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All God’s angels descended from Heaven to witness the Annunciation, Fiat, and Incarnation at midnight on March 25th

4 min • Digitized on March 21, 2022

#Angels #Love #Mary

From The Life and Glories of St. Joseph, in file "The Life and Glories of St. Joseph", page 166
By Edward Healy Thompson, M.A.

To the great archangel, then, the Most High made known the embassage with which he was charged, and the words which he was to address to the Virgin of Nazareth.

His Divine Majesty was at the same time pleased Himself to declare to the whole hierarchy of Heaven that the time for man’s redemption was arrived, and that He was about to descend into the world and become incarnate in the womb of Mary, whom He had chosen, prepared, and adorned to be His mother.

Although the ordinary manner in which the heavenly intelligences are enlightened is by communication from the superior to the inferior hierarchies, on this occasion it was not so; for, as Holy Scripture tells us, “When He bringeth in the First-Begotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God adore Him”. [Heb. i. 6, Psalm xcvi. 7.]

No sooner, then, did all the orders of blessed spirits hear the voice of their Creator announcing to them this marvellous news, than they burst forth in one simultaneous canticle of praise and thanksgiving to the Triune God, magnifying especially the Divine condescension in honouring and exalting the humble: “Blessed be the name of the Lord from henceforth now and for ever. The Lord is high above all nations, and His glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, and regardeth the things that are lowly in heaven and on earth?” [Psalm cxii. 2-6.]

Thousands of the celestial hosts followed Gabriel, as he flew with lightning speed to Nazareth, that they might adore the God-Man at the very instant of His conception, and pay their devoted homage to the Mother of the Eternal King.

What was the hour? Midnight must have struck, for the 25th of March had begun; but it cannot have sounded long, for, as Jesus was born at the midnight hour at Bethlehem, so we may believe that He was conceived at a like hour at Nazareth, and may apply literally to the moment of His incarnation that passage in the Book of Wisdom which the Church has adopted for the Introit of Sunday in the Christmas week: “While all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her course, Thy Almighty Word leapt down from heaven from Thy royal throne”. [Wisdom xviii. 14.]

But the whole universe, and God Himself, were awaiting Mary’s consent. The Virgin was in the secrecy of her chamber, rapt in contemplation and fervent prayer for the coming of the Messias, that there might be an end of sin and prevarication, that iniquity might be cancelled, eternal justice be established, the prophecies be accomplished, and the Saint of Saints be anointed. This was, indeed, the continual subject of her petitions.

Maria d’Agreda says that the Lord had caused her to make a nine days’ prayer of special earnestness directed to that end, during which she was favoured with visions and graces of a most exalted character; but she adds that, when Gabriel acquitted himself of his mission, the Most High left her in her ordinary spiritual state, withdrawing all unusual favours and graces from her soul, because this mystery was to be a “sacrament of faith,” allowing the operations of that virtue, as well as those of hope and charity, to have their full exercise, that by believing and hoping in the Divine word addressed to her by the angel, she might merit freely the accomplishment of those things which were announced to her. 1

1 This seems to be implied in the words of Elizabeth. St. Luke i. 45.

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