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Monday, July 5, 2010

Visitation of Our Lady


 Visitation of Our Lady (1 B.C.)
The Visitation of Our Lady (1 B.C.) to the house of Elizabeth and Zachary, the mother and father of Saint John the Baptist. As soon 
as Mary, the spouse of Saint Joseph, had learned from an angel that, as she had conceived a Child virginally, so Elizabeth, her cousin, had conceived one miraculously, she made haste to 
go and visit Elizabeth. Mary arrived at the house of Elizabeth at Ain Karim, a little town southwest of Jerusalem, on April 2. She stayed there for three months. Elizabeth greeted Mary 
with the phrase, "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb." It was standing in the door of Elizabeth's house that Our Lady sang her great canticle, the Magnificat. 
Mary waited for the birth of John the Baptist on June 24, and left for Nazareth on July 2, the day after Saint John the Baptist was circumcised and given his name. This day, the day of Mary's 
leaving Elizabeth, is celebrated as the feast of the Visitation.

Mary's visit to Elizabeth was the greatest visit paid by anyone to anyone in the history of the world. All Catholics call it, in simple reference, the Visitation. The moment Mary, with Jesus in 
her womb, entered the house of Elizabeth, on April 2, John the Baptist was sanctified in his mother's womb. He received at that moment the use of reason, and for three months antecedent 
to his birth, he knew, in humility and love, Who was dwelling in his house. He also knew his own purpose as the Precursor of Christ.

John the Baptist was born six month before Jesus. John the Baptist was martyred one year before Jesus. The day Jesus was born, the days begin to increase. The day John the Baptist was born, they begin to decrease. "He must increase and I must decrease," is the beautiful way this seasonal fact is referred to in liturgical love in Holy Scripture by Saint John the Baptist.

Mary’s first action after God had come to dwell in her was one of self-denying charity. She undertook a troublesome journey in order to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Thus she proclaimed charity to be the virtue which above all Christ brought with Him from heaven. God made Mary’s visit the occasion of a wonderful miracle. On her entrance into St. Elizabeth’s dwelling, St. John Baptist was cleansed from sin in his mother’s womb. Mary was the channel of this exceptional privilege of the cleansing away fo sin in the case of the unborn child. As then, so now: Mary is the channel of all graces, and above all, of the restoration of the sinner to friendship with God. Mary’s charity is not less present now than at the time of the Visitation. Nay, she is far more eager now than then to promote the happiness and console the sorrows of those who fly to her for succor.

Saint Processus and Saint Martinian (67)
These were the guards of Saints Peter and Paul when they were kept in the Mamertime Prison in Rome. Along with forty-seven prisoners they were converted by Saint Peter. Since there was no 
water with which to baptize them, Saint Peter by his prayer caused to gush forth a miraculous spring which continues to flow to the present day. This lets us know that God will never fail to 
provide the water necessary for the sacrament of Baptism without which no one can enter Heaven. Saints Processus and Martinian were cruelly tortured and finally beheaded.


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