It was established widely throughout the Church to pray for unity. The Visitation is the first time that Mary publicly exercises her role as Mediator of the Son of God. Like most feasts of Mary, it is closely connected with Jesus and his saving work. The more visible actors in the visitation drama are Mary and Elizabeth. However, Jesus and John the Baptist steal the scene in a hidden way. Jesus makes John leap with joy—the joy of messianic salvation. Elizabeth, in turn, is filled with the Holy Spirit and addresses words of praise to Mary—words that echo down through the ages.
It is helpful to recall that we do not have a journalist’s account of this meeting. Elizabeth’s praise of Mary as “the mother of my Lord” can be viewed as the earliest Church’s devotion to Mary. As with all authentic devotion to Mary, Elizabeth’s (the Church’s) words first praise God for what God has done to Mary. Only secondly does she praise Mary for trusting God’s words. Mary herself—like the Church—traces all her greatness to God.
O God who didst lead the Blessed Virgin Mary to visit Elizabeth, to their exceeding joy and comfort: Grant unto thy people, that as Mary rejoiced to be called the Mother of the Lord, so they may ever rejoice to believe the incarnation of thine only begotten Son; to whom with the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory, world without end.
Novena of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
At the voice of the mother of God, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost, so that she recognized the great mystery of the incarnation to Mary; and the infant in her womb rejoiced. Notice in this mystery of Our Lady’s life how God wished to show us that Mary is the instrument and means by which He imparts to us His graces. Admire, too, the consideration Mary showed for Elizabeth. Your Heavenly Mother is your model in carrying out the second great commandment of charity. Through her intercession ask Jesus for the graces you need, especially that of being charitable.
“Praise the Lord, O my soul, and let my spirit rejoice in God, my Savior!”
Let us celebrate the Visitation of the Virgin Mary! Let us adore her Son, Christ the Lord!
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Mary went with haste to the hill country, to a town of Juda. She entered the house of Zachary and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard mary’s greeting, the infant rejoiced in her womb, and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the Gruit of thy womb. Blessed art thou, O Mary, who didst believe that those things which were spoken to thee by the Lord would be fulfilled in thee!
Bestow on Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gift of Thy heavenly grace, that we, for whom the motherhood of the Blessed Virgin was the beginning of salvation, may be blessed with an increase of peace on the solemn festival of her Visitation. Through Chris our Lord.
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, God, for ever and ever
Father in heaven, by whose grace the virgin mother of your incarnate Son was blessed in bearing him, but still more blessed in keeping your word: Grant us who honor the exaltation of her lowliness to follow the example of her devotion to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
Almighty and eternal God, under Your inspiration the Virgin Mary, pregnant with Your Son, visited St. Elizabeth. Grant that we may follow the guidance of the Spirit and praise You eternally with her in heaven.
INTERCESSIONS ON THE VISITATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
The dawn from on high has broken upon us through the faith-filled consent of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Through her intercession, let us pray:
R. Visit your people, O Lord.
For all those who live in hope of new life:
reward their patience. (R.)
For all those who encourage the faith of others:
reward their good work. (R.)
For those who provide others with means to give praise:
reward their joy. (R.)
For those who bring glad tidings to others:
reward their generosity. (R.)
O God, you sent the Blessed Virgin Mary to visit her cousin Elizabeth and to share with her the joy of your Son’s coming. Give us the will to do your will, that we may glorify you with her for all eternity, through Christ our Lord.