Today, Pope Francis has published a new apostolic exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, on achieving holiness in the modern world. What better
way to unite with Our Lady on The Solemnity of the Annunciation, who tirelessly calls us to a life of holiness.
`Holiness, he says, is not based on prayer alone but on also serving those in need and in self-control`.
The Basilica of Our Lady of Walsingham, England`s Nazareth is a shrine of the Incarnation in which today`s Solemnity is particularly special in marking out
the holy and joyful charism of the Annunciation, present to the oldest international shrine to Our Lady in the world. The charism of Joy is a mark of holiness.
This is the week of the Annunciation where we honour 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. Since it occurs 9 months before the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day, the Annunciation marks the actual incarnation of Jesus Christ –
the moment that Jesus was conceived and that the Son of God became the son of the Virgin.