From "Mysteries of the Rosary" by Msgr. Edward I. Hession
“Now in the sixth month the Angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.” Lk. 1:26-27
The courts of Heaven all are hushed,
Save for the soft and mellow strains
Of music from Angelic hosts.
All heaven awaits in anxious hope
The Angel Gabriel sent to earth
Unto a maid of Nazareth,
The spouse of Joseph, carpenter.
Oh, joyful message that he brings
To raise the fallen human race!
A blinding light beside the maid
At first affrights her; then she sees
And hears an Angel as he says:
“Hail, full of grace, the Lord’s with thee.”
And Mary wonders at the words.
The Angel speaks to her again:
“Fear not, thou hast found grace with God,
For in thy womb thou shalt conceive
And thou shalt bring to light a Son.”
A virgin - she - to bear a Son!
And Jesus is to be his name!
How can this be - as she has vowed
Virginity unto her God,
And she has never known man?
This thought at once fills Mary’s mind:
But Gabriel dispels her fears;
That Holy Ghost shall be her Spouse
And bring about a virgin-birth!
The holy maiden humbly says:
“Behold the handmaid of the Lord
And be it done as thou has said.”
O words that thrill the Angel throngs,
And raise the joyous cries above!
The son of God, the Lord of hosts,
The Word-made-Flesh has been conceived
Within the purest virgin’s womb!
“Mary, Mother! Mary, Virgin!
Worthy of the best reward;
Of all women thou art chosen
As the Mother of the Lord.
“From all ages God preserved thee
From the fiends of sin and hate,
Kept His living tabernacle
Spotless and immaculate.
“Full of grace, the Lord is with thee,
Thrice blest Lady of the land,
Happy is this hour to mortals -
Their redemption is at hand.”
* * *
The Angel leaves the Virgin Pure
Wrapped in a flood of heaven’s grace.
Did God, the Strong and Mighty One
Choose her from all the countless maids
To be the Mother of the Christ?
The doubt comes not to Mary’s mind;
She holds the secret in her heart,
Too humble to divulge the word.
But what was this the Angel said -
“Behold Elizabeth, thy kin,
Shall bear a son in her old age.”
“Tis he who is ordained to be
The prophet, to prepare the way,
Announce the coming of the Christ.”
The charity in Mary’s heart
Swells out beyond the distant hills
Where dwells the aged Elizabeth.
For soon the day will come to pass
When she will need a woman’s care.
And with her treasure in her heart
The virgin sets forth joyfully
Unto the house of Zachary.
Reprinted for Council 13307 with the permission of Abbey Press, Inc.