Tag Archives: Visitation

The Visitation, God’s in-breaking

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is the in-breaking of God’s joy in history.

The theological explanation of the Vistiation reminds us that at the annunciation, the Archangel Gabriel informs Mary that her cousin Elizabeth is six months pregnant. A startling divine gift.

Then we see Mary hurrying to visit Elizabeth. An interior in-breaking extroverting itself.

I think the key here is Mary’s selflessness and her sharing in the joy of God. Containing the joy she feels is impossible. In her visitation Mary brings the joy of God to both Elizabeth and to John the Baptist who moves in Elizabeth’s womb. 

As we know, this second of the joyful mysteries of the Rosary is about Joy who desires to expand into our heart and abide there. Let’s pray for the movement of joy in our life today.

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

VisitationThe Gospel of Saint Luke

“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.”

Visitation of Holy Mary

VisitationThe feast of the Visitation fell on  Trinity Sunday, the feast is transferred in many places to today.  The Responsory for the Office reads:

Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out:

Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
— and who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For when your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
— and who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

 

Saint Bede points us to the importance of Mary and the model of the Christian she is.

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my saviour.” With these words Mary first acknowledges the special gifts she has been given. Then she recalls God’s universal favours, bestowed unceasingly on the human race.

When a man devotes all his thoughts to the praise and service of the Lord, he proclaims God’s greatness. His observance of God’s commands, moreover, shows that he has God’s power and greatness always at heart. His spirit rejoices in God his saviour and delights in the mere recollection of his creator who gives him hope for eternal salvation.

These words are often for all God’s creations, but especially for the Mother of God. She alone was chosen, and she burned with spiritual love for the son she so joyously conceived. Above all other saints, she alone could truly rejoice in Jesus, her saviour, for she knew that he who was the source of eternal salvation would be born in time in her body, in one person both her own son and her Lord.

“For the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” Mary attributes nothing to her own merits. She refers all her greatness to the gift of the one whose essence is power and whose nature is greatness, for he fills with greatness and strength the small and the weak who believe in him.

She did well to add: “and holy is his name,” to warn those who heard, and indeed all who would receive his words, that they must believe and call upon his name. For they too could share in everlasting holiness and true salvation according to the words of the prophet: “and it will come to pass, that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” This is the name she spoke of earlier: “and my spirit rejoices in God my saviour.”

Therefore it is an excellent and fruitful custom of holy Church that we should sing Mary’s hymn at the time of evening prayer. By meditating upon the incarnation, our devotion is kindled, and by remembering the example of God’s Mother, we are encouraged to lead a life of virtue. Such virtues are best achieved in the evening. We are weary after the day’s work and worn out by our distractions. The time for rest is near, and our minds are ready for contemplation.

A sermon by St Bede the Venerable

Let us pray for the Visitation Order.

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

visitation.jpg

The generosity of the young Virgin Mother of our Savior is honored today. As the prayer below says, Mary was moved by the promptings of the Holy Spirit, we also ought to make God’s greatness known, loved and imitated.

On this feast I want to pray for 4 things:

1. for Giovannimaria, 7, who died yesterday after a prolonged illness;

2. for my friend Fr Edward Oakes, SJ, who was recently diagnosed Type-4 pancreatic and liver cancer;

3. for the Order of the Visitation

4. for those who need visit from a person and who lives a lonely existence.

Mary tells us of God’s mercy given to all generations.

With the Church we pray,

Almighty ever-living God, who, while the Blessed Virgin Mary was carrying your Son in her womb, inspired her to visit Elizabeth, grant us, we pray, that, faithful to the promptings of the Spirit, we may magnify your greatness with the Virgin Mary at all times.

The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth

Visitation LMonaco.jpg

The Word of God is not a literary expression, but is the indication of an event, it is always a fact: the Word of God is Christ. His word starts from the promise of an event. The figure of the Virgin is completely filled with memory, the word of her people, stretching completely toward the meaning of these events (the Angel’s announcement, Elizabeth’s greeting). This is why Elizabeth used the highest form of address: ‘Blessed is she who believed in the fulfillment of the Word of the Lord.’


Monsignor Luigi Giussani

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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