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Annunciation and total solar eclipse remind us of God’s awesome power

News of the Diocese

April 4, 2024

Annunciation and total solar eclipse remind us of God’s awesome power

April 8 will be significant in both a secular and a religious way this year.

On the religious side, it marks the observance of the solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. While this feast normally is celebrated on March 25, nine months before the Lord’s birth on Christmas (Dec. 25), it was shifted to April 8 this year. The reason? According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the feast was moved because March 25 fell on Monday of Holy Week, the most important week of the liturgical year.

The Annunciation recalls when the angel Gabriel visited the Blessed Virgin Mary to tell her that God had chosen her to be the mother of his Son Jesus, who would be the savior of the world. She agreed and gave what is referred to as her “fiat,” or her “yes” to God. As a result, she conceived, carried and delivered Jesus.

On the secular side, as has been publicized widely, the Diocese of Cleveland will be in the path of totality for the total solar eclipse on April 8. Totality will last 3 minutes and 49 seconds, according to NASA. The eclipse will begin at 1:59 p.m. in Greater Cleveland and it will reach totality at 3:13:45 p.m. It will conclude in our area at 4:28 p.m.

During the eclipse, the moon will pass between the sun and the earth, completely blocking the face of the sun. When that occurs, the sky will darken as if it were dawn or dusk. Temperatures also are expected to fall a few degrees when the sun disappears.

The eclipse is a reminder of God’s perfect, intricate creation of which we are a part.

And, as we take in the upcoming eclipse – the coming together of the sun and moon – with our (protected) eyes, our hearts will take in the coming of God and man, which occurred at the Annunciation.

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