Today is the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is one of the beautiful feasts of Our Lady, and Mary as usual gives us the example of discipleship.
The Gospel of St. Luke recounts how Mary, who had just learned that she was to be the Mother of Christ, did not merely dwell upon her own blessedness, but instead went with haste to Elizabeth, about whom the angel told informed Mary that she, too, was with child:
39 And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda. 40 And she entered into the house of Zachary and saluted Elizabeth. 41 And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. 42 And she cried out with a loud voice and said: Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord. 46 And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
The Lesson from the Canticle of Canticles describes the beauty of Mary and the Love God has for her:
Canticle 2: 8-14:
8 The voice of my beloved, behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills. 9 My beloved is like a roe, or a young hart. Behold he standeth behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the lattices. 10 Behold my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come. 11 For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone. 12 The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning is come: the voice of the turtle is heard in our land: 13 The fig tree hath put forth her green figs: the vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come: 14 My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hollow places of the wall, shew me thy face, let thy voice sound in my ears: for thy voice is sweet, and thy face comely.
Sharing in the glory of this great feast are Saints Processus and Martinian, whose commemoration is today. These early Christian Martyrs were guards of Saints Peter and Paul in the Mamertine Prison, and were converted by the Apostles after a miraculous spring appeared in the prison. They were baptized by the Apostles in this miraculous water. They paid the ultimate price for their love of Christ and His Apostles and are buried in St. Peter’s Basilica.
May our lives, either before or during our imprisonment for the faith, be such a spur for the conversion of our persecutors.
Holy Mother of God, Our Lady of the Visitation, pray for us!
Saints Processus and Martinian, pray for us!