The meaning of the celebration
+ The Feast of the Visitation recalls the journey made by the Blessed Virgin to see her relative, Elizabeth, who was pregnant with Saint John the Baptist.
+ This feast dates back to the 6th century and was formerly celebrated on July 2. In 1969, it was moved to today’s date so that it can be celebrated between the Solemnity of the Annunciation (on March 25) and the Solemnity of the birth of Saint John the Baptist (on June 24).
+ This feast invites us to always be open to the workings of the Holy Spirit and we have Mary as our model of humility, obedience, and service.
In 1610, Saint Francis de Sales and Saint Jane de Chantal founded a new religious community—the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary—named in honor of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth in the hopes that the sisters would always imitate Mary’s example in her spirit of joyful service.
“Let Mary’s soul be in each of you to proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let her spirit be in each to rejoice in the Lord.”—Saint Ambrose of Milan
Almighty ever-living God,
who, while the Blessed Virgin Mary was carrying your Son in her womb,
inspired her to visit Elizabeth,
grant us, we pray,
that, faithful to the promptings of the Spirit,
we may magnify your greatness
with the Virgin Mary at all times.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.