Text is taken from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal.
Feast Day 24 March.
Polyptych of The Resurrection: The Archangel Gabriel.
Artist: Titian (1490–1576).
Current location: Santi Nazaro e Celso, Brescia, Italy.
Source/Photographer: Web Gallery of Art
Happy Feast of The Archangel Gabriel.
Saint Gabriel was sent to Daniel to enlighten him as to the time when Christ would be born (Epistle), and to Zachary, at the hour in which he offered Incense in the Temple (Offertory), to announce to him the birth of John the Baptist, the Precursor of The Messias (Gospel).
"Only Gabriel, a name that means "Power of God", was found worthy among all the Angels," says Saint Bernard, "to announce to Mary the designs of God with regard to her" (Matins). "He was chosen from among all the Angels," says the Collect, "to proclaim the Mystery of The Incarnation."
With a feeling of Holy Reverence, Saint Gabriel came to The Virgin, who, from all Eternity, had been chosen to be The Mother on Earth of Him, of Whom God is The Father in Heaven. In the words inspired by The Most High, and which The Church desires us to repeat frequently, he said to her: "Hail, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee: Blessed art thou among women." [As Saint Thomas Aquinas said of The Blessed Virgin Mary: "She, who stands on The Threshold of Divinity."]
And, seeing that Mary was taken aback by this salutation, the Angel explained that he had come to obtain her consent, her Fiat, that the Great Mystery on which depended the Redemption of Mankind might be accomplished. "I am Gabriel, who stands before God, and I have been sent to speak to thee and to tell thee these good tidings" (Matins).
It was Mary's wish to remain a Virgin, and the Angel of The Lord announced that she would conceive of The Holy Ghost and that she would give birth to a son, to Whom she would give the name of Jesus, that is to say, Saviour.
Mary, then, without hesitating, submitted with the most profound humility: Behold The Handmaid of The Lord: Be it done to me according to Thy word.
And, in that instant, was accomplished the greatest of all Miracles, when God raised unto Himself and into union with Him, The Blessed Fruit of The Womb of The Virgin: "And The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us." The Word took upon Him our humanity, our poverty, our nothingness, and gave us in return His Divinity.
The Angel then returned to Heaven.
"Having learned, by the mouth of Gabriel, The Incarnation of The Word, may it be given to us to obtain, by his help, the fruits of that same Incarnation" (Postcommunion).
Pope Benedict XV extended the Feast of Saint Gabriel to the whole Church.
Mass: Benedícite Dóminum.
Mass: Benedícite Dóminum.