The final part of the answer that the Angel Gabriel gives to Our Lady when she asks how she is to become the Mother of the Savior — “For nothing shall be impossible with God”— might also be considered as one of the refrains of praise which Christians can sing to God along with “Alleluia!”, the “Benedicite” (“Bless the Lord”) of the Canticle of the Three Young Men (Daniel 3. 57-88, 56), and the “For His mercy endureth forever” (“quoniam in aeternum misericordia eius”) refrain of Psalm 135. From the great public miraculous signs God gives to the world, to the miracles of grace we become aware of in our own personal life, our wonderment should proceed to praise: “For nothing shall be impossible with God.”

The four miraculous translations of the Holy House of Jesus, Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to the Croatian coast and then to Loreto in southern Italy between 1291-1294 A.D. were a great public miraculous sign. The diagram below shows how the Holy House would have stood in the crypt of the Church of the Annunciation at Nazareth before its Translation. It helps us also to understand how the cottage was built up against the cave on the hillside which the family used as another room and which is venerated as the actual place Our Lady was when she received the visit of the Archangel Gabriel. (Source: Rev. G.E. Phillips: Loreto and the Holy House: Its History Drawn from Authentic Sources, originally published 1917 A.D.)

One of the fascinating facts about the Holy House of Loreto is that it still stands today, more than 700 years after its Translation, without a foundation. How? It is as if this fact echoes Gabriel’s words spoken in that House two millennia ago: “For nothing shall be impossible with God” as the answer to that question.  

On this Fourth Sunday of Advent so close to Christmas let us ask Our Lady to obtain for us graces of faith to believe more firmly still in the Mystery of the Incarnation—that God became Man in Jesus Christ “for us men and for our salvation.”

(Fr. Higgins)


About Our Parish

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes is Newton and Needham Massachusetts's oldest Roman Catholic Parish. Founded as Saint Mary's Parish in 1870 it was renamed "Mary Immaculate of Lourdes" when the new Church was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1910. In addition to being a regular territorial parish of the Archdiocese of Boston it is also a "Mission Parish" since 2007 with a special apostolate for the Traditional Latin Mass (1962 Missal).

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"If you are willing to serenely bear the trial of being displeasing to yourself, then you will be for Jesus a pleasant place of shelter."
- St. Therese of Lisieux (+1897)

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