If the Mohammedan three times a day turns his face towards Mecca, and calls upon God and His prophet Mohammed, how much more ought the Christian frequently to look up to heaven during the day, and invoke the divine Redeemer and His blessed Mother.
The Angelus is a prayer which is to be recited morning, noon, and night, when the bell rings, in honor of the Mother of God and in adoration of the mystery of the Incarnation.
The words are as follows: (1), The angel of the Lord (the arch angel Gabriel) announced unto Mary (the birth of the Saviour), and she conceived of the Holy Ghost (through the operation of the Holy Ghost she became the Mother of Christ); (2), Behold the hand maid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word (by these words Mary drew down from above the Son of God); (3), And the Word (the Son of God) was made flesh, and dwelt among us (for thirty-three years He lived on earth).
The custom of ringing the Angelus bell three times a day dates from the period of the crusades (1095).
At first, the bell was only rung twice a day, half an hour before sunrise and half an hour after sunset, to call upon the faithful to pray God for the successor of the crusaders arms. The midday bell was added about three centuries and a half later. At first the prayer said consisted only of a Pater Noster, afterwards the Ave Maria was added. The manner of ringing three separate times at the interval of about a minute, an Ave Maria being said each time, was introduced later by order of the Holy See, the object of the prayer being to entreat the Mother of God to exterminate the heresies that had arisen. The Angelus as it is now said is of more recent date.
In some places after the evening Angelus the bell sounds again to admonish the faithful to pray for the souls in purgatory.
Pope Clement XII granted an indulgence of one hundred days to all who, hearing the bell, should recite kneeling one Our Father and Hail Mary, with the versicle: “Eternal rest give to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.”
This article, THE ANGELUS is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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