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Visitation

Commemorated on May 31
Visitation
Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Catholic and Anglican churches
 
The Feast of the Visitation commemorates the visit of Mary, pregnant with Jesus, to her cousin Elizabeth, pregnant with John the Baptist despite her old age, as described in Luke 1:39-56. Filled with the Spirit, Elizabeth recognized her young cousin as "the mother of my Lord," and spoke words that would become part of the Hail Mary prayer: "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb," repeated daily by Catholics worldwide. Mary responded with what would become one of the most beloved Christian prayers, the Magnificat.   
 
And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake 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, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
 
And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
 
 
Statues in Visitation of Our Lady Church, Gharb, Gozo, 
Malta, from "Attractions/Churches/Visitation of Gharb," www.gozo.gov.mt/pages.aspx?page=83
 
The Feast of the Visitation was introduced to the western church by the Franciscan order in the 1200s. It was celebrated on July 2, eight days after the Feast of the Birth of St. John the Baptist, until 1969, when Pope Paul VI moved it to May 31 so that it would fall between the Annunciation (March 25) and the Nativity of St. John (June 24), preserving the liturgical narrative sequence.

Source: http://www.wherewewalked.info/feasts/05-May/05-31.htm 

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