Today the church remembers The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.According to Luke’s Gospel, Mary, immediately after being told of the forthcoming birth of Jesus, went to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth was also pregnant and her child was to be John the Baptist. This famous visit was important for several reasons. When Elizabeth saw Mary, the baby leaped in her womb, not an uncommon experience in pregnancy but in this case regarded as a supernatural occurrence, signifying little John’s excitement at the presence of the Savior whom he was to proclaim. Elizabeth was the first to recognize Mary as the Mother of the Lord, exclaiming “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Luke 1:42). The moving and eloquent canticle, Magnificat, is recorded by Luke at this point: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46-47). It is called the “Song of Mary” and although it could hardly have been a stenographer’s report of what the Blessed Mother said at the time, it most surely reflects her sentiments and the kind of response she must have expressed. Father in heaven, who chose in wondrous grace the Blessed Virgin Mary to be the mother of your incarnate Son: Grant that, as we honor the exaltation of her lowliness, so we may follow the example of her humble obedience to your will; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
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