The Visitation... the very first Eucharistic Procession of Christ, truly present within His beloved, blessed mother, is celebrated today.
Can you imagine the joy of Mary as she made her way closer and closer to the home of St. Elizabeth? Knowing that she was about to bear witness to another miracle - the fruitfulness of a barren old woman - she must have been singing non-stop praises!
And yes, of course Our Lady was besides herself with joy knowing that she carried God within her womb, but I'm willing to bet she always placed the joy of others before herself.
She wasn't someone who simply clapped her hands and said "Congratulations" only to lose herself in her own life five seconds later.
No. She immersed herself in the joys, sufferings, triumphs and challenges of those around her. She always - ALWAYS - placed others before herself due to her perfect humility. She must have savored the miraculous blessing of her elderly cousin as much as St. Elizabeth, herself, did. It's why Our Lady stayed on to take care of her and help her in her final months of pregnancy. She joyously accepted her role as servant, even while pregnant with the God of the Universe.
How blessed are we to have such a gracious, loving woman as our Heavenly Mother?
And what of elderly Saint Elizabeth? She no doubt dropped to her feeble, creaky knees as Our Lady approached. We are told in the gospel that she was moved by the Holy Spirit and proclaimed Mary's Divine Motherhood as little John the Baptist leapt in her once barren womb.
That's why I love the above statue so much. These two pregnant women, through the power and grace of God, join together in love, support and prayer. This loving example of kinship, faithfulness and humility gave us one of our most beautiful prayers of praise - the Magnificat.
My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.
He looks on his servant in her lowliness;
henceforth all ages will call me blessed.
The Almighty works marvels for me.
Holy is his name!
His mercy is from age to age, on those who fear him.
He puts forth his arm in strength and scatters the proud-hearted.
He casts the mighty from their thrones and raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things,
and sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, his servant,
remembering his mercy,
the mercy promised to our fathers,
to Abraham and his sons for ever.
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