Today, the 25th of March is the wonderful feast of the Annunciation when the Angel Gabriel visited Mary to announce that she was going to be the mother of Jesus. It is also known as Lady Day, traditionally the start of spring and the lambing season.
The Magnificat is a famous canticle which is also known at the Song of Mary. It is associated with the Annunciation although it is revealed after the event when Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth. (Gospel of Luke, Ch 1 Verses of 46-55.) I feel that it reads like a poetic prayer and as well as showing the perpetual importance of Mary it is also a strong comment on social justice. The painting above is by Leonardo Da Vinci and may be seen in the Uffizi gallery, Florence, Italy. Here are the words to the canticle.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,for he has looked with favour on his humble servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed, the Almighty has done great things for me,and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear Him in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,and has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy,the promise he made to our fathers,to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.