Thursday, May 31, 2007

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today is the day the Church honors the event we read about in the Gospel, where Our Lady visits her cousin Elizabeth. This is where the Rosary prayer comes from, in the words of Elizabeth, "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus."

Gospel: Luke 1:39-47

At that time: Mary rising up went unto the hill-country with haste, into a city of Juda; and she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost; and she cried out with a loud voice and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord. And Mary said:"My soul doth magnify the Lord; and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour."

This gospel passage has special meaning for me, as I found myself in a 'surprise' pregnancy only five months after the birth of our daughter. Sadly, it ended in miscarriage at 10 weeks, only a few weeks after I found out we were expecting. The night before we lost the baby, it was revealed to me in a dream that the baby was a girl, and the priest in my dream even named her. Her name? Mary Elizabeth. She would have been born in May.

Today is also the 10th anniversary of my enrollment as a member of the St. Maximilian Kolbe Militia of the Immaculata.

Things to Do:
Read Luke 1:39-47, the story of the Visitation. Read and meditate on the words of the Magnificat and the Hail Mary, two prayers from this feast. For those with children, depending on the ages, assign memorization for these prayers. Also discuss the meaning of the text as a family.

This feast reminds us to be charitable to our neighbors. Try to assist some mother (expectant or otherwise), visit the elderly or sick, make a dinner for someone, etc.

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