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Our Lady of the Visitation


Shrine and Patroness of Congregations

Saint Elizabeth, also spelled Elisabeth or Elisheva (Greek Ἐλισάβετ, from the Hebrew אֱלִישֶׁבַע / אֱלִישָׁבַע My God is an oath; Standard Hebrew Elišévaʿ ~ Elišávaʿ, Tiberian Hebrew ʾĔlîšéḇaʿ ~ ʾĔlîšāḇaʿ, Arabic إليزابيث, Ilizabith) was the mother of St. John the Baptist and the wife of St. Zachary/Zacharias, according to the Gospel of Luke. She is also known by the variants of her first name, such as Isabel, Isabella, Isabelle, etc. (see Elizabeth for details). BibleAccording to the Gospel of Luke, Elizabeth was a descendant of Aaron the priest (Luke 1:5). She and her husband Zechariah were righteous before God, living blamelessly (1:6), but childless. Zechariah was visited by the angel Gabriel, who told him his wife would have a son who will be great in the sight of the Lord (1:15).The pregnant Elizabeth received a visit from her relative, Mary (1:36), who was pregnant with Jesus: And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost and she cried out with a loud voice: Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. (1:41-42)When Mary heard this she recited what is now known as the Magnificat. This event is called the Visitation.EventMary visits her relative Elizabeth, they are both pregnant. Mary is pregnant with Jesus and Elizabeth is pregnant with John the Baptist.Mary left Nazareth immediately after the Annunciation and went to Hebron, south of Jerusalem, to attend her cousin Elizabeth. Catholics believe that the purpose of this visit was to bring divine grace to both Elizabeth and her unborn child. Even though he was still in his mothers womb, John became aware of the presence of his Divine Saviour, and leapt for joy as he was cleansed from original sin and filled with divine grace. Elizabeth also responded, and recognised the presence of Jesus. Thus Mary now for the first time exercised her function as mediatrix between God and man.In the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the Visitation is the second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary.This feast is of medieval origin. It was kept by the Franciscan Order before 1263 when Saint Bonaventure recommended it and the Franciscan chapter adopted it. The Franciscan Breviary spread it to many churches. In 1389 Pope Urban VI, hoping thereby to obtain an end to the Great Western Schism, inserted it in the Roman Calendar, for celebration on 2 July.[1] In the Tridentine Calendar it was a Double. When that Missal of Pope Pius V was replaced by that of Pope Clement VIII in 1604, the Visitation became a Double of the Second Class, and remained so until Pope John XXIII reclassified it as a Second-Class Feast in 1962.[2] It continued to be assigned to 2 July, the day after the end of the octave following the feast of the birth of John the Baptist, who was still in his mothers womb at the time of the Visitation, until in 1969 Pope Paul VI moved it to 31 May, between the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord (25 March) and that of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (24 June), so that it would harmonize better with the Gospel story.[3]Roman Catholics who use a pre-1969 calendar and Anglicans who use the 1662 Book of Common Prayer celebrate the feast on 2 July. So does the entire Catholic Church of Germany, using the post-1969 calendar of Pope Paul VI but with the variations permitted in the German Regional Calendar.