Sunday through Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday after Easter). In that case, the celebration is transferred either to the following Monday or to the Monday after Divine Mercy Sunday. 

Nativity of Mary

The traditional date of the feast, September 8, falls exactly nine months after the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Perhaps because of its close proximity to the feast of the Assumption of Mary, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is not celebrated today with the same solemnity as the Immaculate Conception. It is, nonetheless, a very important feast, because it prepares the way for the birth of Christ. It is also an unusual feast, because it celebrates a birthday.

 

 

We pray to Mary through traditional prayers such as the Hail Mary and the rosary as well as through conversational prayers of intercession.