Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Feast Day – May 31 2023

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Today is Wednesday, June 5, 2024

The current date of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary feast day, May 31, was established in 1969 with the intention of aligning it with the Annunciation of the Lord and preceding the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist.

The Celebration of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary honors the visit of the Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth, as well as the meeting between Jesus and St. John the Baptist while they were still in their mothers’ wombs.

Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Feast Day - May 31
Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Feast Day – May 31
Feast Day May 31

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary History

In the late fourteenth century, the Church experienced an internal turmoil referred to as the Western Schism.

This conflict emerged in 1378 when two individuals asserted themselves as the legitimate pope.

Pope Urban VI established his residence in Rome, while the anti-pope Clement VII took up residence in Avignon, France.

This division persisted until 1417 when the Council in Pisa ultimately resolved the matter. It was during these troubled times that Pope Urban VI instituted the feast we observe today, the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in 1389.

The purpose was to implore the universal Church to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary, seeking unity and peace in the midst of these challenging circumstances.

Although the immediate cause for establishing this feast was internal conflict within the Church, its inspiration lies in the magnificent account found in the opening chapter of the Gospel of Saint Luke.

Following the Annunciation, God took on human form as the Divinity became united with humanity within the womb of the Blessed Mother.

It is likely that Mary embarked on a journey to visit her cousin Elizabeth within a month of conceiving the Savior of the World.

Thus, she traveled as a sacred vessel containing the Most High. Notably, Luke emphasizes that she traveled “in haste.”

From a spiritual perspective, this phrase holds a twofold meaning. Firstly, despite the Savior being a tiny child in Mary’s womb, He was also God, possessing divine knowledge despite lacking human reasoning at that stage.

Thus, within His divinity, God the Son desired that His pure mother visit Elizabeth not only to offer assistance during her pregnancy but also because the Son of God desired to sanctify John the Baptist within his mother’s womb.

In this journey “in haste,” the first thing we witness is the revelation of the Son of God’s intention to bestow His sanctifying grace upon His precursor, John, even within the womb. It was Jesus, residing within the womb, who inspired His mother to undertake the journey, fulfilling His divine will.

During the Annunciation, the Angel Gabriel revealed to the Mother of God that her cousin Elizabeth had experienced a miraculous conception and was currently carrying a son who would serve as the forerunner to the Messiah.

Despite the incredible honor bestowed upon her through the incarnation of the Son of God within her womb, the Blessed Virgin humbly kept this extraordinary dignity hidden.

However, overwhelmed by her profound joy and gratitude, she resolved to visit and offer her congratulations to the mother of John the Baptist.

According to Saint Luke, Mary responded by promptly rising and journeying to a hilly region in Judea to visit Elizabeth, entering the house of Zachariah and offering her greetings.

Upon Mary’s arrival at Elizabeth’s presence, Elizabeth exclaimed, “You are most blessed among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”

She further acknowledged Mary as “the mother of my Lord” and revealed that an extraordinary and spiritual event occurred within her own unborn child as Mary greeted her. John, still in the womb, leapt with joy.

This spiritual joy is a response to the presence of divine grace, and at that moment, John encountered the profound grace that prompted his joyful reaction.

Elizabeth, enlightened by the infused light of the Holy Spirit, comprehended the profound mystery of the Incarnation that God had worked in Mary.

Mary, however, out of her humility, refrained from revealing this mystery even to a saintly and close friend like Elizabeth.

Overwhelmed with astonishment, Elizabeth pronounced Mary blessed above all other women and marveled, “Why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

In response to Elizabeth’s praise, Mary, sinking deeper into the depths of her own nothingness, experienced a surge of humility and was filled with love and gratitude.

This led her to burst forth into the wondrous hymn known as the Magnificat. Mary stayed with her cousin for nearly three months before returning to Nazareth.

The presence of the God-man in this house brought abundant blessings, as it was the first dwelling that He graced with His human visitation.

Mary served as the instrument and conduit through which He bestowed His divine blessings upon the household, emphasizing her role as a channel through which He delights in communicating His graces to us. This encourages us to seek His intercession through her, confident in her ability to obtain His favors for us.

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About Laban Thua Gachie 10756 Articles
The founder of Catholicreadings.org is Laban Thua Gachie. I am a Commissioned Lector, a commissioned Liturgy Minister, and a Commissioned member of the Catholic Men Association. We at Catholic Daily Readings, operate the catholicreadings.org, a Catholic Church-related website and we pride ourself in providing you, on a daily basis the following; 1. Catholic Daily Mass Readings 2. Reflections on those Daily Readings 3. Daily prayers 4. Bible Verse of the Day 5. Saint of the Day