Gabriel, the Angel of the Annunciation
As the Bible says, angels are heavenly messengers of God. They often served as bearers of good news to central biblical figures, such as the Virgin Mary, the Prophet Daniel, and others. The best example is perhaps the Archangel Gabriel and his role in the Annunciation. Along with the Archangel Michael, Gabriel is the closest angel of God, known for his multiple miracles. “God is my strength” – it is what his name means. Read on to learn about Gabriel, the angel of the Annunciation, and the history of this great feast.
The history of the Annunciation
The event of the Annunciation and Gabriel’s appearance is described in the Gospel of Luke (1:26 – 38). It took place “in the sixth month” of Elizabeth’s pregnancy with John the Baptist. God sent Gabriel to the small town of Nazareth in Galilee to visit the Virgin Mary. At the time, she was already betrothed to Saint Joseph. When Mary was reading the Scriptures, the Archangel Gabriel came to her bearing the news of her imminent childbirth. Mary was confused and told Gabriel that she did not have a husband yet, so it was impossible. However, the Archangel, as the heavenly messenger of the Lord, comforted her, telling Mary that the Holy Spirit and the power of the Most High would descend upon her. The son she would bear would be called the Son of God. Through Gabriel’s words, the Virgin Mary realized she was chosen by God and received the news as joy.
Gabriel, the angel of the Annunciation
Many people wonder why it was the Archangel Gabriel who appeared to the Virgin Mary to announce the birth of Jesus Christ. According to the Gospel of Luke, Gabriel, the angel of the Annunciation, was the senior angel. Besides the Virgin Mary, he repeatedly appeared to many saints and prophets to inform them of an important event or to impart divine knowledge.
For example, the Archangel Gabriel once appeared to Moses to tell him the secret of God’s creation of the world. Later, the prophet recorded this knowledge in the Book of Genesis. Gabriel announced the child’s birth not only to the Virgin Mary but also to St. Anne, the mother of Mary. Therefore, his role in the Annunciation is crystal clear. Who if not him could announce such joyful and important news to the whole Christian world? It is no wonder that Gabriel, the angel of the Annunciation and the closest messenger of God, is highly revered by the faithful around the globe.