In today’s article we will talk about a topic that has completely influenced all of humanity, regardless of your religious orientation and level of belief. We refer to the Fiat of the Holy Virgin Mary. An event that marked a before and after in our lives, since thanks to that decision of the Virgin, the Holy Spirit was able to use the body of Mary as a container for the birth of Jesus. But in addition, it implied that Christmas was established among many other things. Find out about its meaning and influence here.
What does Fiat de Maria mean?
Thanks to the sacred evangelical writings today we have information related to how the events occurred. For example, in the Gospel according to Saint Luke (1;24-38) we can read the following:
« Maria comments: – How is that possible, if I am a virgin?
The Angel Gabriel says: – What happens is that the Holy Spirit will descend on you and thanks to the power of the Most High you will be covered with its shadow; Thanks to this, the child that will later be born from your womb will be known as the true son of God. In addition, Isabel, your relative, is also expecting a child despite her advanced age and even though she could no longer have a family. She is already in the sixth month of pregnancy. This is thanks to the fact that for God there is nothing that is impossible.
Mary says: – I am the faithful servant of God, may his will be done in me as you have said.
After this, the angel departed « .
The meaning of the word Fiat is “Let there be” although it can also be translated as “Give Knowledge”. The Fiat of Mary is said because it was the answer that she gave to the angel, as we have already seen. She tells him that she is at the disposal and will of the indicated gentleman «let it be done as the will of God is». There it is shown that she is willing to act according to God’s dispositions, but the following must be emphasized: the fact that an angel descended to speak with her does not mean that it was an order or a mandate.
God allowed Mary to have the power of choice, that is; under her free will. The latter is what makes Mary’s action so relevant in the scriptures, echoing even in our days and most likely; it is so for all eternity. The reason is simple to understand: Mary, in full power of her abilities, agrees to be the instrument to bring the son of God into the world, simply with the visit of the angel. Regardless of the fact that the consequences of her decision would not make her life easy in the future, as we well know thanks to the Bible.
Following the same order of ideas, we can observe how this simple phrase of “Your will be done” completely changes the destiny of all humanity and was a moment of vital importance in the mission of the Blessed Virgin. In addition, from here her life would change completely in many aspects. Not only for her, but also for her husband José de ella. Let us remember that at that time there was a strong stigma with bringing a child into the world without being married or accompanied by a father. So this action not only affects Mary, but also affects Joseph.
In any case, José was always willing to help María in all the hardships that would come in the future. Mainly because the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus would be the cause of division for many, even to this day. This is what Luke says in his gospel (21: 34-35). On the other hand, Mary would have to see Jesus die on the cross and accompany him throughout this journey of pain.
Going back to the meaning of the Fiat in the Gospel, we find that God makes use of the term “Let there be” in Genesis when he begins creation. He who is the owner of heaven and earth indicates how he approves the existence of everything. Then, after completing his work, he takes time to observe and meditate on the result, reaching the conclusion that everything he saw was good. Many years later; With the appearance of the man, we will sing along with the psalmist to, like Jesus after finishing his work, contemplate, admire and give thanks to the Lord for his wonderful creation. This is what the Psalm says (92-5). This first creation of the Lord has the peculiarity that he did not depend on anyone, his actions were done simply out of love, selflessness and using his free will.
His second creation was made following the same guidelines with which the first was destroyed. Since at the beginning, because of a woman, sin entered the world, in a similar way; for a woman is that salvation should come. In this way, the Lord uses the body of the Virgin Mary to bring her son, Jesus, to the world. This would be confirmed by Saint Elizabeth, who would say that Almighty God has blessed her with many things. But Mary was blessed as the mother of God, where the name of her son will be completely holy, representing all that is good in the world and coming to earth to inhabit and share with us.
The Importance of the Fiat of Mary
Already in the previous section you can have an idea of the importance of Mary’s fiat, but below we will delve into all the aspects that her decision had for her, for us and for Jesus our savior. To do this, the first thing is to refresh a piece of the gospel according to Saint Luke (1;26-38):
« In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee, which was known as Nazareth, to visit a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David; the virgin’s name was Mary. Once he entered he said to Mary: ‘Rejoice, since you are full of grace and the Lord is with you’. She was disturbed by the words she heard and wondered what that greeting meant.
Then the angel told her: ‘you should not be afraid, Mary, since within you is the grace of God and you are going to give birth to a son who will be called Jesus. He will be great and as he grows up he will be known as the son of the Most High. Furthermore, the heavenly father will restart him by giving him the throne of David. His father will reign over the house of Jacob forever and his kingdom will never know the end.’
Mary would reply to the angel: ‘How is this possible, since I don’t know any man?’
The angel will say: ‘Don’t worry, the Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow; for this reason, he who is to be born will be holy and will be known as the son of god. You can also observe Isabel, who is your relative and despite her age she is also expecting a child. Right now she is in her sixth month despite the fact that many called her sterile. Because nothing is impossible for God.
Mary ends by saying: ‘I am the slave of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word’. Once the conversation was over, the angel left her alone .
For those more observant, you will surely notice that Luke refers to a specific time and place, the sixth month in the city of Nazareth. In turn, he indicates that the Virgin Mary had already married Joseph. Although in order to have a more holistic view of the context, it is necessary to move to the letter to the Hebrews where we can learn about the conversation between the father and the son about God’s purpose for all eternity. In this letter it is mentioned that God created the body of Jesus without requesting any sacrifice or offering in return. Furthermore, he does not like burnt offerings or the sacrifice of sinners. Reason why Jesus makes himself available to him saying that he is ready to fulfill his will.
This little phrase reveals a lot to us, it tells us how obedience to the will of the father brings Jesus Christ to us so that he can be offered as a sacrifice. Which will surpass anything that has been done up to that point during the old alliance. Since he (Jesus Christ) is the perfect sacrifice that redeems the world. By reading different passages of the old testaments we can detect some indications of this divine plan. Especially through the words spoken by the prophet Isaiah, who says that the Lord will be the one who gives a sign. Where this sign will be the action of the virgin giving birth to a child who will bear the name of Emanuel. It should be noted that Emmanuel means “god with us”. In this way and in a certain way, the birth of Jesus in Nazareth is prophesied.
From the point of view of our jubilee pilgrimage, the journey of the spirit begins with the footsteps left by Abraham and that lead us to Nazareth, together with Mary. She that she is the most important of all the daughters of Abraham. No one like Mary can teach us the true meaning of living the faith of our father, this makes Mary different from Abraham in many ways, but at the same time they have many similarities between them. Both are granted the wonderful promise of God. Abraham is the father of a son who descends into a great nation while Mary is the mother of a son who will become the messiah, the prophet, the anointed one.
On the other hand, both are asked to give their approval for something to happen that has never happened before. Although Mary would not be the first nor the last to have the grace to conceive a child through the power of God. The first described in the bible is Sarah, who was barren, while the last mentioned is Elizabeth. The angel Gabriel comments this information to Mary so that he knows that the power of God not only applies to her, but also to Elizabeth.
Both must travel a dark and winding path full of obstacles without guarantees of the future, blindly trusting the one who called them. When Maria speaks with Gabriel, she does not request proof of the divinity of god, nor does she ask if something like what she is hearing is possible, she only asks how it will be fulfilled. This makes it not strange when she then says her fiat: “Here lies the slave of the lord. May her will be done in me according to your word ». It is at that moment that she shows herself as she really is, as the daughter of Abraham, who will become the mother of Jesus Christ and the mother of all believers.
If you think about it, the Fiat (let it be done) is the word with which God created the world and all its wonders. The sun, the planets, the mountains, the plants, the animals, including man. To then admire all his work and discover that what he had done was good. When we sing along with the psalmist, one of the most common phrases that are usually said is: “Great and admirable are your works, Lord! This first act of God’s creation was done without the need to depend on anyone, so that everything he did was exclusively out of love, in addition to creating things according to his will (fiat).
After starting his creation process, God proceeded to create us in his image and likeness. Granting us the gift of freedom, unfortunately, the human being would fall prey to deception because of the serpent, falling into temptation and turning his back on God. From there, he was kicked out of Eden and was forced to learn a new way of life. But God did not abandon us, due to his infinite love for us, he got down to work and began to make another creation, one that would allow us to save ourselves from sin. In this way God gave us an only son.
Mary’s fiat represents the second creation of God. That in a certain way is much more surprising than his first creation, since this one aims to achieve the salvation of man, but even more impressive, the fact that unlike his first creation, in this one he does not act by himself. He decides to support himself and work in collaboration with his creatures, Maria being the first of them. Admittedly, this is a daring move on God’s part, a sublime daring; it implies that the future of all of us no longer depends simply on his will and omnipresence.
It also shows us a merciful god who gives us the tools to achieve salvation on our own. It is to see the all powerful, the omnipresent asking for help from a simple or humble servant. This means that our salvation was conditioned by Mary’s yes and not only by the will and desire of God.
For many, this moment is one of the most beautiful in all of humanity, since it represents the trust that God grants to the Virgin Mary, making her responsible for the life of her beloved son Jesus, allowing him to come to life in a body. of flesh and blood to eventually fulfill his mission of saving us all from our sins. This is the reason why years later, when the Christmas tradition is established, this is the initial theme. On the other hand, understanding and giving the meaning it deserves to the attitude of the Virgin Mary will allow us to live in a very holy and Christian way. Managing to admire and remember the birth of our savior Jesus with the importance it deserves.
The Fiat of Mary , therefore, is a key point in our history, a unique and unrepeatable event where she voluntarily gives herself to God, to be used and actively participate in the salvation of all humanity. This makes her not only the mother of Jesus Christ, but the mother of all of us and of course; in the mother of god. Through her fiat, her holy spirit grants her the grace that will allow her to give birth to the verb of the incarnate, that is; to the word of God: Christ our Lord.
Characteristics of the Fiat of the Virgin Mary
Already in the first chapter of the Gospel of Saint Luke we can have an idea of some of the characteristics related to the affirmative response of Mary in her Fiat:
- It was a Progressive Fiat: the first thing the virgin did when she met the angel Gabriel was to listen to the words that he had to say to her. His attitude was not arrogant, exasperated or upset, rather that of someone who is willing to listen to what the other party has to say.
- Internalization of the Word: apart from being attentive, Mary listens to the word fully understanding what it implies, what God is asking her to do. In this way she listens to the words and internalizes them, stores them and keeps them deep in her heart. In this way she manages to transform the message of God and turn it into life.
- Eternal Bond with God: from this moment on, Mary is no longer the same, she becomes someone else, someone superior. Observing the life that she would later lead, taking into account both the good days and the bad days, the best known and the least known; we can notice a trend, her whole life will be from that point on a homage of love to god. From that “yes, the will of the Lord be done” to Calvary. This shows us that her fiat is not only acceptance, but also love, will and generosity. In addition, we must highlight the level of intensity and dedication that Mary makes to follow the will of God during every moment of her life.
For us, who are faithful servants of the Lord, we must follow the example of Mary’s fiat. Since God hopes that we can offer him our help just as he could count on Mary’s at all times. It is certain that he hopes to hear us pronounce the words “let it be done to me, according to your word” just as Mary did and of course, he wants that generous “yes” to spring up from the bottom of our hearts as well.
Although of course, our fiat cannot be compared to that made by Mary, since the salvation of humanity depended on her, but that does not imply that our fiat is less important or less relevant, since there are always people related and linked to us who they can attain salvation. In our hands is the ability to change the lives and happiness of many people.
For this reason we have to see each day as a new opportunity to demonstrate our own fiat full of love for God. No matter how big, small or majestic our actions. In the end and what matters most, is to follow the example of Mary so that she enlightens and guides us. May she allow us to obtain the certainty that even in the worst situations the will of God is the only way to achieve peace and happiness. This also implies always acting when God does not request it, regardless of the cost or how difficult it may be.
Could Maria have refused?
An uncertainty that many people have is if Maria really had the ability to choose, if free will really existed. But it is not necessary to repeat the fragments of the gospel that we have already been mentioning throughout the article to realize that Mary not only chose of her own free will, but that she was immediately aware of the cross that she must carry on her back. her throughout her life. Cross as big and heavy as no other mother has known. Since she was able to intuit the outcome that she would have the life and death of this new creature, son of god.
The first thing we must highlight is the sheer willpower and courage that the Virgin Mary had in giving her answer to the angel Gabriel. On the one hand, she was fully aware that she was going to be part of an immense gift, the greatest gift that any other person has received up to that moment and that she will receive in the future. But at the same time, and thanks to her knowledge and education that she received from the sacred scriptures, she was able to immediately deduce the life and death that this creature would have. She knew that by accepting her, she would be carrying a heavy cross for the rest of her life.
The Israelites were particularly clever with an agile mental ability, so that Mary knew that this new child represented the one of whom it had already been written many times, such as: “There will be no appearance in him, nor beauty capable of attracting glances , nor beauty that others like. He will be despised, considered the castaway of men, a man of sorrows, who will know all suffering and will become the face most hated and little esteemed by anyone ». For Maria, having this knowledge in advance was particularly hard, because she had to give birth to a child whom she would love more than her own life and for whom she would have to accept the destiny that was already written for him. Simeon would indicate it in the temple as the “Sword.”
It is quite clear that the Virgin Mary required all her will power together with the gifts and virtues granted by the Holy Spirit to be able to say with total confidence, decision and in full consciousness and freedom her fiat of “her will be done” to this design. divine.
Although this moment is imbued with enormous spiritual richness, it does not detract from the decision-making capacity of the Virgin Mary; Thus simple and magnificent, she transforms into possible what was humanly impossible: the ability to express a resounding yes, full of will and without the slightest trace of regret. It is as if she told us that God gave her the necessary grace to have the ability to accept this divine vocation, since without it, the virgin would not have been able to answer with a yes, but at the same time; indicating that at no time was she forced to answer in the affirmative.
Mary could have answered at any time with a resounding no, and this would not have offended God. Because in the end, we must not forget that the divine vocation is not given to us in the form of an order or mandatory mandate. More like an invitation where it is us (like the virgin), who decide whether to accept and follow God’s path. This means that the virgin at all times was extremely free.
Another thing that needs to be clarified is that the fact of having freedom does not imply the possibility of doing evil. For God, doing evil represents a sign that is in us and that in turn; it is an imperfect manifestation of freedom. This means that when we act in a wrong way, it is because our faculties to choose well have been diminished; that is, they have suffered a decay. Another important aspect that allows us to define freedom is our capacity for self-determination: this means the possibility of choosing to direct our own actions in a direction that follows the path of good, which; it is the one whose convenience favors nature, us or those around us. Another way to describe free will.
When we use the knowledge of the previous paragraph to contrast with the life of Mary, we can affirm that her actions, more than following the path of good, are motivated by her immense love for God and her son Jesus. This led her to walk the path proposed by God. But again, it does not imply that she has not had the possibility to refuse at any time. What happens is that her fiat is rooted in a love so deep, pure, without traces of shadows or selfishness, that she had no problem fulfilling the divine requirements. This is what leads the parents to think that Mary is not a passive instrument of God. On the contrary, she actively cooperated to bring about the salvation of men.
To finish this point, many of the people who oppose Mary’s fiat do so using as an argument that she will give herself as a slave to the Lord. Being the word slave a form of submission where she loses her freedom and ability to decide of her own free will. But this could not be further from reality, although it is true that she admits submissively surrendering to the divine designs of God, it does not mean that she loses her freedom or her decision-making capacity. Already at this point it should be clear to us that each step that Maria took was because she decided to take it, not because it was imposed on her. The only thing is that the path that she traveled was put in front of her by the will of God. But it was already her decision to take that path, which to be honest, isn’t it the same thing that happens with all of us?
The use of the word slave is a way of proclaiming that you accept their designs, that you have all your faith and can be understood as a sign of trust. For that time, it was a way to communicate to a superior that the terms or designs imposed by him were accepted, making comparison with those people who were really slaves and had to obey orders without the possibility of refusing. In other words, Mary made a gesture of trust to show that she was willing to follow God’s orders with humility and obedience.
The Relationship of the Fiat of Mary with the Redemption
In order to understand in depth, it is necessary to refresh that a young virgin Mary expresses her Fiat in an unconditional way, to the point of assuming it with joy and decision. She thus expresses that she is the slave of the Lord and that she wants her will to be done. With such simple acceptance she affirms her solemn vocation despite the contradiction of the sublime miracle; because she is a virgin who will become a mother, but not just any mother, but that of the Lord Jesus who is the son of God. This implies that Jesus Christ will be born as a man and will live with men to transmit his divinity, his glory and, of course, save us from our sins. This is how the Gospel of Saint John pronounces it (1;14):
« The word becomes flesh, to live with us, and we will have the joy of seeing his glory, glory as of the only begotten, the father, full of grace and truth « .
Mary is never in doubt about the angel Gabriel, nor does she ask for proof of truth as Zacharias did. She is satisfied with investigating the way events will occur, to then place herself entirely at the service of God’s will. She proclaims herself to be a slave of God, ready to do anything she is ordered to do. This guarantees that the grace of the most high covers her with her shadow.
The cloud is presented as a manifestation of Yahweh, who sometimes covers the temple; but in this case Mary is the temple and the holy spirit is the one who covers her with her shadow, producing fertilization. In this way she turns into flesh (her flesh of hers) the verb, the word of god, which has existed since the beginning and will live for all eternity. To reach the world and illuminate it with the truth of love, not because man asks for it or wants it, rather because of God. In this regard, the Gospel of John (1;9) says:
“ The true light exists, which with its arrival in this world will illuminate all men “ .
After all this, Mary, as the daughter of Adam who accepts the divine message, becomes the mother of Jesus and also the faithful servant of the Lord. Working with excellent diligence so that she can achieve the redemption of humanity with him and under him. Supported by the grace of Almighty God.
Thus we come to the central point of this section. Like Eve, Mary pays attention to what an angel tells them but the consequences for each one are totally opposite. The image above cannot sum it up in a better way:
- Eve by believing in what a fallen angel tells her through her disbelief brings sin to the world of man and with this she condemns humanity for eternity.
- Mary, on the other hand, listens to a true angel, a good one; and she clings strongly to her faith getting to help redeem man’s sins.
Many parents claim that Mary is responsible for untying the knot of disobedience that Eva created. Thus achieving the redemption of her father. For this reason they gave Mary the nickname of the “Mother of the Living”, since it could be said that death came through Eve and life through Mary.
Already in the ancient scriptures, sacred books and different traditions, the role that the mother of Jesus fulfills is mentioned in order to obtain the salvation of humanity. In the ancient scriptures in multiple sections we can visualize how the arrival of Christ is prophesied and in turn; it is revealed how he will be linked to his mother. Another clue is found in Genesis (1;14), in the promise of victory that God makes over the serpent when God expels Adam and Eve after having disobeyed them. In Isaiah (7:14) it is mentioned that a young virgin woman will give birth to a son named Emmanuel.
We also have the Lumen Gentium that tells us:
« The union that occurs between the mother and the son to achieve salvation, is obtained from the virginal conception of Christ until the moment of his death. To begin with, when Mary goes to visit Elizabeth, she is proclaimed to participate in this divine cause where she gives herself with all her faith, being a faithful believer in the promised salvation. This caused the forerunner to jump for joy and emotion in her mother’s bosom. Then, during the birth of Jesus, he is presented in front of the shepherds and the wise men, who instead of undermining, consecrate his entire virginity to him « .
Thus, Mary becomes the mother of the redeemer, with whom she will have intimate participation in the work of her son. This can be visualized through different passages in the Bible:
- Galatians (4:4): “But at the time of reaching the fullness of time, God sends us his son, born of woman, born under the law.”
- Gospel of Saint Luke (1;31-33): « You will conceive in the womb and you will give birth to a son, who will bear the name of Jesus. He will be great and will be known as the son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father; to reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will have no end.”
- Hebrews (10;10): “We have been sanctified through the once-for-all oblation of the body of Jesus Christ.”
God, who is all-powerful, did not have the need to use Mary’s womb to bring Jesus into the world, even so; he preferred to do it this way: that he be born as a boy and have a mother. This demonstrates Mary’s co-redemption as she participates in bringing the redeemer and savior into the world.
Although we must be careful with the interpretation we make of this, because we can make the mistake of equating or equating the action and fiat of Mary in following God’s mandate, bringing Jesus to the world and helping him in his mission to save us with his own action. what Jesus does. That is, to assume that the redemption of humanity achieved by Christ is the same as the co-redemption of Mary. This would be a fallacy, since the relationship and influence of the virgin is indirect and mediate. She was always at the service of the Redeemer and accompanied him on her journey, suffering together and immolating herself with him in front of the cross
Prayer to the Fiat: That the will of the Lord be done
If you wish to entrust yourself to the will of the Lord so that the Holy Spirit enlightens you and you can accept his mission as the son of God, you can perform the prayer that we indicate below:
« God, give me all the strength and power, give me today the security of your love and the certainty that you are with me. I ask for protection for this day, because I need your help and your mercy. Take away the fear that invades me, take away the doubt that bothers me. Make my broken spirit clear with the light that illuminated the path of your divine son Jesus here on earth. May I, Lord, perceive all your greatness and presence in me. Blow all your spirit into my soul so that I can feel the strength of your presence inside me: minute by minute, hour by hour, every day.
May I feel your voice within me and around me and in my decisions. May I perceive all your will. May I feel all your power through the force of prayer; and with this power, achieve the miracle you want to perform, alleviating my problems, calming my spirit and increasing my faith.
Do not leave me! Oh Lord Jesus! Stay with me so I don’t despair and lift my spirit when he is in darkness. Help me to follow you without hesitation and without looking back. I give you this day all my life and the life of my whole family. Deliver us from all evil that can be directed towards us; even if it’s by a miracle. I know that if I entrust myself to you I will be able to meet you and you will help me because you love me and listen to me with love.
I thank you, God and my father. Give me the power to accept above all, your will and not mine. So be it.
Let it be done to me, according to your word Lord. Amen. «
Emilly Stefan The Fear lab was an American author of young adult novels, most known for her fantasy series, Age of the Seventh Sun.