The Life of Mary: Sacred Scripture:
New Testament Elements: Annunciation

The charts below are direct quotes from Post-Vatican II Magisterial Documents concerning the theme, Mary's Life, Annunciation. These teachings of the Catholic Church may prove useful to include in talks, in homilies or for research. For the full title and document data, click on the abbreviation code (for example, BYM leads you to the document, Behold Your Mother). This will also lead you to the complete document on this website or assist you in locating it elsewhere.

For an index of the documents used in the study see: List of Magisterial Documents
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Documents VI. The Life of Mary /
2b. Sacred Scripture: New Testament Elements: Infancy: Annunciation
Lumen Gentium, 1964
  • at the message of the angel received the Word of God... 53
  • hailed by the heralding angel ... (cf. Lk 1:28) 56
  • "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word." (Lk 1:38) 56
  • Spirit...who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation 59
  • She conceived, brought forth, and nourished Christ... 61
  • the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation 62
Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973
  • By accepting the Annunciation... 18 [Also 137]
  • In Mary's response, "Let it be done to me as you say," the expectation of the old covenant achieves perfect expression. 15
  • [OT allusions in]summary of the Annunciation story 22 The episode of the Annunciation concludes with a double tribute to Mary's faith. ... her maternal "yes" was also her act of faith: ... (Lk 1:38) 28 [and] Gabriel ... nothing is impossible with God (Lk 1:37) 29
  • The chapter on Mary in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church may be regarded as an extended commentary on her consent at the Annunciation. The opening sentence of n. 53 is typical: "At the message of the angel, the Virgin Mary received the Word of God into her heart and her body, and gave Life to the world." [LG 53] 28
  • At the Annunciation, Mary conceived Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. 115
  • [Annunciation and Pentecost parallel, 79]
  • [Annunciation and Calvary parallel, victim priesthood, 120]
  • From...Annunciation , she was the living chalice of the son of God made man. 131
Redemptoris Mater, 1987
  • Mary is definitively introduced into the mystery of Christ through this event: the Annunciation by the angel. [historical reality] 8
  • [Article 9, extensive discussion based on sacred text] The Annunciation, therefore, is the revelation of the mystery of the Incarnation at the very beginning of its fulfillment on earth. God's salvific giving of himself and his life, in some way to all creation but directly to man, reaches one of its high points in the mystery of the Incarnation. 9 [See also 20, DV5/26, 28, 36, 37, 62/39]
Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday, 1988
  • How far the fiat uttered by Mary at the Annunciation had taken her! 2
  • The Incarnation was brought about by the Holy Spirit when he came down upon the Virgin of Nazareth and she spoke her fiat in response to the angel's message. (cf. Lk 1:38) 1
The VM in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation, 1988
  • Persevering with them in one accord, we see Mary " prayerfully imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation." (LG 59) 8
  • The Virgin was actively present in the life of the Church
    - at its beginning (the mystery of the Incarnation) ... 17
To All Consecrated Persons, Marian Year, 1988
  • The words spoken to Mary at the Annunciation were certainly unusual. A careful reading of Luke's text shows that the angel's words to her contain the truth about God, in a manner that already conforms to the Gospel and to the New Covenant. The Virgin of Nazareth has been introduced into the inscrutable mystery, which is the living God, the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In that context the Virgin's vocation to be Mother of the Messiah was revealed to her, a vocation to which she responded with her fiat: "Let it be done to me according to your word." (Lk 1:38) 4
  • Meditating on what happened at the Annunciation, we also think about our own vocation. A vocation always marks a sort of turning point on the path of our relationship with the living God. 5
  • The moment of vocation always directly concerns a particular person, but as with the Annunciation at Nazareth it also means a certain "unveiling" of the mystery of God. Before it becomes an accomplished fact within an individual, before taking on the form of a choice and personal decision, a vocation refers back to another choice, a choice on the part of God, which has preceded the human choice and decision 6
  • This choice invites us - as it did Mary at the Annunciation - to discover ourselves in the depths of the eternal mystery of God who is love 7
  • Together with the Virgin at the Annunciation in Nazareth, let us meditate upon the mystery of the vocation which has become our "part" in Christ and in the Church. 9
Mulieris Dignitatem, 1988
  • The self-revelation of God, who is the inscrutable unity of the Trinity, is outlined in the Annunciation at Nazareth. "Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High." ... "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" ... "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the son of God.... For with God nothing will be impossible" [Ftn 16: the Fathers see Annununciation as revelation of the Trinity] (cf. Lk 1:31-37) 3
  • Do we not find in the Annunciation at Nazareth the beginning of the definitive answer by which God himself "attempts to calm people's hearts"? [NA 2] 3 [See also Mary's relation to Holy Spirit, 27]
Redemptoris Custos, St. Joseph, 1989
  • Mary went to the house of Zechariah to visit her kinswoman Elizabeth. (Lk 1:41) 4
Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 1994
  • Thus was fulfilled what the Angel Gabriel foretold at the Annunciation, when he spoke to the Virgin of Nazareth in these words: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you." (1:28) Mary was troubled by these words, and so the divine messenger quickly added: "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. (1:32-33, 35) Mary's reply to the angel was unhesitating: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." (1:38) Never in human history did so much depend, as it did then, upon the consent of one human creature. (cf.. St. Bernard) 2
Evangelium Vitae, 1995
  • The one who accepted "Life" in the name of all and for the sake of all was Mary, the Virgin Mother; she is thus most closely and personally associated with the Gospel of life. Mary's consent at the Annunciation and her motherhood stand at the very beginning of the mystery of life which Christ came to bestow on humanity. (cf. Jn 10:10) 102
  • The "yes" spoken on the day of the Annunciation reaches full maturity on the day of the Cross, when the time comes for Mary to receive and beget as her children all those who becomes disciples, pouring out upon them the saving love of her Son. 103
  • The angel's Annunciation to Mary is framed by these reassuring words: "Do not be afraid, Mary" and "with God nothing will be impossible." (Lk 1:30, 37) 105
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994
Fidei Depositum, 1992
[See also: 148, 490] Annunciation (as vocation): 430, 484, 490, 491, 492, 493, 508, 721, 2097 [BB]

430 Jesus means in Hebrew: "God saves." At the Annunciation, the angel Gabriel gave him the name Jesus as his proper name, which expresses both his identity and his mission. (cf. Lk 1:31) Since God alone can forgive sins, it is God who, in Jesus his eternal Son made man, "will save his people from their sins." (Mt 1:21; cf. 2:7) In Jesus, God recapitulates all of his history of salvation on behalf of men.

Veritatis Splendor, 1993
  • Annunciation and Virgin of the Visitation 112
Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002
  • No one has ever devoted himself to the contemplation of the face of Christ as faithfully as Mary. The eyes of her heart already turned to him at the Annunciation, when she conceived him by the power of the Holy Spirit. In the months that followed she began to sense his presence and to picture his features. 10
  • As we contemplate each mystery of her Son's life, she invites us to do as she did at the Annunciation: to ask humbly the questions which open us to the light, in order to end with the obedience of faith: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word." (Lk 1:38) 14
  • The Rosary is one of the traditional paths of Christian prayer directed to the contemplation of Christ's face. Pope Paul VI described it in these words: "As a Gospel prayer, centered on the mystery of the redemptive Incarnation, the Rosary is a prayer with a clearly Christological orientation. Its most characteristic element, in fact, the litany-like succession of Hail Mary's, becomes in itself an unceasing praise of Christ, who is the ultimate object both of the Angel's announcement and of the greeting of the Mother of John the Baptist: 'Blessed is the fruit of your womb'." (Lk 1:42) 18
  • The first five decades, the "joyful mysteries," are marked by the joy radiating from the event of the Incarnation. This is clear from the very first mystery, the Annunciation, where Gabriel's greeting to the Virgin of Nazareth is linked to an invitation to messianic joy: "Rejoice, Mary." The whole of salvation history, in some sense the entire history of the world, has led up to this greeting. If it is the Father's plan to unite all things in Christ (cf. Eph 1:10), then the whole of the universe is in some way touched by the divine favor with which the Father looks upon Mary and makes her the Mother of his Son. The whole of humanity, in turn, is embraced by the fiat with which she readily agrees to the will of God. 20
  • By making our own the words of the Angel Gabriel and Saint Elizabeth contained in the Hail Mary, we find ourselves constantly drawn to seek out afresh in Mary, in her arms and in her heart, the "blessed fruit of her womb." (cf. Lk 1:42) 24
  • Yet when the Hail Mary is properly understood, we come to see clearly that its Marian character is not opposed to its Christological character, but that it actually emphasizes and increases it. The first part of the Hail Mary, drawn from the words spoken to Mary by the Angel Gabriel and by Saint Elizabeth, is a contemplation in adoration of the mystery accomplished in the Virgin of Nazareth. 33
Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2003
  • At the Annunciation Mary conceived the Son of God in the physical reality of his body and blood, thus anticipating within herself what to some degree happens sacramentally in every believer who receives, under the signs of bread and wine, the Lord's body and blood. As a result, there is a profound analogy between the fiat which Mary said in reply to the angel, and the Amen which every believer says when receiving the body of the Lord. Mary was asked to believe that the One whom she conceived "through the Holy Spirit" was "the Son of God." (Lk 1:30-35) In continuity with the Virgin's faith, in the Eucharistic mystery we are asked to believe that the same Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary, becomes present in his full humanity and divinity under the signs of bread and wine. 55

© This material has been compiled by M. Jean Frisk.
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