Ecce – Fiat
Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey was established from the beginning under the patronage of Our Lady of the Annunciation. Our abbey’s Latin motto, Ecce, Fiat, comes from the Gospel of Saint Luke relating the scene of the Archangel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary that she would become the Mother of God. (Lk. 1:26-38).
Ecce refers to the first part of what Our Lady said in reply to the Annunciation, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord.” This is the expression of a perfect humility. Humility is, in a general way, the principal virtue proposed by Saint Benedict to his monks. It forms the theme of the best known chapter (seven) of the Rule, Of Humility.
Fiat corresponds with the second part of Mary’s reply, “Be it done to me according to thy word.” In these words the Mother of God expresses her total obedience to God. If humility is the general disposition of soul Saint Benedict wants for his sons, obedience is the more concrete expression of that humility, the act by which a monk unites his will to the will of God. The vow of obedience is the most important of them for Benedictine monks. Saint Benedict speaks often of obedience, but especially in chapters five and seventy-one of the Rule.