The Annunciation

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.