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The Angelic Salutation

by Godwin Oloja
(Jos, Nigeria)

Recently, a friend told me that while praying the rosary, he got the inspiration that it was while the Angel was addressing Mary thus- 'hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with you...' that Jesus was incarnated in her womb. That the Hail Mary is about Jesus coming into the world and into our situations as we need help. Is this true?

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Mary Says Yes, Jesus Enters The World
by: The Rosary Team

Dear Godwin Oloja,

No, that is incorrect. The moment Jesus became incarnate in the Blessed Virgin's womb was when she said, "Yes." This is known as Mary's fiat. The Bible records her as saying, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word."

The Hail Mary prayer can be broken us as such...

"Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee." These are the words of the Angel Gabriel. Mary is full of grace because she was conceived without original sin on her soul. When we are born, we inherit this sin from Adam. Baptism washes away this sin and makes our souls rich in God's grace. By a special grace of God, Mary's soul was preserved from all sin, making her fit to be the Mother of Jesus. God took on her flesh when she said "Yes". God could not have taken on sinful flesh, for this reason, Mary was conceived without sin. That explanation leads to the next phrase of the Hail Mary prayer...

"Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb Jesus." These are the words of St. Elizabeth at the Visitation. Mary is holy and she is the vessel by which Jesus came into this world and by which He comes to each of us. This Biblical passage gives strong basis for the veneration of Mary as first seen by the Angel Gabriel then by St. Elizabeth. The final phrase of the Hail Mary prayer is the prayer of the Church...

"Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death." The Church confidently prays these words precisely because of the veneration St. Elizabeth and the Angel Gabriel showed Mary.

The Hail Mary is a Biblical prayer that proclaims the basic truths of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her role in our salvation and her relationship with each of us individually.

I can't say whether your friend was inspired or not, but his theology does not seem sound. And above is the best explanation we can give as to the meaning of the Hail Mary prayer.

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