Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Church of the Visitation - Ein Kerem
May 31, 2021
Mass at 10:00 am
The Visitation commemorates the Virgin Mary’s visit to her cousin, Elizabeth. Both women find themselves pregnant under unusual circumstances. At their meeting, John the Baptist leaps in his mother’s womb in recognition of the presence of his Lord in the womb of Mary. Elizabeth blesses her and Mary, in turn, praises God. (cf. Luke 1:39-55)
This feast is an event of salvation history. Elizabeth a model of the Old Testament, meeting the New Testament through Mary’s faith in God’s word. Mary’s prayer in the Magnificat blesses that which came before with expectant hope of all that is to be revealed.
The Visitation is the second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary. The recitation of this prayer is a biblical meditation, allowing us to follow Christ through Mary. In humility, Mary puts the needs of others first; in simplicity, she trusts God’s words to her as spoken by the Angel, Gabriel. In charity, she reaches out to Elizabeth.
As we close the month of May with the Marian Feast of the Visitation, and the completion of the marathon of prayer called for by Pope Francis to end the coronavirus, it is good to recall the words of his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in his Address of 2008, which can be read in full at this link:
Elizabeth's words enkindle in her spirit a canticle of praise, which is an authentic and profound "theological" reading of history: a reading that we must continually learn from the one whose faith is without shadow and without wrinkle. "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord". Mary recognizes God's greatness. This is the first indispensable sentiment of faith. It is the sentiment that gives security to human creatures and frees from fear, even in the midst of the tempest of history.
The Feast of the Visitation is celebrated on 31 May in the Western Church. In the Julian calendar of the Eastern Church, it is celebrated on 30 March.
Photo Copyright:© Nimrod Sannders/CTS
Ciavolella, V. (2019, May 31). Mary and Elizabeth’s joy: the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. https://www.nationalshrine.org/blog/mary-and-elizabeths-joy-the-feast-of-the-visitation-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary/
Connelly, S. (2020, January 20). Mother Mary’s Importance in the Catholic Faith. Daily Bread. https://www.catholicfaithstore.com/daily-bread/mother-mary-importance-in-the-catholic-faith/
Pope Benedict XVI. (2008, May 31). Celebration at the end of the Marian month of May (May 31, 2008) | BENEDICT XVI. The Holy See. https://www.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2008/may/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20080531_mese-mariano.html
Samaha, S.M., J. M. (n.d.). Meaning of the Visitation - the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary: what it means for us. University of Dayton. Retrieved May 17, 2021, from https://udayton.edu/imri/mary/v/visitation-meaning-of-the.php
Vatican News. (2021, May 4). Shrines around the world link up for recitation of the Rosary. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2021-05/shrines-around-the-world-linked-for-recitation-of-the-rosary.htm