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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Feast of the Visitation

Feast of the Visitation
May 31

“In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry. “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.”” (Luke 1:39-44)

The Feast of the Visitation begun by St. Bonaventure in 1263, commemorates the meditation of the second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth, who is six months pregnant with St. John the Baptist. In an act of tremendous charity, Mary, two months pregnant herself walks 80 miles from her home in Nazareth to the hill country of Judea to assist her cousin, an older woman, during her pregnancy.

Saint Ambrose describes the moment Mary and Elizabeth meet in his Expositio Evangelii secundum Lucam as: “Elizabeth was the first to hear the voice, but John the first to experience grace; whereas the natural sound of words range in his mother’s ears, John rejoiced in the mystery of what they meant. Elizabeth felt Mary’s presence at her side; John, the closeness of the Lord. Elizabeth heard her cousin’s greeting; John felt the presence of her Son. The two women spoke of grace, but their two sons experienced grace and communicated that gift to their mothers in such a way that, in a double miracle, both women began to prophesy, inspired by their sons.”

What a gift to experience grace and the closeness of Our Lord. This gift of grace and closeness is present for us every time we receive the Blessed Sacrament in the Eucharist. What a Blessed Lord we have, “who is with us always, even to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

For items related to the Rosary,
Please visit Lynn's Timeless Treasures

The Visitation - Fra Angelico
The Visitation - Han Or Jakob Straub

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