Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Visitation of Mary

Today May 31st we celebrate the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth.

Visitation means "to visit." The Archangel Gabriel told the Blessed Virgin Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was going to have a baby boy in her old age. Mary loved Elizabeth very much and knew she could use some help. So she set out at once to visit Elizabeth.

Mary was also expecting a baby, the baby Jesus! The trip into the hill country where Elizabeth lived was long, dangerous and uncomfortable. But that did not stop Mary and she rode there on a donkey, as that was the best way to travel in the hill country.

Mary reached her cousin's house and greeted Elizabeth. At that moment, the Holy Spirit revealed to Elizabeth that Mary had become the mother of God our Savior.

Elizabeth asked joyfully, "How have I deserved that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?" Mary was not boastful or proud of this great honor, but remained humble and quickly gave all the credit to God. He had blessed her so richly.

"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior," she said. "For he has regarded the lowliness of his handmaid, and holy is his name."

What graces the Blessed Mother brought to the home of her cousin! Saint John the Baptist, while still hidden in his mother's womb, was cleansed of original sin. His father Zachary who had lost his voice, was able to speak again. Saint Elizabeth was filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Mary stayed three months at her cousin's home. With great kindness and love, she helped Elizabeth.

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