Every May 31, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary to Saint Elizabeth, her cousin, who was also in a state of good hope.
May closes with this significant celebration, a month dedicated to our Heavenly Mother. Consequently, it is a beautiful detail provided by the Church so that we love the Virgin more, know her better and have her more and more present in our lives.
Knowing more about Maria
The Feast of the Visitation essentially constitutes an invitation to contemplate the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, who goes out to meet Elizabeth to place herself at her service. At the same time, it is a new opportunity to consider the powerful call to live generous love – love that springs when Jesus dwells within us. Thinking of Mary on the way to Zacharias and Elizabeth’s house is proof enough that the Mother of God never closed in on herself but that she was always sensitive and attentive to the needs of others. She sets off to serve in the housework, showing her simplicity and the deep love she has for Isabel. Mary, as the mother that she is, loves each one with a particular love and will never abandon any of her children.
Consequently, Mary, the chosen maiden, teaches us to go out to meet our neighbor: carrying Jesus in our hearts.
According to the Gospel account, the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would be the Mother of Jesus, Redeemer of the world. He would later reveal to her that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant despite her age. God acted with greatness and aroused a loving response in the human being: the Virgin leaves her to help her pregnant relative -the woman who will be the mother of John the Baptist- and stays with her for a period of three months.
Mary, teacher of prayer
Just as the Virgin invites us to serve, she also invites us to pray. Two important prayers emerge from the texts corresponding to the episode of the Visitation: the second part of the Hail Mary and the song of the Magnificat.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, “the child jumped in her womb. Then Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, exclaimed in a loud voice: ‘Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But how is it possible that the mother of my Lord comes to visit me? For as soon as I heard your greeting, the child leaped for joy in my bosom’” (see Luke 1, 39-56).
Mary, servant of the Lord, responded by praising God for his wonders: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God, my savior, because he has seen the humiliation of his slave…”
“Channel of Grace”
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux pointed out that “since then Mary has been constituted as an “immense channel” through which the goodness of God sends to us the most admirable quantities of graces, favors and blessings”.
If you want to delve into the meaning of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary, we recommend this article from the Catholic Encyclopedia: https://ec.aciprensa.com/wiki/Visitación_de_la_Santísima_Virgen_María.