In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”


James B. Janknegt, The Visitation, 2008. 

Mary is full of the Word. In Mary’s voice, Elizabeth also heard the Word. Mary’s voice conveyed the Word both to Elizabeth and to the unborn John, who leaped for joy and was filled with Holy Spirit, sanctified even in the womb. In this scene we can see a prefiguring of the role that both Catholic and Orthodox give to Mary in the economy of salvation. Through her we receive Jesus. She is the gate through which heaven come to us.

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