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The Visitation, Domenico Ghirlandaio; Louvre, Paris.


Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(1st c.)

The Feast of the Visitation celebrates the providential meeting of Mary and Elizabeth, when two of the Church’s greatest prayers were first spoken. After being told by the Archangel Gabriel that she would give birth to the Son of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who was then pregnant with John the Baptist. In the presence of Jesus in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, Elizabeth exclaimed through the Holy Spirit, “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!” Mary, overflowing with joy, responded with her Magnificat.

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A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 1:39-56

Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;/ my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,/for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant./ From this day all generations will call me blessed:/ the Almighty has done great things for me,/ and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him/ in every generation./ He has shown the strength of his arm,/ he has scattered the proud in their conceit./ He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,/ and has lifted up the lowly./ He has filled the hungry with good things,/ and the rich he has sent away empty./He has come to the help of his servant Israel/for he has remembered his promise of mercy,/ the promise he made to our fathers,/to Abraham and his children for ever.”

Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

The Gospel of the Lord

When, in the wombs of their mothers, John the Voice and Jesus the Word met, the women raised their own voices in praise. Elizabeth praised Mary and her Child; Mary turned the joy of them both into a hymn of praise to God.”

Magnificat, May 2021
The Visitation (1434-1435), Jacques Daret

When, at the Visitation, she bore in her womb the Word made flesh, she became in some way a ‘tabernacle’ – the first ‘tabernacle’ in history – in which the Son of God, still invisible to our human gaze, allowed himself to be adored by Elizabeth, radiating his light as it were through the eyes and the voice of Mary.”

Pope Saint John Paul II
Visitation (ca. 1737), Gerónimo Antonio de Ezquerra

mary, whose soul magnifies the lord, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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