Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lord, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would be the mother of Christ. 

The Bible tells us that Gabriel greeted Mary, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.” Mary accepted God’s will, saying, “Be it done unto me according to thy word.” From this salutation and Mary’s response we have the basis for the Hail Mary and the Angelus prayer, along with St. Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary at the Visitation. 

The Church began celebrating the Annunciation as early as the fourth or fifth century, with the first recorded mention in 656 at the Council of Toledo.