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Visitation of Mary
Second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary

The Visitation of Mary - Joyful Mysteries
The Meeting of Mary and Elisabeth - Carl Heinrich Bloch - 1866

Introduction

The second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary is the Visitation of Mary. This event (it is believed that the meeting takes place in a suburb of Jerusalem called Ein Karem) holds immense importance in Christian tradition as it signifies the meeting between the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is pregnant with Jesus, and her relative Elizabeth, who is also miraculously expecting a child, later known as John the Baptist.

The significance lies in the joyous encounter between these two women, both chosen by God for pivotal roles in the unfolding story of salvation. When Mary greets Elizabeth, the unborn John leaps in her womb, filled with the Holy Spirit. This moment is a powerful manifestation of the divine presence, emphasizing the sacredness of the unborn children and the unique roles they will play in God’s plan.

Mary’s visitation is a symbol of love, support, and shared joy, reinforcing the familial bond between the two mothers and their unborn children. It highlights the interconnectedness of the Old and New Testaments, as John, representing the Old Covenant, recognizes and rejoices in the presence of Jesus, the fulfillment of the New Covenant.

In essence, the Visitation underscores the importance of mutual support, divine revelation, and the profound connection between generations in the divine unfolding of salvation history. This mystery invites believers to reflect on the blessings of God’s presence in their lives and the interconnectedness of God’s redemptive plan across generations.

Scriptures of the Visitation of Mary

Luke 1:39-56

And Mary rising-up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda. And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.

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: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.

And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him. He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy: As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.

And Mary abode with her about three months; and she returned to her own house.       

Scripture Commentary

Luke 1:39-56 contains the poignant account of the visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth, capturing a moment filled with profound joy, spiritual insight, and a powerful expression of praise. This passage is commonly known as the Magnificat, Mary’s hymn of praise.

Verses 39-45: The Visitation

Visitation of Mary - Church of the Visitation - Ein Karem
The Magnificat in the Church of the Visitation – Deror Avi – October 21 2008

Mary, having received the angel Gabriel’s message about her miraculous conception, goes to visit her relative Elizabeth (it is believed to be in a suburb of Jerusalem called Ein Karem, a district of Jerusalem), who herself is miraculously expecting a child in her old age. The meeting is marked by a remarkable moment as the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaps for joy in the presence of the unborn Messiah in Mary’s womb. Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, recognizes the significance of Mary’s visit, exclaiming, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”

This encounter underscores the divine nature of the events surrounding the births of John the Baptist and Jesus. The unborn John’s recognition of the unborn Savior signals a moment of divine revelation, emphasizing the unique and sacred roles these two infants will play in God’s redemptive plan.

Verses 46-56: The Magnificat

Mary responds to Elizabeth’s blessing with the Magnificat—a hymn of praise that is a profound expression of Mary’s faith, humility, and acknowledgment of God’s sovereignty. In this beautiful hymn, Mary magnifies the Lord and rejoices in God her Savior. She acknowledges God’s mercy, humility, and faithfulness to His promises. Mary recognizes the transformative impact of God’s intervention not only in her own life but for all generations to come.

The Magnificat echoes themes found in various Psalms and Old Testament hymns, emphasizing the reversal of fortunes, God’s concern for the lowly, and the fulfillment of promises made to the patriarchs. Mary’s song also carries political and social undertones, envisioning a world where the powerful are humbled, and the hungry are filled.

The hymn reflects the deep understanding of the Blessed Virgin Mary of her role in God’s plan, highlighting her willingness to be a vessel for the divine purpose despite her humble status. It is a declaration of faith and submission to God’s will, echoing Hannah’s song in 1 Samuel 2.

Overall Significance

  1. Profound Recognition of God’s Intervention:
    The visitation and the Magnificat emphasize the profound recognition of God’s intervention in the lives of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Elizabeth. The unborn John’s leap and Elizabeth’s words underscore the divine nature of the events surrounding the births of these two children.
  2. Expression of Humility and Faith:
    Mary’s response, both in visiting Elizabeth and in the Magnificat, reveals her deep humility and unwavering faith. She sees herself as a servant of the Lord and acknowledges God’s mercy and faithfulness throughout history.
  3. Social and Theological Implications:
    The Magnificat carries social and theological implications, envisioning a world transformed by God’s justice and mercy. It echoes the prophetic tradition of anticipating the coming Messiah who will bring about a reversal of societal injustices.
  4. Continuity with Old Testament Themes:
    Mary’s hymn draws on themes found in the Psalms and Old Testament hymns, connecting the events surrounding Jesus’ birth to the broader narrative of God’s covenant and promises.In conclusion, Luke 1:39-56 presents a powerful and significant portion of the Gospel, capturing the deep spiritual significance of Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth and Mary’s subsequent hymn of praise. The encounter between these two women becomes a moment of divine revelation, and Mary’s Magnificat serves as a timeless expression of faith, humility, and recognition of God’s redemptive plan unfolding through the birth of Jesus.

Feast of the Visitation

The Feast of the Visitation is a Christian celebration that commemorates the visit of the Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth as narrated in the Gospel of Luke, specifically in Luke 1:39-56. This feast is observed on May 31st in the Roman Catholic calendar and on May 31st in the Anglican calendar. The event holds significance in Christian theology, highlighting the joyous encounter between Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist.

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Download our Joyful Mysteries pdf Document

We have a Joyful Mysteries pdf available for your use. It is free to download and share. It can be printed and used for praying the Rosary and is an excellent aid for anyone, especially for beginners.  The author still uses them to this day.

To view our Joyful Mysteries pdf page, click the link.  To go straight to the pdf, click the button below.

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Last Publish:  January 26, 2024

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