In Christianity, the Visitation is the visit of St. Mary, who was pregnant with Jesus, to St. Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist, as recorded in the Gospel of Luke, Luke 1:39–56 .
It is also the name of a Christian feast day commemorating this visit, celebrated on 31 May in Western Christianity (2 July in calendars of the 1263–1969 period, and in the modern regional calendar of some countries whose bishops' conferences wanted to retain the original date, notably Germany and Slovakia) and 30 March in Eastern Christianity.
The episode is one of the standard scenes shown in cycles of the Life of the Virgin in art, and sometimes in larger cycles of the Life of Christ in art.
Mary visits her relative Elizabeth; they are both pregnant: Mary with Jesus, and Elizabeth with John the Baptist. Mary left Nazareth immediately after the Annunciation and went "into the hill country ... into a city of Judah" ( Luke 1:39 ) to attend to her cousin ( Luke 1:36 ) Elizabeth. There are several possibilities as to exactly which city this was, including Hebron, south of Jerusalem, and Ein Karem. The journey from Nazareth to Hebron is about 130 kilometres (81 mi) in a direct line, probably up to half as far again by road, depending on the route taken. Elizabeth was in the sixth month before Mary came ( Luke 1:36 ). Mary stayed three months, and most scholars hold she stayed for the birth of John. Given the prevailing cultural traditions and needs for security, it is probable that Joseph accompanied Mary to Judah then returned to Nazareth, and came again after three months to take his wife home. The apparition of the angel, mentioned in Matthew 1:19–25, may have taken place then to end the tormenting doubts of Joseph regarding Mary's maternity.
In the Gospel of Luke, the author's accounts of the Annunciation and Visitation are constructed using eight points of literary parallelism to compare Mary to the Ark of the Covenant.
Some Catholic commentators have maintained 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 mother's womb, John became aware of the presence of Christ, 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, and thus Mary exercised her function as mediatrix between God and man for the first time.
And she [Elizabeth] spoke 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." ( Luke 1:42–45 )
In response to Elizabeth, Mary proclaims the Magnificat (My soul doth magnify the Lord) Luke 1:46–55 .
The word "blessed" is rendered in Greek not by the word "makarios" but as "evlogimeni", which is the feminine second person singular, used only this once in the New Testament. Its masculine third person singular counterpart "evlogimenos" is used only for Jesus and only on this occasion and when he was welcomed into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday with: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord". The masculine/mixed gender third person plural "evlogimenoi" is used by Jesus only when referring to the righteous who are to be raised to life in the Last Judgement.[ citation needed ]
The theme of the Feast of the Visitation centers on Mary responding to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to set out on a mission of charity.
This feast is of medieval origin. In 1389 Pope Urban VI, hoping thereby to obtain an end to the Great Western Schism, inserted it at the urging of John of Jenstein, archbishop of Prague, in the Roman Calendar, for celebration on 2 July.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, or, as it would be called from 1960 by Pope John XXIII's reform, a Second-Class Feast. 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 mother's womb at the time of the Visitation.
The 1969 revision of the calendar 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."
The Catholic Church in Germany (together with the Lutheran church) has, with the consent of the Holy See, kept 2 July date as a national variation of the General Roman Calendar. Similarly, the Catholic Church in Slovakia has also retained the original date, because of an important national pilgrimage to the Basilica of the Visitation in the town of Levoča that has been held in the first weekend of July since the 13th century. 2 July is observed also by Traditionalist Catholics who use a pre-1970 calendar, and by Anglicans who use the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (in some Anglican traditions it is merely a commemoration rather than a feast day).
In the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, the Visitation is the second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary.
The celebration of a feast day commemorating this event in the Eastern Orthodox Church is of relatively recent origin, dating only to the 19th century. The impetus to establish a feast day in the Liturgical calendar of the Orthodox Church, and the composition of a service to be included in the Menaion, were the work of Archimandrite Antonin Kapustin (1817–1894), head of the Russian Orthodox Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem. [ citation needed ]The Gorneye Convent in Jerusalem, which was built on the traditional site of the Meeting of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) and St. Elizabeth, celebrates this Feast on 30 March. (Julian Calendar 30 March corresponds, until 2099, to Gregorian Calendar 12 April.) If 30 March falls between Lazarus Saturday and Pascha (Easter), the Visitation Feast is transferred to Bright Friday. Celebration of the Feast of the Visitation has not yet been accepted by all Orthodox jurisdictions.
In Syriac Christianity the feast of the Visitation is celebrated on the third Sunday in the Season of Announcements prior to Christmas.
The liturgical year, also known as the church year or Christian year, as well as the kalendar, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches that determines when feast days, including celebrations of saints, are to be observed, and which portions of Scripture are to be read either in an annual cycle or in a cycle of several years.
Mary was a first-century Galilean Jewish woman of Nazareth, the wife of Joseph, and the mother of Jesus, according to the canonical gospels and the Quran.
In the western liturgical year, Lady Day is the traditional name in some English-speaking countries of the Feast of the Annunciation, which is celebrated on 25 March, and commemorates the visit of the archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, during which he informed her that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
The Hail Mary is a traditional Catholic prayer asking for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. In Roman Catholicism, the prayer forms the basis of the Rosary and the Angelus prayers. In the Oriental Orthodox Churches, Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, a similar prayer is used in formal liturgies, both in Greek and in translations. It is also used by many other groups within the Catholic tradition of Christianity including Anglicans, Independent Catholics, and Old Catholics.
The Annunciation, also referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Annunciation of Our Lady, or the Annunciation of the Lord, is the Christian celebration of the announcement by the Archangel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Jewish messiah and Son of God, marking His Incarnation. Gabriel told Mary to name her son Jesus, meaning "YHWH is salvation".
Elizabeth, also spelled Elisabeth derives from Elisheba:, was the mother of John the Baptist and the wife of Zechariah, according to the Gospel of Luke. She was at least 60 years of age and well past child bearing years when she gave birth to John.
The Presentation of Jesus atthe Temple is an early episode in the life of Jesus, describing his presentation at the Temple in Jerusalem in order to officially induct him into Judaism, that is celebrated by many Christian Churches on the holiday of Candlemas. It is described in the chapter 2 of the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. Within the account, "Luke's narration of the Presentation in the Temple combines the purification rite with the Jewish ceremony of the redemption of the firstborn ."
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known in the East as The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple, is a liturgical feast celebrated on November 21 by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the feast of the Resurrection of Jesus, called Fasika (Easter), is the greatest of all holy days and as such it is called the "feast of feasts". Immediately below it in importance, there is a group of Twelve Great Feasts. Together with Pascha, these are the most significant dates on the Orthodox liturgical calendar. Eight of the great feasts are in honor of Jesus Christ, while the other four are dedicated to the Virgin Mary — the Theotokos.
Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Dolours, the Sorrowful Mother or Mother of Sorrows, and Our Lady of Piety, Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows or Our Lady of the Seven Dolours are names by which the Virgin Mary is referred to in relation to sorrows in her life. As Mater Dolorosa, it is also a key subject for Marian art in the Catholic Church.
The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Nativity of Mary, or the Birth of the Virgin Mary, refers to a Christian feast day celebrating the birth of Mary, mother of Jesus.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary is a devotional name used to refer to the interior life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and, above all, her virginal love for God the Father, her maternal love for her son Jesus, and her compassionate love for all people.
Simeon at the Temple is the "just and devout" man of Jerusalem who, according to Luke 2:25–35, met Mary, Joseph, and Jesus as they entered the Temple to fulfill the requirements of the Law of Moses on the 40th day from Jesus' birth at the presentation of Jesus at the Temple.
The Catholic Church in Israel is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, in full communion with the Holy See in Rome.
The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God is a feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the aspect of her motherhood of Jesus Christ, whom Christians see as the Lord, Son of God. It is celebrated by the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church on 1 January, the Octave (8th) day of Christmastide. The solemnity is a Holy Day of Obligation in areas that have not abrogated it.
The Nativity of John the Baptist is a Christian feast day celebrating the birth of John the Baptist. The Nativity of John the Baptist is a high-ranking liturgical feast, kept in the Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran churches. The sole biblical account of the birth of John the Baptist comes from the Gospel of Luke.
The Feast of the Annunciation, contemporarily the Solemnity of the Annunciation, also known as Lady Day, the Feast of the Incarnation, Conceptio Christi, commemorates the visit of the archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, during which he informed her that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is celebrated on 25 March each year. In the Roman Catholic Church, when 25 March falls during the Paschal Triduum, it is transferred forward to the first suitable day during Eastertide. In Eastern Orthodoxy and Eastern Catholicism, it is never transferred, even if it falls on Pascha (Easter). The concurrence of these two feasts is called Kyriopascha.
Anglican Marian theology is the summation of the doctrines and beliefs of Anglicanism concerning Mary, mother of Jesus. As Anglicans believe that Jesus was both human and God the Son, the second Person of the Trinity, within the Anglican Communion and Continuing Anglican movement, Mary is accorded honour as the theotokos, a Koiné Greek term that means "God-bearer" or "one who gives birth to God".
Marian feast days are specific holy days of the liturgical year recognized by Christians as significant Marian days for the celebration of events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her veneration. The number of Marian feasts celebrated, their names can vary among Christian denominations.
Mysterii Paschalis is an apostolic letter issued motu proprio by Pope Paul VI on 14 February 1969. It reorganized the liturgical year of the Roman Rite and revised the liturgical celebrations of Jesus Christ and the saints in the General Roman Calendar.
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