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Hundreds March in Procession on Eve of Feast of The Annunciation

The Feast of the Annunciation has always been a special day in the town of Ave Maria, which takes its name from the words "Ave Maria" – Latin for Hail Mary – that the angel Gabriel said to the Virgin Mary when he told her she would bear the Christ child.

This year, for the first time, the festivities began on the eve of the feast day with a candlelight rosary procession Sunday night that drew hundreds of residents and students.

The event was organized by the quasi parish of Ave Maria, and Robb Klucik, a resident who helped organize the event, said it's been something many townspeople have wanted to do for some time. "Over the years people have suggested we have a candlelight procession in town, similar to Lourdes and Fatima. People imagined the beauty – and how nice it would be for everyone to not have the bright Florida sun beating down on us." 

Mr. Klucik was delighted with the support and turnout for the event and said Pastor Fr. Cory Mayer and town residents are already assuming it will be repeated next year and for years to come.

The procession began at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, April 3 and followed a 1.5-mile route through town, stopping at the Ave Maria Oratory. From there Ave Maria University students carried a statue of Mary to a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe that was opened recently across a waterway from the university campus.

The Feast of the Annunciation is normally celebrated on March 25, but is shifted in any year where the date falls in the weeks before or after Easter.

Below are pictures taken by Ave Maria resident Mary Stuller.

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Sisters Claire and Elizabeth Koon (left and center) and Haedyn Thompson carried bouquets of flowers.









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