Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Visitation of Mary as Revealed by St. Robert Bellarmine

the visitation of Mary

The Visitation of Mary

Notice the love St. Robert Bellarmine has for our Lady, as he contemplates deeply the mysteries of the second Joyful mystery. Do yourself a favor and take time to meditate on the questions St. Bellarmines ask concerning the Visitation of Mary.

While Mary, therefore, was engaged to Joseph, there came to her news of the wondrous apparition of the angel to Zachary in the Temple, and the miraculous conception whereby her cousin Elizabeth was to be the mother of the Lord's precursor, the Baptist. What must the Virgin's thoughts have been when hearing the Messiah was at hand, and her own family the instrument of His coming! Did she covet the honor every daughter of Israel coveted? No doubt in her humility she never deemed it possible. Anyhow, had she not consecrated herself to God? And dearer even than the honor of being His Mother was the happiness of being His virgin spouse. Six months had passed, and once again the angel of Zachary's vision, Gabriel, came and hailed the Virgin as the Mother of God. Mary's astonishment was not so much that such a message should be sent to a woman of Israel, but that she should be the one she, a lowly maid, not married yet, and bound by solemn vow never to be known of man.

How did her gentle heart flutter and her spirit glow with love and thankfulness when from the angel's lips she heard that virginity and motherhood are not things incompatible in her whose offspring is a God; that He who made the barren Elizabeth conceive, could of Mary's flesh and blood alone build Him a body for His indwelling. "Behold," she says, "the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word," and in that very instant the hopes of ages were fulfilled; the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.

Brethren, Mary's first impulse was to be away from Nazareth, to open her overflowing heart to some sympathetic woman, and so with haste she sped to whisper her secret to her cousin Elizabeth. Supposing even that some vague doubts still haunted Mary's mind, they must have been utterly dispelled by Elizabeth's greeting of her as the Mother of her God, and the bound the Baptist gave at the approach of his unborn Saviour. There Mary spent three happy months, and then the sword began to pierce her gentle heart.
St. Robert Bellarmine, pray for us that we may dive into a deeper contemplation of the mysteries of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth.

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