Patriarch Daniel sent a message of blessing for the Feast of the Annunciation and the pro-life events organized on Saturday, March 25, 2023.
“In Jesus Christ, the birth of children is God’s blessing given to humanity not only to rule the earth but also to acquire the Kingdom of Heaven. Thus, the gift of earthly life is also a call to eternal heavenly life in the Kingdom of God,” the Patriarch of Romania underlines.
On Annunciation Day or the Saturday closest to it, the March for Life is organized in Romania and the Republic of Moldova. The march is the highlight of the Month for Life, a series of events celebrating the life of born and unborn children and proposing support measures for pregnant women, mothers, and families.
Read the full message below:
Blessing for the feast of the Annunciation
Over the course of history, mankind has received many great tidings. Still, the most beautiful and important message ever received came to Virgin Mary from God, through the Archangel Gabriel and it reminded us of God’s great love for fallen humanity.
At the Annunciation, we celebrate the wonderful mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mystery through which God the Word, the One who is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, came down to earth and became Man, so that man might be healed of sin and death and given eternal life.
This event is “the beginning of our salvation”. Now the course of mankind has been changed and history has been divided in two: before Christ and after Christ.
Today’s feast is called the Annunciation because it brings us the good tidings of salvation, awaited for decades by all mankind, ever since Adam and Eve were driven out of heaven by their ancestral sin.
We learn that today’s feast, although it is called the Annunciation of Blessed Virgin Mary, is also a feast of Lord Jesus Christ, because today the Child Jesus is conceived (of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary), and nine months later the Child will be born in Bethlehem. Therefore, we foremost celebrate the One who was willing to become incarnate for us, humans, for our salvation.
From the Feast of the Annunciation, we also learn how great is the humility of the Virgin Mary. When she understands that God is working in her life for the salvation of the world, then she submits to God’s will and says: “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).
We also learn that the Blessed Virgin Mary is honoured, or venerated, as the first of all the saints, “more honoured than the cherubim and greater beyond compare than the seraphim”. Her honour was inaugurated by Archangel Gabriel himself, who, after worshipping her (cf. Luke 1:29), greeted her with the words: ‘Rejoice, you who are full of grace, the Lord is with you! Blessed art thou among women!” (Luke 1:28). So we, humans, have learned from the angels to honour the Mother of God! She is the source and the icon of the joy of the Church, because, being full of grace, she is full of joy, because true joy is the feeling of the presence of God’s love in man’s life. More precisely, joy is the fruit of the grace of the Holy Spirit within the believer (cf. Galatians 5:22). This is why Lord Jesus Christ, after Resurrection, greeted the myrrh-bearing women, saying: “Rejoice!” (Matthew 28:9), and the Apostle Paul exhorts Christians: “Rejoice in the Lord always! And again I say, Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).
Although today’s society is going through a birthrate and family crisis, this crisis cannot, however, be stronger than the blessing of God the Creator, who said to the first family, Adam and Eve: “Be fruitful and multiply and possess the earth!” (Genesis 1:282) In Jesus Christ, the birth of children is God’s blessing given to humanity, not only to rule the earth, but also to acquire the Kingdom of Heaven. Thus, the gift of earthly life is also a call to eternal heavenly life in the Kingdom of God.
Church history shows that infants who are born, raised by their parents and educated in the faith will become not only citizens of the earthly homeland, but also citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven.
We pray to God and to the Mother of God – the patroness of the family, of mothers, of virgins, of all families with many children – to grant the joy of God’s blessing to all those who know how to cherish the gift of life as a preparation of people on earth to acquire, through grace, faith and good works, heavenly life in the love, peace and light of the Most Holy Trinity!
We wish you all health and happiness, peace and joy!
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church
Photo credit: Arhiva Basilica.ro / Raluca Ene