By reason of the gift and role of divine maternity, by which she is united with her Son, the Redeemer, and with His singular graces and functions, the Blessed Virgin is also intimately united with the Church. As St. Ambrose taught, the Mother of God is a type of the Church in the order of faith, charity and perfect union with Christ. For in the mystery of the Church, which is itself rightly called mother and virgin, the Blessed Virgin stands out in eminent and singular fashion as exemplar both of virgin and mother. By her belief and obedience, not knowing man but overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, as the new Eve she brought forth on earth the very Son of the Father, showing an undefiled faith, not in the word of the ancient serpent, but in that of God’s messenger. The Son whom she brought forth is He whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren, namely the faithful, in whose birth and education she cooperates with a maternal love.
Second Vatican Council
Lent and Easter interrupted the March 25th observance of the Annunciation, so the Church transferred the Solemnity of the Annunciation until today. Two striking pieces for our mediation: one from Saint Leo the Great and the other from the Servant of God Father Luigi Giussani.
Each one is a partaker of this spiritual origin in regeneration. To every one, when he is reborn, the water of baptism is like the Virgin’s womb, for the same Holy Spirit fills the font, who filled the Virgin, that the sin, which that sacred conception overthrew, may be taken away by this mystical washing. [s. 24.3]
St. Leo the Great
The Angel’s words could have astounded with wonder and humility the young woman to whom they were addressed. But they were not so astounding as to be totally unintelligible; they contained something that made them intelligible to the heart of that young girl who was living her religious duties. The Virgin embraced them to herself: “I am the handmaiden of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to Your word.” Not because she understood but, in the confusion that had become boundless because of the Mystery that announced itself by vibrating in her flesh, the Virgin opened her arms wide, the arms of her freedom, and said, “Yes.” And she stayed alert every day, every hour, every minute of her life. The Virgin Mary’s state of mind, that state of mind which determines an attitude and decides for it in the face of the occasion and the moment, how can we better describe the Virgin’s state of mind than with the word “silence”? Silence as memory filled to overflowing. Two things contributed to this memory, two things determined this silence. The first was remembering what had happened. What had happened preserved its marvelousness, its true mystery, its mystery of truth intact because — and this is the second thing — it had something that was present: that Child, that present young Man, that Son who was present.
Meditations on Rosary
During the 50 days of Easter the three-times prayed Marian antiphon, the Angelus, changes to the Regina Coeli. Like the Angelus, it is prayed morning, noon and night. Some people only pray it following Night Prayer (Compline); yet the greater tradition is to pray the Regina Coeli many times a day as a way of remembering (recall the Church’s example of being aware of Christ and His being with us, and what Pope Francis said about remembering yesterday in his Easter homily: we remember the events of Jesus life, death, and resurrection as a gift)! Hence, the Regina Coeli…
Several pious legends swirl around. One is that Pope Saint Gregory had a vision in which he heard the lines of the prayer that became known as the Regina Coeli connected with Saint Luke painting the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In reality, the Franciscans made the prayer popular when the concluded Compline during Easter with it. It is the custom of Catholics, since the 12th century, to pray with Mary, the Holy Theotokos (Mother of God), from Easter Day through Pentecost, the seventh Sunday after Easter.
Queen of Heaven
V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.