Today* is the feast day of the Annunciation. On this day, we remember the day when the archangel Gabriel appeared to the Blessed Virgin Mary informing her of God’s plan to use her to bring forth the Messiah.God did not force Mary to bear the Christ child.
Mary kindly accepted the will of God. The archangel Gabriel greeted Mary with the words, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” Does this sound familiar? It is the opening of the Hail Mary prayer.
This event is extremely important in Christianity. Had Mary told God no, things would not have unfolded in the manner that it did. Mary plays a significant role in the salvation of the world. She is not the savior, but she cooperates in the redemption and salvation of all peoples.
This is why the Catholic Church offers hyperdulia, or a special veneration to Mary. She is not a goddess, nor does she replace Diana of Ephesus as some atheists believe. Mary is the vessel of God who God chose to bear His Son Christ.
The account can be read in Luke 1:26-38.
*Please note that since March 25th fell during Holy Week, the feast day was transferred to April 8th, 2013.