"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." Rev. 3: 20

Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch + Archdiocese of the Western USA





The event of the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary is related to Luke, 1:26-38. The Evangelist tells us that in the sixth month after the conception of St. John the Baptist by Elizabeth, the Archangel Gabriel was sent from God to the Virgin Mary, at Nazareth, a small town in the mountains of Galilee. Mary was of the house of David, and was espoused to Joseph, of the same royal family. She had, however, not yet entered the household of her spouse but was still in between the temple where she was living and Joseph’s house, working, perhaps, over her dowry. The angel having taken the figure and the form of a man, came into the house and said to her: "Hail, full of grace (to whom is given grace, favored one), the Lord is with you." Mary having heard his greeting did not speak; she was troubled in spirit, since she knew not the angel, nor the reason of his coming, nor the meaning of the salutation. And the angel continued and said: "Fear not, Mary, for you have found grace with God. Behold you shall conceive in your womb, and shall bring forth a son; and you shall call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David His father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end." The Virgin understood that these were news of the coming Redeemer. But, why should she be the one elected from amongst women for the splendid dignity of being the mother of the Messiah. Therefore, not doubting the word of God like Zachariah, but filled with fear and astonishment, she said: "How shall this be done, because I know not man?"

To remove Mary's anxiety and to assure her that her virginity would be spared, the Archangel answered saying : "The Holy Spirit shall come upon you and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God." As a token of the truthfulness of his words he made known to her the conception of St. John, the miraculous pregnancy of Elizabeth, her relative, now old and barren: "And behold, your cousin Elizabeth; she also has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: because no word shall be impossible with God." Mary may not yet have fully understood the meaning of the heavenly message and how the maternity might be reconciled with her virginity, but clinging to the first words of the angel and trusting to the Omnipotence of God she said: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your word."

The verses Luke 1: 34, 35, containing the message of conception through the Holy Spirit are interpolated, and they are proved by the Judaic origin (Isaiah 7:14, Behold a Virgin shall conceive, etc.). St. Luke may have taken his knowledge of the event from an older account, written in Aramaic or Hebrew, or from the Virgin Mary itself. The words: "Blessed are you among women" (v. 28), are spurious and taken from verse 42, the account of the Visitation. The opinion that Joseph at the time of the Annunciation was an aged widower and Mary between twelve and fifteen years of age, is founded only upon apocryphal documents. The local tradition of Nazareth pretends that the angel met Mary and greeted her at the fountain, and when she fled from him in fear, he followed her into the house and there continued his message. The year and day of the Annunciation cannot be determined as long as new material does not throw more light on the subject. The present date of the feast (25 March) depends upon the date of the older feast of Christmas.

The Annunciation is the beginning of Jesus in His human nature. Through His mother He is a member of the human race. If the virginity of Mary before, during, and after the conception of her Divine Son was always considered part of the deposit of faith, this was done only on account of historical facts and testimonials. The Incarnation of the Son of God did not in itself necessitate this exception from the laws of nature. Only reasons of expediency are given for it, chiefly, the end of the Incarnation. About to found a new generation of the children of God, The Redeemer does not arrive in the way of earthly generations: the power of the Holy Spirit enters the chaste womb of the Virgin, forming the humanity of Christ. Many holy fathers (Sts. Jerome, Ephrem, Cyril, and Augustine) say that the consent of Mary was essential to the redemption. It was the will of God that the redemption of mankind should depend upon the consent of the Virgin Mary. This does not mean that God in His plans was bound by the will of a creature, and that man would not have been redeemed, if Mary had not consented. It only means that the consent of Mary was foreseen from all eternity, and therefore was received as essential into the plan of God.

You can help by sending articles to
Archbishopric of the Western US
or Fax it to: (+1) 818-953-7203




1. Baptism 

Church Rites

Sanctification and Renewal of the Church
Palm Sunday


The Church & Bible

Religious Matters

The Siloam Pool




Contact Us