Feast of the Annunciation: Why is this day important for Christians?
New Delhi, Mar 25: Today (March 25) is the Feast of the Annunciation, an important day for the Catholics across the world. Feast of the Annunciation falls exactly nine months before Christmas, celebrated on December 25 every year to mark the birth of Jesus Christ.
Feast of the Annunciation marks the visit of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, during which he told her that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Feast of the Annunciation commemorates the day of God's act of Creation and the beginning of Christ's redemption. It also marks Mother Mary's freely given acceptance of the task of being the Mother of God - Jesus Christ.
The significance of this Christian feast on Western culture is made clear from the fact that New Years Day used to be celebrated on March 25. This was the case in England until as late as 1752.
Two other feasts honoring Mother Mary are - the Assumption (August 15), and the Immaculate Conception (December 8). These days also celebrated as Holy Days. New Year's Day, January 1, is also observed as a Solemnity of Mary.
Christian doctrines include the beliefs that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Church, died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to achieve atonement for sin, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven, from where he will return.
From the earliest recorded history, the feast has been celebrated on March 25, commemorating both the belief that the spring equinox was not only the day of God's act of Creation but also the beginning of Christ's redemption of that same Creation. All Christian antiquity (against all astronomical possibility) held 25 March as the actual day of Jesus' death.
The opinion that the Incarnation also took place on that date is found in the pseudo-Cyprianic work "De Pascha Computus", c. 240. It says that the coming of Jesus and His death must have coincided with the creation and fall of Adam. And since the world was created in spring, Christ was also conceived and died shortly after the equinox of spring. (Source - Wikipedia)