Like “Hail Mary passes”? Happy Feast Day!

Today is  the  feast day  of  the archangels St.Michael, St. Gabriel, and  St. Raphael  in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar.

Thanks to an early morning program  on EWTN, I’ve just been reminded of the connection between St.  Gabriel and the “Hail Mary” pass–a football term that Wikipedia tells us was first  used at Notre Dame in the era of the Four Horsemen.

In  a program titled “Surprises of God,” Father Raymond de Souza  talks about the phenomenon where a  football team, in the closing seconds of a game, places its hopes for a surprise win in the  hands of a quarterback’s Hail Mary pass. And Father  de Souza reminds us,  even  more importantly, that  St. Gabriel was the first voice to say “Hail Mary”  and was, as angels can be, a bearer of remarkable news.

These messengers of God deliver good news, but it may not seem like it at first. In any event, one had better pay attention to it. Of course, if an  angel appears to you, you’re probably going to pay attention.

(De Souza assures us  that he doesn’t think the  “Hail Mary pass” terminology is intended to be disrespectful, and I’m agreeing that this  is  an innocent, potentially  evangelizing phrase.)

Happy Feast Day  to  all those who love St. Gabriel (also the patron saint of radio), the excitement of Hail Mary passes, the graces of the Hail Mary  prayer, angels and God’s surprises, and the commitment to  pay attention to God’s surprises. As de Souza suggests, we constantly trust God to help us emerge victorious even when it  looks like we’re losing the battle. We wait in joyful hope always for the Lord’s good news and promise to pass it along! St. Gabriel, pray for us!

About Bill Schmitt

OnWord.net is the home for Bill Schmitt's blog and biographical information. This blog, initiated during Bill's nearly 14 years as a communications professional at Notre Dame, expresses Bill's opinions alone. Go to "About Bill Schmitt" and "I Link, Therefore I Am" to see samples of multimedia content I'm producing now and have produced during my journalism career and my marketing communications career. Like me at facebook.com/wgschmitt, follow me on Twitter @wschmitt, and meet "bill schmitt" on LinkedIn.
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