Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary! Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for us!
Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”
And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”
Mary remained with her about three months
and then returned to her home. LK 1:39-56
Since Mary is the instrument God used to bring His Son to us and she is the instrument in which we are to return to God, I would like to take time to break down the Hail Mary prayer.
I found this article interesting to begin the first part of the Hail Mary which is broken into three parts.
Put Yourself in Gabriel’s Shoes
First, John Paul II explains that although the Hail Mary is addressed to Our Lady, “it is to Jesus that the act of love is ultimately directed” (RVM, no. 26). When expounding on this prayer, he divides the Hail Mary into two halves. In an amazing statement, John Paul II notes how the words from the first half of the Hail Mary express “the wonder of heaven and earth” over the mystery of Christ in the womb of the Virgin Mary (RVM, no. 33).
Let’s consider what he means about “the wonder of heaven and earth” in the Hail Mary. The first line — “Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee” — is drawn right from the angel Gabriel’s words to Our Lady in the Annunciation scene (Lk. 1:28). to more fully appreciate the meaning of this opening line in the Hail Mary, imagine what these words originally meant to the Archangel Gabriel. Gabriel is an angel who existed long before Mary did. Gabriel has been around a lot longer than the nation of Israel or the entire human family. In fact, Gabriel was there when God first created the world. From the beginning of his existence, Gabriel has been worshiping, adoring, and loving the infinite, almighty God, the Creator: the Blessed Trinity.
And now, this great angel is sent to a little planet in the universe called earth . . . to a small, insignificant village called Nazareth . . . to a tiny little creature, a woman named Mary — in order to announce to her that the all-holy, all-powerful God he has been worshiping from the beginning of his existence is about to become a little baby in her womb. In awe over that profound mystery of his eternal God becoming a little embryo in Mary’s womb, Gabriel greets Mary saying, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Lk. 1:28). Indeed, the Lord has not been with anyone like He is about to be with Mary. In joyful wonder, Gabriel recognizes this, and his words give praise to God for becoming man in her.
Edward P. Sri. “Praying the Hail Mary Like Never Before.” Lay Witness (September/October 2008).
According to Catholic Encyclopedia, Jesus was added by Pope Urban IV (1261) when the prayer ended Jesus Christ Amen. after the words of Elizabeth “blessed is the fruit of thy womb”. The petition was added during the Catechism of the Council of Trent, “holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death”.
The Hail Mary (Ave Maria) is a prayer made up of the words of Scripture and the Catholic Church. She is being greeted by the angel Gabriel in heaven and Elizabeth on earth. At it’s center is the Holiest Name, “Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.” Phil 2:10
Finally, we ask Mary to pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Again, Mary is the chosen instrument to bring God into the world and be the mother of us all, our spiritual mother. We must visit her daily, devote ourselves to her, and daily consecrate ourselves to Jesus through her. According to St. Louis de Montfort, this is the quickest way to holiness/heaven.
Today’s challenge: Repeat the words of the Hail Mary in a rosary today. Meditate or think about the life of Mary and Jesus by saying a rosary daily. Put your rosary on your pillow so you don’t forget.
“No one can live continually in sin and continue to say the Rosary: either they will give up sin or they will give up the Rosary”~Bishop Hugh Doyle
Be a servant, become a saint!