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March 25 Marks the Annunciation, A Great Feast for Orthodoxy and Hellenism

The Annunciation. Painted by Paolo de Matteis, Saint Louis Art Museum. Photo source: Wikipedia

March 25 is one of the most important dates of Hellenism throughout the world since it marks both the anniversary of the Greek Revolution against the Ottomans and the Feast of the Annunciation, a significant celebration in the Orthodox Church.

The Feast of the Annunciation marks the visit of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, during which he told her that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

More importantly, since it occurs nine months before the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day, the Annunciation marks the actual incarnation of Jesus Christ – the moment that Jesus was conceived and that the Son of God became the son of the Virgin.

The festival celebrates two things:

  • God’s action in entering the human world as Jesus in order to save humanity;
  • Humanity’s acceptance of God’s will in Mary’s freely-given acceptance of the role of being the Mother of God

March 25 is the name day of all those called Evangelia, Evangelos, Angela, Angelo, Maria, Marie, Maree, Mariah, Mario, Theotokis, Panayiota, Yiota, Panayiotis and other derivatives from Evangelismos (Annunciation).

The story Annunciation is told in Luke’s Gospel, 1: 26-38.

“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.

The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.”

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