On March 25 in the Holy Orthodox Church we celebrate the Annunciation to our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary.
When the All-Holy Virgin completed the fourteenth year after her birth and was entering her fifteenth year, after having spent eleven years of living and serving in the Temple of Jerusalem, the priests informed her that, according to the Law, she could not remain in the Temple but was required to be betrothed and enter into marriage. The All-Holy Virgin surprised the priests when she told them that she had dedicated her life to God and that she desired to remain a virgin until death. Then, Zacharias, the high priest and father of the Forerunner, under the inspiration of God, and in agreement with the other priests, betrothed the Virgin Mary to Joseph of Nazareth to preserve her virginity and to care for her. When the fullness of time had come, as prophesied by Daniel the Prophet, and when God was pleased to fulfill His promise to the banished Adam and to the Prophets, the great Archangel Gabriel appeared in the chamber of the All-Holy Virgin and, as some priestly writers wrote, precisely at that same moment when she held open the book of the Prophet Isaiah and was contemplating his great prophecy: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son! (7:13)” Gabriel appeared in all of his angelic brightness and saluted her: “Rejoice, highly favored one! The Lord is with thee,” and the rest in order as it is written in the Gospel of Luke. With this angelic annunciation and the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Virgin, leading to the incarnation of our Lord, the salvation of mankind and restoration of all creation began.
Through the intercessions of the Most Holy Theotokos and of all Thy Saints, O Christ God, have mercy upon us. Amen.