Archiepiscopal Encyclical for the Feast of the Annunciation and the Day of Greek Independence

Today, as we celebrate the blessed and holy Feast of the Annunciation, we hear the words of the Archangel announcing the good news of the coming of the Son of God for our salvation. We hear the response of the Virgin Mary in praising God and committing herself to His divine will. We hear a witness of her faith in God as she proclaims, My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden…. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. (Luke 1:47-49)
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Encyclical for the Feast of the Annunciation and Greek Independence Day (03/25/2015)

The Feast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary, is a day when we celebrate a truly amazing and miraculous revelation. At the event of the Annunciation, the messenger of God appeared before Mary and announced the divine plan for our salvation through the birth of Christ. The words of the Archangel Gabriel revealed how God’s promises would be fulfilled and the ancient prophesies affirmed.
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Encyclical for the Feast of the Annunciation and Greek Independence Day (03/25/2014)

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, the crown of our salvation and ultimate human restoration, and the revelation of the mystery that is from all eternity. We worship in adoration and thanksgiving the Son of God who became the Son of the Virgin. We join with the Archangel Gabriel and the heavenly hosts in honoring the Most Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary. In the midst of this solemn and holy Lenten season, we exult in this manifestation of the grace of God for our liberation from evil and guilt.
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Encyclical for the Feast of the Annunciation and Greek Independence Day (03/25/2013)

On this blessed and glorious Feast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, our hearts are filled with joy and amazement as we see the abundant love and divine wisdom of God. We worship Him in joy, for through the Annunciation and the Incarnation of our Lord salvation has come. We are astounded as we encounter the revelation of His grace in a manner beyond human comprehension.
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Encyclical for the Feast of the Annunciation and Greek Independence Day (03/25/2012)

For almost two centuries our celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation as Greek Orthodox Christians has been joined by the commemoration of the struggles for independence by our forbearers in Greece that began in March of 1821. These two observances have been and continue to be very important to us, for they represent a deep connection of our Church and our heritage, of faith and life, that offers a unique witness to the world.
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Encyclical on the Feast of the Annunciation and the Day of Greek Independence (03/25/2011)

The faith of the Theotokos brought great blessings to her and to all humankind. In the insightful verses of the Akathist Hymn we acknowledge her as the one “through whom joy shall shine forth,” “through whom the curse shall vanish,” and “through whom we are vested in glory.” Christ accomplished all of this for us, because the faith and willingness of the Theotokos provided the means by which He entered humanity for our salvation.
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Encyclical for the Feast of the Annunciation and the Day of Greek Independence (03/25/2010)

We celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary chanting these words, “Today is the crowning of our salvation and the revelation of the mystery that is from all ages.” In the Announcement of the Archangel Gabriel to the Theotokos, God offered His divine plan for our salvation. In the same event the nature and purpose of the message of the Gospel was made known. God’s grace and the means of salvation were revealed, the good news was proclaimed by His messenger, and the hearer and receiver of the Word of God responded in faith.
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Encyclical for The Feast of the Annunciation and Day of Greek Independence (03/25/2009)

I am lovingly and joyfully writing to you on this solemn day, the Feast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos and ever-Virgin Mary. This Feast is celebrated in the midst of the season of Great and Holy Lent, and, thus, it provides us the blessed possibility to enjoy the unending love of God for us as we continue along our spiritual journey to Holy Week.
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Encyclical for the Feast of the Annunciation and Greek Independence Day (03/25/2008)

On this blessed day we gather in worship to commemorate a very special event that revealed God’s divine purpose and work for our salvation—the Feast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary. In a city in Galilee called Nazareth the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced that she would, "conceive in her womb and bear a son, and call His name Jesus" (Luke 1:31). The significance of these words is truly unique. On this day, what had been unknown was revealed. The divine plan for our salvation that had been established for ages was now manifested. The restoration of humanity by means of the grace of God would now be accomplished through the Incarnation of Christ.
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Encyclical for the Feast of the Annunciation and Greek Independence Day (03/25/2007)

During this Holy season of Lent we are blessed to commemorate the Feast of the Annunciation on Sunday, the Lord's Day. We celebrate this feast in anticipation of what is to come in a few weeks and for all eternity. First, the relationship of this feast to the coming observance of Holy Week is significant. On this day the Incarnation of our Lord in the flesh was announced by the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary.
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Encyclical for the Feast of the Annunciation and Greek Independence Day (03/25/2006)

On this blessed Feast of the Annunciation, which comes to us in the midst of the Holy Lenten season, we are given the opportunity to celebrate a beautiful and spiritually significant event in the history of salvation. We commemorate the visit of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, his announcement of the Incarnation of the Son of God, her acceptance of the divine will to be the "God-bearer," and the conception of the Savior as an expression of the love of God for humankind. We celebrate this Feast in joy and thanksgiving, for it was at this moment in time when God entered into our humanity through the Virgin Mary.
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Encyclical for the Feast of the Annunciation, Day of Greek Independence (03/25/2005)

As we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation this year, we remember an event of major significance. For on this day, the Archangel Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin Mary the uniquely Good News: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God" (Luke 1:35). In the face of such an awesome message, we are struck by the purity of trust and the strength of faith in Mary’s response to the angel: "Let it be done to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38).
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Encyclical for the Feast of the Annunciation and Greek Independence Day (03/25/2004)

As we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, we commemorate an event of extraordinary significance. The hallmark of this important feast of the Church is represented by a most remarkable encounter between the Archangel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary. Their dialogue with one another, beautifully narrated in the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke (verses 26-38), presents us with an astonishing depiction of faith, a faith whose power rests in its courageous human honesty and its extraordinary trust in God.
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Encyclical on the Feast of the Annunciation and the Day of Greek Independence (03/25/2003)

The Feast of the Annunciation is a day of paramount significance in the Orthodox Church, one which extols the important role of the Theotokos in the salvation of all humankind. The good tidings of grace announced on this day by the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary speak with clarity: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Presented with such an awesome message, Mary’s response was one of utmost trust and faith: “Let it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).
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Encyclical for the Feast of the Annunciation (03/25/2001)

In the Feast of the Annunciation we hear once more with renewed admiration the great declaration of the Theotokos: Gevnoitov moi katav tov rh`ma sou. “Be it done unto me according to your word.” How beautifully this one sentence expresses the power of God's grace in our lives! With this saying, Panagia accepted the announcement of the Archangel Gabriel that the Lord had chosen her to be the Mother of God and to give birth to our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.
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Feast of the Annunciation Encyclical (03/25/2000)

In the Feast of the Annunciation and the Day of Greek Independence we celebrate the glorious gift of freedom in every aspect of human existence, both in things temporal and eternal. But it is not sufficient to celebrate this two-fold feast merely by paying lip-service to the idea of freedom. We receive the gift of freedom truly only when we also determine in our hearts and minds to share the gift as well, by actively promoting the spread of the Gospel, by vigorously working for the deliverance of the oppressed, and by openly advancing the cause of human rights and liberties in accordance with the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Saviour and Liberator.
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