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148 • Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed

• At the Annunciation, Mary responded to the angel Gabriel with

these words: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be

done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). This was her consent

to the Incarnation. From that moment onwards the Virgin Mary

cooperated freely and in the obedience of faith with the plan of sal-

vation. She uttered her yes to God “in the name of all human nature”

(St. Thomas Aquinas,

Summa Theologiae

, III, 30, 1).

• The Gospels call Mary the “Mother of Jesus.” Mary is truly the

Mother of God since she is the mother of the Son of God made

man. In the Eastern Churches Mary is honored as the


, or

“Birth-giver of God.”

• Mary was always a virgin, in conceiving Jesus, in giving birth to him,

and for the rest of her life.

• “The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life

was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven,

where she already shares in the glory of her Son’s Resurrection,

anticipating the resurrection of all members of his Body” (CCC, no.

974). This is the doctrine of her Assumption into heaven.

• “We believe that the Holy Mother of God, the New Eve, Mother

of the Church, continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role on

behalf of the members of Christ” (Pope Paul VI,

Credo of the People

of God

, no. 15).


Magnificat (Lk 1:46-55)

After the Annunciation, the Virgin Mary went to stay with her cousin

Elizabeth to assist Elizabeth in the forthcoming birth of her child. When

Elizabeth saw Mary, she praised Mary’s faith by saying, “Blessed are

you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be

fulfilled” (Lk 1:45). Mary responded with a canticle in which she praised

God. We reflect here on her words, known to us today as the



which is the first word of this canticle in Latin:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;

my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.