Laetare, O Maria

Annunciation, by Fra Angelico, 15th c.

A blessed solemnity of the Annunciation, when the divine Word was made incarnate in the womb of the Virgin Mary.  When Dionysius Exiguus, who formulated what we now know as the calendar in 525 A.D., he assigned March 25 as the first day of the year, since that was when the new covenant of grace began, Man’s true nature and destiny were revealed, and his salvation begun.  It remained New Year’s Day in England until 1752, and the universal Church still celebrates the current ‘New Year’s Day’ as the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

March 25 was also the original day, as tradition would have it, of the first Good Friday, when all creation was restored by the death of the God-made-Man.

And it all began with the ‘fiat’ of a young maiden, who embodies the perfect response to the will of God, with haste, with promptness, with joy.

We just returned from Saint Columbkille’s cathedral in Pembroke, where Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Schola sang Schubert’s Mass in G major, at a High Mass in honour of Our Lady. All I can say is: glorious.  Providentially, the consecration took place at the precise time of the Angelus.  Well, why would it not?

So a blessed solemnity to all.  And while we’re at it, a joyful Laetare Sunday tomorrow, when the Church takes in this time in this half-way point in Lent to ‘rejoice’, before we enter the last few weeks before Our Lord’s Passion, and His ultimate triumph over death.

The victory is ours, regardless of what dark clouds may appear on the horizon.

Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis!