Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Feast of the Visitation

Visitation from Altarpiece of the Virgin by Jacques Daret, 1434

Feast Day (1969 Calendar): May 31
Double of the II Class (1955 Calendar): July 2

Each year the Universal Church celebrates the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and recalls Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth. The event is recorded in Luke 1:39-57.  Feeling the presence of his Savior, John the Baptist leaped within the womb of his mother Elizabeth upon Mary's arrival; John was then filled with the grace of God. It was at that moment that St. John was cleansed of original sin.

The Feast of Visitation was first commemorated in the beginning of the 13th century, when St. Bonaventure recommended it, and the Franciscan chapter adopted it. The Franciscan breviary spread it to many churches, but it was only universally adopted in the 14th century, when Pope Urban VI extended it.
When Zachary had doubted the promise of the Lord that Elizabeth would bear a child, he was struck speechless. Elizabeth was thereafter visited by Mary, at which time Mary spoke the hymn of praise now known at the Magnificat.  By divine providence, it was upon John's birth that Zachary's speech was restored. While this is all that is known in the Scriptures, an older tradition remains that states that Zachary was later murdered in the Temple when he refused to tell Herod where his son John was to be found.

Both St. Elizabeth and St. Zachary’s feast days are on November 5th.


Bestow upon Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gift of Thy heavenly grace: that as the childbearing of the Blessed Virgin was the beginning of our salvation, so the solemn feast of her Visitation may bring us an increase of peace. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

2 comment(s):

del_button May 22, 2010 at 1:40 AM
Anonymous said...

IF possible Can I have NOvena in preparation of the feast of Visitation!!! IT starts from 22nd MAy !!!

del_button May 22, 2010 at 7:58 AM
Matthew said...

I don't have a Novena to Our Lady's Visitation but you may wish to pray another Marian Novena for this occasion. Please view my page on prayer at the below link for novenas in the "Novenas" section.

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