The Annunciation and Fishing

“On this holy day the Incarnation of Christ is announced through the angel, just as today is celebrated devoutly by the entire Church.  It is read that on that day and at the same hour at which the first man was created in Paradise, even on it the Son of God, the new man, was conceived in the womb of the Virgin.  Indeed, she was the paradise of pomegranates [Songs of Songs 4:13], the fountain of gardens [Song of Songs 4:15] since in her the tree of life arose and from her the fountain of wisdom flowed forth, and flowed to all delights, in whom all treasures of wisdom and knowledge were hidden (Colossians 2:3).  ”  Honorius Augustodunensis, “In annunciatione Sanctae Mariae,” Patrologia Latina 172:902. [My translation]

Honorius Augustodunensis, an early twelfth-century theologian and preacher, introduced his sermon on the Annunciation of our Lord to the Mary.  While Honorius joyfully honored and venerated the Blessed Virgin (he wrote a devotional treatise for her), he usually connected this devotion to the redemptive act of Mary’s Son through his Incarnation.  For instance, later in the same sermon he explained:

“The genealogy of this Virgin from the gospels is connected just as a line to a fishhook in whose end her Son as a fishhook is attached, for Jesus Christ is said to be born from her. God the Father fastened this line on the rod of the cross, on which His own Son hung as a fishhook.  Further, the bait of this fishhook was the flesh of Christ which in the holy Virgin as in fishing instrument was hidden.  God sent this fishhook into the sea of this work, and he removed leviathan from the hearts of the faithful.” PL 172:906 [My trans.]

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