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The hidden relevance of Mary’s walking


The Keur Moussa abbey church

The Visitation, fresco, Dom Georges Saget, (Senegal, 1963)

Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 05/31/22

Today is the feast in which Mary brings joy to Elizabeth's house and receives joy in her heart.

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Today’s readings are here.


Today’s Gospel is the account of the liturgical feast of the Visitation, which we celebrate on this very day. I believe that the beauty of this famous passage lies in a detail that seems not to say much but actually suggests quite a bit: “In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country…”

The fact of Mary walking suggests many things to us. The first thing is that an authentic faith experience must elicit decisions, changes, existential movements. Mary has just received the Annunciation from the angel, and the evangelist Luke, by placing this account immediately after it, seems to want to tell us that such a profound spiritual experience is incomprehensible without a concrete path to walk afterwards.

The second thing it suggests to us is the very idea of a path: Mary feels that she must go forward, that she must gradually begin to do something. She is a kind of icon of gradualness and growth. And the pinnacle of this growth is the Magnificat, that is, the ability to be able to sing words of gratitude for one’s life, for what the Lord has worked, for a reasoning that for a long time we couldn’t understand but which suddenly becomes evident.

Today is the feast in which Mary brings joy to Elizabeth’s house and receives joy in her heart, as if to remind us that no journey of faith is ever a solitary one. Each creates an interaction in relationships in which one gives and receives without grasping clearly a very clear boundary between who is giving and who is receiving. In fact, many who give actually find in the end that they have received much more. 


Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese of Italy and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

Aleteia is proud to begin to offer this commentary on the readings for daily Mass, in collaboration with Fr. Epicoco.

Virgin Mary
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