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,
, 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
“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
, 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.