The Annunciation – March 25th
The Annunciation is, in Christianity, the revelation to Mary, the mother of Jesus by the angel Gabriel that she would conceive a child to be born the Son of God.
Some Christian churches celebrate this with the Feast of Annunciation on 25 March, which as the Incarnation is nine months before Christmas. The date of the Annunciation also marked the New Year in many places, including England, where it is called Lady Day.
Both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches hold that the Annunciation took place at Nazareth, but differ as to the precise location. The Church of the Annunciation marks the site preferred by the former, while the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation marks that of the latter. In the Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran liturgical calendars, the feast is moved if necessary to prevent it from falling during Holy Week or Easter Week or on a Sunday.
To avoid a Sunday before Holy Week, the next day (March 26) would be observed instead. It might be thought that with a very early Easter, the feast of St Joseph would be displaced from 19 March to the Monday after Easter week, thus displacing the Annunciation to the Tuesday. However, in the Roman Catholic calendar, if the Feast of St Joseph, normally falling on March 19, must also be moved as a consequence of Easter falling on one of its earliest possible dates, it is moved to an earlier rather than a later date. This will normally be the Saturday before Holy Week. (This change was announced by the Congregation for Divine Worship in Notitiae March-April, 2006 (475-476, page 96).
In the Church of England it is moved to the Tuesday after Easter Week, following the Annunciation on the Monday, which is of higher rank and takes precedence. The Eastern Churches (Eastern Orthodox, Oriental and Eastern Catholic) do not move the feast of the Annunciation under any circumstance. They have special combined liturgies for those years when the Annunciation coincides with another feast.
In these churches, even on Good Friday a Divine Liturgy is celebrated when it coincides with the Annunciation. Islamic view of Mary; Annunciation is also cited in the Qur’an, in Suras 3 (Aal 'Imran - The family of Imran) verses 45-51 and 19 (Maryam - Mary) verses 16-26, although without mentioning Jesus as the son of God.
Source – Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
St. Augustine of Hippo – August 28th
Augustine was born 13th November 354, in the city of Thagaste, the present day Souk Ahras, Algeria, to a Catholic mother named Monica. He was educated in North Africa and resisted his mother's pleas to become Christian.
Living as a pagan intellectual, he took a concubine and became a Manichean. Later he converted to the Catholic Church, became a bishop, and opposed heresies, such as the belief that people can have the ability to choose to be good to such a degree as to merit salvation without divine aid (Pelagianism).
In Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, he is a saint and pre-eminent Doctor of the Church, and the patron of the Augustinian religious order; his memorial is celebrated 28 August. Many Protestants, especially Calvinists, consider him to be one of the theological fathers of Reformation teaching on salvation and divine grace. In the Eastern Orthodox Church he is blessed, and his feast day is celebrated on 15 June, though a minority are of the opinion that he is a heretic, primarily because of his statements concerning what became known as the filioque clause. Among the Orthodox he is called Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed.
Intellectually, morally, spiritually, and geographically, Augustine’s early life covered much territory. He sought fulfilment in academic pursuits by studying rhetoric, literature, and philosophy. He tried finding happiness in physical pleasure, taking a mistress and having an illegitimate son by her. Augustine was also one of the first “New Agers”- but his religious experiments provided him no lasting comfort. Not even the pleasure of travel (he lived in North Africa, Rome and Milan) calmed his soul. His heart remained restless until he embraced the Lord. When God touched him with his word, however, Augustine responded with love.
Finally he had found the meaning he sought as he was filled with the love of God. In gratitude to Christ for his salvation, Augustine spent the rest of his life in service to God and his people. Whether writing, preaching, ministering to his flock, or spending time in prayer, he remained intensely aware of the life and love of God for his people through Christ Jesus. Augustine discovered God was true to his promise. He died on 28th August 430 (aged 75) in Hippo Regius, Numidia (now modern-day Annaba, Algeria.
Source – Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia