“The Feast of the visitation commemorates Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth, the sanctification of John the Baptist in his mother’s womb, and the occasion on which the Blessed Virgin uttered her hymn of thanksgiving, the Magnificat. The feast was instituted in 1389 by Urban VI to obtain the end of the Western schism.
In this mystery of Our Lady’s life God wish to show us that Mary is an instrument and means by which He imparts to us His graces. She is truly interested in our sanctification and salvation.
We should admire the consideration Mary showed for Elizabeth. Our heavenly mother is our model in carrying out the second great commandment of love. Through her intercession we should ask Jesus for the graces we need, especially that of being kind to our neighbor.
Mary, Mother of God, your love is strikingly shown forth in the Visitation. When you learned from the angel that your cousin Elizabeth was with child and needed your help, you set out to care for her. Neither your long absence from home, nor the inconvenience of a difficult and dangerous journey to the mountain country, kept you from making this mission of love. You thought only of the good you could do in Elizabeth’s home. Your sincere love made you hasten to be of service. As you entered the house of Zechariah and greeted your aged cousin, you offered kind words of comfort and congratulations. You lovingly served her till you saw her happily delivered of the child of promise with which God has blessed her.
How humble you were! Though you were the mother of the Most High, you wanted to become the nurse of Elizabeth and the infant John. Though declared blessed among women, you considered yourself the servant of two of God’s beloved children.
Help me to strive to imitate your wonderful charity by aiding those who are in need, by sympathizing with those who are afflicted, by opening my heart and applying my hands to relieve every form of distress. Give me love like yours, which recognizes in every human being a brother or sister in Jesus Christ, to be treated with respect and tenderness and to be aided according to the measure of my power. Teach me that the test of my following of your Divine Son is practical charity. Help me, above all, so that by my good example I may enrich and ennoble every human being whose life I touch.
May the thought of your tenderness and love increase my confidence in you and make me look up to you in all the dangers that surround me in life. I am sure that you, who are all powerful as my advocate, will not desert me but will bring to my poor soul grace and sanctification.” Amen!
–Written by Fr. Lawrence Lovasik in Mary My Hope