Monday, 31 May 2021

my soul doth magnify the lord

Celebrated as a minor feast day in the Catholic and Anglican rite, the Visitation marks the episode in the Life of the Virgin when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, leaves Nazareth to see her cousin Elizabeth, pregnant with John the Baptist and help with when she went into labour. The traditional day of 2 July is retained in Slovakia and Germany (Mariรค Heimsuchnung) for historical reasons and associated pilgrimmage opportunities. Upon their initial encounter, Elizabeth and John in the womb experience and inflowing of divine grace—prompting Elizabeth to praise her cousin, the experience also new to her—for her faith, forming some of the rubric of the Hail Mary, to which Mary gives in response what’s now referred to as the Magnficat, the canticle that is taken from the exchange as recorded by the Gospel of Luke.