The Feast of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, focuses on the expectation of our Lady, not just of the birth of her son, but of the salvation of the world. Redemption is nigh. The feast birthed the creation of breathtakingly, beautiful images of our Lady of the Expectation.
Although this feast day is no longer celebrated in the Universal Church, it is still celebrated locally in countries such as Spain.
In Spain, this feast day is Nuestra Senora de la O: Our Lady of the O, the “O” coming from the expression of longing said in the office of the Mozarabic Liturgy. In the Roman Rite, today’s feast comes in the middle of the “O” Antiphons (where we get the words for the hymn Veni, Veni, Emmanuel — in English O Come, O Come Emmanuel).Source
If you feel drawn to it, maybe you will celebrate it too.
What wonder our Lady must have experienced, knowing that she carried the Son of God.
Please enjoy these wonderful images of Our Lady of the Expectation.
“Him whom the heavens cannot contain, the womb of one woman bore. She ruled our Ruler; she carried Him in whom we are; she gave milk to our Bread.”~St. Augustine
As our Mother, reads from her prayer book, she is attended to by the Angels. They watch over her and play for her, ensuring her peace.
“How often in these situations must Mary have returned inwardly to the hour when God’s angel had spoken to her, pondering afresh the greeting: ‘Rejoice, full of grace!’ and the consoling words: ‘Do not be afraid!’ The angel departs; her mission remains, and with it matures her inner closeness to God, a closeness that in her heart she is able to see and touch.” ~Pope Benedict XVI
“She is more Mother than Queen.”
~Saint Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church
“Do not marvel at the novelty of the thing, if a Virgin gives birth to God.”
~Saint Jerome, Father and Doctor of the Church
This is one of our favorite pictures. She appears so serene, but most importantly, we see our Lady praying. She was after all a Jewish mother, which means there were some prayers appropriate to her state in live.
In addition to these prayers, she must have spent so much time in contemplation. After all, she was physically, not just spiritually in union with God.
Prayer to Our Lady of the Expectation
“Heavenly Mother, dwelling on the blood-drenched Mount of St. Thomas! Mother expecting; and Mother bearing Christ in your holy womb! Shower thy blessings on us who venerate thee. Protect us from the treacherous Satan. Shelter us in the tabernacle of thy womb.
O Holy womb that bore our Lord Jesus Christ! Mold us as expected by your beloved Son. Let our families inculcate good virtues. Let thy peace fill our families. Let faithfulness be strengthened among couples. Let the voice of vocation be heard and answered. Let wisdom, understanding and knowledge be implanted in our children.
Bless us with employment and industrial development. Bless us with good rain, agricultural growth and decent shelter. Bless us with the gift of Children. Bless pregnant mothers with safe delivery. Bless our journeys with safety and bless us with a burden-less life.
Bless all those who have lost their spouse. Bless the orphans and the destitute, physically challenged and the socially afflicted; the poor and helpless.
Let the priests and the religious lead a holy life. Let there be peace in the world. Let love for mankind, solidarity among religions and justice be established. Make us depend on Jesus Christ in our day to day life as you expect and may we say ‘Yes’ to God’s Holy Will. Lord! Like the holy seeping blood which gushed out from the cross carved by St. Thomas, Bless and make this Holy Mount the Faith Home of the World.
“Rejoice and be glad that so great and good a Lord, on coming into the Virgin’s womb, willed to appear despised, needy, and poor in this world, so that men who were in dire poverty and suffering great need of heavenly food might be made rich in him.” ~St Clare of Assisi
We love the picture below which shows the Son of God in our Mother’s womb. It portrays him in his incarnation. This is a baby who is aware – half God, half man.
“He was created of a mother whom he created. He was carried by hands that he formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy, he the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute.” ~St Augustine
“Come, then, let us observe the Feast. Truly wondrous is the whole chronicle of the Nativity. For this day the ancient slavery is ended, the devil confounded, the demons take to flight, the power of death is broken, paradise is unlocked, the curse is taken away, sin is removed from us, error driven out, truth has been brought back, the speech of kindliness diffused, and spreads on every side, a heavenly way of life has been ‘in planted on the earth, angels communicate with men without fear, and men now hold speech with angels.” ~St. John Chrysostom
This picture shows the joy and excitement of the Blessed Virgin. Those of us who have been blessed to carry children, know the joy and expectation which lies right under the surface. This painting makes you curious about which passage she’s reading, doesn’t it?
“He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.” ~Luke 1: 14-15
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your KING is coming to you…” ~Zechariah 9:9
Books on our Lady
- The Glories of Mary by St Alphonsus Liguori
- Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God by Scott Hahn
- Manual for Marian Devotion by the Dominican Sisters of Mary: “The Manual for Marian Devotion will deepen your relationship with Mary and, in doing so, draw you closer to her Son.”
- Mary, the Church at the Source by Hans Urs von Balthasar & Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
- True Devotion to Mary by St Louis de Montfort
- The World’s First Love by Bishop Fulton Sheen