The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church

31 May 2023

This feast commemorates the three-month visit of Mary with her elderly cousin Elizabeth during Mary’s pregnancy with Jesus and Elizabeth’s with John the Baptist.

The story appears in the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel. It recounts Elizabeth’s Spirit-filled greeting, acknowledging Mary as “the mother of my Lord,” and Mary’s beautiful response, the Magnificat, which begins, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.”

Introduced by the Franciscans in 1263, the feast became universal in the 16th century.

The cousins’ visit has been depicted by many artists over the centuries.

An especially tender “Visitation,” painted by Mariotto Albertinelli and considered his masterpiece, is on display at the Uffizi in Florence, Italy.

Text: Catholic News Service