The Angelus (1859) Jean Francois Millet 1819-1875


The Angelus

The Angelus is traditionally recited morning (6:00 a.m.), noon and evening (6:00 p.m.) throughout the year except during Paschal time, when the Regina Coeli is recited instead.


V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, etc.

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word.
Hail Mary, etc.

V. And the Word was made Flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, etc.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.



Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

History of the painting by Millet

MILLET's Angelus must be one of the most famous 19th century French paintings. It was originally painted for a private collector but after quite a number of different homes, it was bought for the French people and now hangs in the Musee D'Orsay in Paris.
Millet was born into a pious and hard-working country family in Gruchy near Cherbourg in Northern France. Both his parents instilled in him a love of the faith and its devotions, including the daily recitation of the Angelus.
In later years, Jean Francois would recall his father after he had returned home from work, taking off his beret and standing up in the kitchen when the bell for the evening angelus sounded. He also recalled the peasant workers in the fields who stopped to pray at midday and evening, a theme he incorporated into this picture of two farm people praying the evening Angelus.
The evening light gives the setting a warm and intimate feeling, we see tools and produce next to the two people as they stand with their heads bent in prayer. In the distance, we can just find the top of the church spire and as Millet said himself, "we can almost hear the angelus bell."
In recent years, many of the older customs and devotions of the Church have disappeared, perhaps some no longer appeal to newer generations, but strangely the Angelus has enjoyed a resurgence.
In France, for instance, you can still find it rung in most villages and towns at the traditional times of day, morning, midday and evening. In Ireland and over in Britain, churches that have bells have returned to the ancient practice of sounding the Angelus, three strokes of the bell, chimed three times followed by nine strokes or, as is the custom abroad, a longer and more freely swung ring.
The Angelus has a long history. Begun in the 13th century, it commemorates the Incarnation, and consists of three verses and responses, each one followed by the Hail Mary and ending with a prayer. Traditionally, the three times of the day are associated with particular stages of Christ's life: the morning, the Resurrection, the midday, the Passion and the evening the Incarnation.
If we look at Millet's picture, it may inspire us to follow the exhortation of Paul VI in Marialis Cultus ( 1974) and make the Angelus our daily prayer.

Article by Dr Robin Gibbons, senior lecturer at St Mary's College, Twickenham

The Bells of the Angelus Song

Angelus from Notre Dame Paris

The Bells of the Angelus by Phil Coulter Derry

Play the Angelus Bell

Click here to return to Parish News page


About Lavey Parish Todays Gospel Greenlough Parish
Parish Priest Fr E Graham The Ten Commandments Derry Diocese Website
Home page Parish News Vatican News
Site uses Google Analytics Lavey Funerals The Vatican Website