Venerable Fulton Sheen: The Visitation.

from the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation.

The Visitation

The Gospel tells us, “In the days that followed, Mary rose up and went with all haste to a city of Judea, in the hill country, where Zachary dwelt; and there entering in she gave Elizabeth greeting. No sooner had Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, than the child leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth herself was filled with the Holy Ghost; so that she cried out with a loud voice, ‘Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb’ (Luke 1:39-42).The first miracle worked by our Lord on earth was performed while He was still in His Mother’s womb. He stirred the unborn John and brought consciousness of His presence to Elizabeth, the cousin of His Mother. Thus, long before Cana, our Lord shows that it is through His Mother that He works His unseen wonders in the heart and through her that He is brought into the souls of men.The joy of the second Joyful Mystery is that of the Old Testament meeting the New, and of the young maiden greeting the old woman, as Mary burst into the most revolutionary song that was ever sung, the Magnificat, foretelling the day when the mighty would be unseated from their thrones, and the poor would be exalted.Yet at that moment, when Elizabeth is the first to call her the Mother of God, even before our Lord is born, Mary answers in her song that her greatness is due to Him, and that she was chosen because she was lowly. It may very well be that Mary was chosen to be the Mother of God after she had in her vow renounced the honor. Though greater than Elizabeth, she visits her in her hour of need. Only as we become little do we ever become great in the eyes of God.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen (The Fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary)


About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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19 Responses to Venerable Fulton Sheen: The Visitation.

  1. Roger says:

    I am a great fan of Fulton Sheen normally but the Visitation is a deep and profound mystery and there are greater depths here than I think are brought out.
    1/ We are talking of cousins. Heaven has been preparing a close family for the greatest events the world has ever witnessed. St james and St John were part of this family and here is yes Our Lady BUT also he who is to prepare the way of the Lord with the spirit Of Elias! St John the Baptist had the spirit of Elias.
    2/ Elias is claimed at the founder of Carmel, the order dedicated especially to Our Lady.
    3/ So St John the Baptist also has the Carmelite spirit of Consecration to Our Lady.
    4/ St Elizabeth is visited by Our Lady and Our Lord in her six month of pregnancy (24 weeks old?).
    5/ At the voice of Our lady St John leaps in her womb and she is filled with the Holy Ghost. St John exhibits cogniance in St Elizabeths womb. Sheen doesn’t say the same about Our Lord but its clear the infant Our Lord was cogniance.
    6/ This is remarkably that Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Ghost because it points to a special charism of sanctifying Grace given to St Elizabeth and St John.
    7/ Zachary is of the line of Aaron (Tribe of Levites) and Moses brother.
    8/ The coming of the Virgin whom would bear the Messiah was ingrained into the Mosaic Church.
    9/ The way to see the Visitation is the sign of Christianity the Woman And Her Child in this Case the Holy Child is in the Holiest of Holies the Tabernacle that is Our Lady’s womb.

    Anf the above isn’t even begining to touch on this most extrodinary of mystery’s


  2. Gertrude says:

    You are absolutely right Roger, but the fault is entirely mine. Like you, I too am a great admirer of Fulton Sheen, but the reflection I chose above was from Sheen’s ‘Fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary’.

    The Visitation deserved a fuller explanation than the one I chose, so thank you for the details you have supplied, each of which provides food for meditation.

    God Bless.


  3. Toad says:

    Interesting to read Gertrude’s comment on Roger’s comment, which, to me, was utterly incomprehensible.
    And I doubt if I’m alone in this. Maybe it doesn’t matter ultimately, but I can envisage people saying, “What’s all this got to do with real life, with Muslim extremist murderers and paedophile priests?”
    In America, there is an expression, “Inside Baseball.” Hard to explain. Maybe JH can.

    But then again, you can say the same about a great many things.
    And if one is ‘interested’ in Catholicism, then everything Catholic is interesting.


  4. Roger says:

    Abortion is permitted at 24 weeks!!! Which is when Our Lady visited St Elizabeth. St John The Baptist! The Baby at 24 weeks had cognisance in St Elizabeths womb!
    So there is a special relevancy to 20th Century especially with the Visitation of Our Lady at Fatima in 1917. Notice also Our Lady Of Mount Carmel because Lucy (seer of fatima) says the Rosary and the Brown Scapular are inseperable.

    Islam as Belloc points out is a heresy But it did not originate from within the Church. However Fatima (as Visited by Our Lady) is especially significant in Islam (I will let you research that).

    Our Lady brought not just Our Lord NO The Trinity came with her because God is One and God the Son (Made man) was present in her womb. She concieved by the Holy Ghost.

    St Elizabeth becomes filled with the Holy Ghost at the Visitation.

    I could go on and on and on because there can never be enough said or found in the Mystery of the Visitation!

    Toad I thank you for your comments because if this is incomprehensible it is because of a lack of Piety in you Life. I and surely others can see this because your instinct is towards human wisdom rather than spiritual. I simply point back to the Reformation and the loss of Grace that led to married priests loss of religious vocations. To live the Life of the Angels (Chastity, Obedience etc..) which is contrary to the ways of the Flesh we need Grace!

    As regards marytdom and persecution this has always been present. Before condemning the Muslims look at the murder of the 24 week ( 6 months when Our Lady Visited St Elzabeth) infants. We must forgive! We must forgive even be prepared to give our lives to follow Our Lord. Muslim murders? or poor sinners who do not know Christ?

    Paedophile priests? That is a very convenient escape from the reality of saintly priests. Was St Pio a Paedophile? Was Don Bosco a Paedophile? How easy to resort to the gutter insults and accusations! I thank Our Lord for St Mary Magdalene because Heaven rejoices over the poor sinner who converts. I can well imagine the crude tabloid articles about the company that Our Lord keeps! Seek Our Lord amongst the drug addicts, the poor , the prostitutes He came for poor sinners! Including misguided Muslims!

    Our Lord and Our Lady have little time for the worldly and much time for poor sinners!


  5. johnhenrycn says:

    In my country, there is no law against abortion. 6 weeks, 24 weeks, 36 weeks…no matter. Mine is the only ‘civilized’ country in the world where there is no law against abortion. The man largely responsible for that, the man whose efforts made that situation possible, a man who survived Auschwitz, a man who received the Order of Canada, died three days ago. RIP.


  6. johnhenrycn says:

    I think (but can’t say for sure) that my Dad, a member of the local hospital ‘therapeutic’ abortion committee back in the 60s, whose majority vote was required to sanction one, never voted in favour of one. And he was a mere agnostic. But, as I say above (^), there is no longer any law in our demented Dominion to prevent any abortion.


  7. johnhenrycn says:

    …the reason I don’t think he voted to approve abortions is because he used to scoff at the likelihood of a woman being impregnated by rape. Possible, but not likely, although often used as an excuse to obtain an abortion.


  8. johnhenrycn says:

    …or maybe he took seriously the Hippocratic Oath, which I saw him swear in ’56:
    “…and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.”

    I understand the Hippocratic Oath is no longer administered, or even offered, on Graduation Day in most medical schools. What about in Catholic medical schools, I wonder?


  9. johnhenrycn says:

    …funny, but ‘Doctor’ Morgentaler would’ve had to recite the Hippocratic Oath when he graduated from the Université de Montréal in 1953. Maybe he faked it? But as I say above, RIP.


  10. johnhenrycn says:

    Confession later this morning, when I will remember the times I’ve hurt people on this blog:

    I confess that I’ve been too enamoured of my own opinions, and scorned those of others.


  11. Toad says:

    “I confess that I’ve been too enamoured of my own opinions, and scorned those of others.“

    Toad will limit his confession to CP&S, but ditto.
    Including here above,
    The Visitation is a perfectly reasonable topic on a Catholic blog, and Roger is absolutely entitled to give us his thoughts on it.
    And I take his point regarding Christ and the poor and prostitutes, although poor prostitutes are very worldly indeed, I suggest: a bit too worldly for most people’s taste. But it takes all sorts, does it not?
    A lack of ‘piety’ ? Possibly but, as usual, it all depends what you mean by piety.
    ” A word means what I want them to mean. No more, no less.”
    (Plagiarised and paraphrased from H. Dumpty.)

    “Was St Pio a Paedophile? Was Don Bosco a Paedophile?” Was Hitler? Was Stalin? Was Napoleon? Belloc? Chesterton? Henry Vlll? Bishop Fulton Sheen? C.S. Lewis?
    That line of reasoning will get us nowhere, Roger.


  12. Gertrude says:

    I give up Toad. I’m sorry my comment was incomprehensible to you. Since yesterday celebrated the Visitation of Our Lady both the post and my comment related to that, and, since as you so rightly observe, this is a Roman Catholic blog, it would have been inappropriate to use these pages to opine on ‘Muslim extremist murderers and paedophile priests?” ‘, though you may recall I have written relating to the latter many times in the past.

    Please accept my apology for not being able to satisfy your curiosity relating to these other matters on this occasion, and may your God bless you anyway 😉


  13. Roger says:

    “..Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in everything. ..” Jaques at least found good in everything.

    Prostitutes(St Mary Magdelan) ; criminals even murderers(two of the three crosses on Calvary); Lepers; Samarians; Romans; Taxman, Our Lord has an especial love for the poor sinners no matter how hardbitten and downtrodden.
    Our Lord scandalises today as much as he scandalised the Proud and Upright 2000 years ago!
    Our Lord turned to these poor sinners and used harsh words to the scribes, pharisees etc.
    I can confidently say that your paedophiles, gays and drug addicts will always attract Our Lord.
    James 5:20
    “He must know that he who causeth a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.”
    Luke 15:7
    “I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance.”
    And of course the parable of the Prodigal Son.

    “Was St Pio a Paedophile? Was Don Bosco a Paedophile?” Was Hitler? Was Stalin? Was Napoleon? Belloc? Chesterton? Henry Vlll? Bishop Fulton Sheen? C.S. Lewis?
    That line of reasoning will get us nowhere, Roger. Well James 5:20 and Luke 15:7

    By the wayToad of course from Wind In The Willows is a sartorial writing by Graham against the Bank Of England (he had worked there) . The characters will be found in the Institution in His Day.

    You attract me Toad and my prayers but you need to return to Piety. Remember it is what comes out of a man that defiles, the mouth means of course both speech and writing! So Piety is the appropriate for what comes out is it not?
    Matthew 15:11
    “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man: but what cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”

    James letter is very good on the tongue (faculty of speech and of course writing)
    James 3
    [5] Even so the tongue is indeed a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how small a fire kindleth a great wood.
    [6] And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is placed among our members, which defileth the whole body, and inflameth the wheel of our nativity, being set on fire by hell.
    [7] For every nature of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of the rest, is tamed, and hath been tamed, by the nature of man:
    [8] But the tongue no man can tame, an unquiet evil, full of deadly poison.
    [9] By it we bless God and the Father: and by it we curse men, who are made after the likeness of God.
    [10] Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
    [11] Doth a fountain send forth, out of the same hole, sweet and bitter water?
    [12] Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear grapes; or the vine, figs? So neither can the salt water yield sweet.
    [13] Who is a wise man, and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew, by a good conversation, his work in the meekness of wisdom.
    [14] But if you have bitter zeal, and there be contentions in your hearts; glory not, and be not liars against the truth.
    [15] For this is not wisdom, descending from above: but earthly, sensual, devilish.
    [16] For where envying and contention is, there is inconstancy, and every evil work.
    [17] But the wisdom, that is from above, first indeed is chaste, then peaceable, modest, easy to be persuaded, consenting to the good, full of mercy and good fruits, without judging, without dissimulation.
    [18] And the fruit of justice is sown in peace, to them that make peace.


  14. Toad says:

    Well, now I’ve upset Gertrude. and I’m truly sorry.
    It wasn’t my intention, because I don’t like offending people unintentionally.
    It wasn’t her original posting that baffled me as she reasonably concluded, (thanks to lazy writing on my part) so much as Roger’s answer.
    But that is to my detriment, not either his, or hers.

    However, I can’t contain my curiosity and must ask – (shockingly bad ‘forum’ form though it undoubtedly is, and if no answer is forthcoming I will quite understand) – what Roger does for a living.
    He certainly has a distinctive way with words.

    Everyone knows what Toad does.


  15. kathleen says:

    Thank you for the great points you raise within this beautiful and profound mystery of The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
    Who could not see the unborn St. John the Baptist’s “leap” in his mother’s womb when Mary, carrying the Son of God within her own womb, arrived to greet her cousin Elizabeth, as an authentic witness to the wholly human qualities already innate in the child?

    Yes JH, the deceased abortionist, Dr. Morgentaler, is going to need a great deal of prayer, now that he is facing the God he so greatly mocked after a lifetime of murder of countless innocents!

    Another famous abortionist, Dr. Bernard Nathanson (author of the wonderful documentary “The Silent Scream” that we posted about here on CP&S), repented of his previous life as an abortionist. After seeing the true wicked nature of abortion, the taking away of human life, aka ‘murder’, he first became a prominent pro-life and anti-abortion advocate, and finally converted to Catholicism.

    “As Nathanson frequently observed, it was not that he became Catholic and then embraced the pro-life view because it was the Church’s teaching. If anything, it was the other way around. Having become persuaded of the truth of the pro-life position, he was drawn to Catholicism because of the Church’s witness—in the face of prejudice Nathanson himself had helped to whip up—to the inherent and equal value and dignity of human life in all stages and conditions.”
    (Bernard Nathanson, A Life Transformed by Truth)

    You can read about him here:


  16. Roger says:

    Kathleen the Joy of Dr Bernard Nathanson conversion is something wonderful inspiring. St Paul was instrumental in the slaying of St Stephen! We should see sinners through the eyes of Jesus and Mary. When the sinner is Visited and is converted Light floods their Soul where there was Darkness.
    I have prayed the Rosary since May 1975, the secret is to do so with reverence. Make the sign of the Cross with reverence!! Don’t rattle off Rosary’s like machine guns!! Nice and gentle rythm if necessary spread the Rosary over the Day BUT make an Act of Will to do this ever Day. Try to negate Self and watch the first thoughts that come into your Head (its a spiritual battle and Temptations come through these thoughts!). Notice often these thoughts are humorous!! Humour can often sink into the bawdy!
    Deny Self by Self Dscipline do this in little things. The Little Way is exactly how you should train yourself. Small little battles and avoid and run away from Big Temptations.


  17. Roger says:

    Think of Our Lady bringing the Trinity in Unity to visit St Elizabeth. Who had been barren in her old age.
    Barren figures many times in the Old Testament Samson and his barren Mother notice Samson was to deliver the Israelites from their enemies!
    Think of Isaac and barren Rebecca !
    Think of Abram and Sarai aand Isaac
    Look at Elias think of Ahab (like Herod) and Jezebel then think the beheading of St John The Baptist
    All of these apply to the Visitation.
    Consider that the whole Heavenly Host accompanied Our Lady because these are where God is!
    The Visitation starts to become richer and richer and deeper and deeper. St John The Baptist is the last of the Old Testament figures of which the greatest Patriach is Saint Joseph.
    The Visitation is also because of St Joseph because there it is impossible that Our Lady could have visited St Elizabeth without St Joseph’s permission!
    More and More material for meditation and it goes deeper and deeper!


  18. Toad says:

    “Notice often these thoughts are humorous!! Humour can often sink into the bawdy!”

    To paraphrase/plagiarise Woody Allen:
    “…but only if you are doing it right.”
    Let’s not be beastly to the bawdy, Roger.
    It has its place.
    The Bard himself was fond of a bit of bawd, you know.


  19. Roger says:

    Bawdy both the Bard and Chaucer . Woody Allen and ths humour comes an a huge price Toad.
    As men can be possesed so can Nations and the Spirit of the deadly Sin of Luxuria is the sickness that possesses the Soul of England.
    Henry VIII and the Deadly Sin of Luxuria.
    This Spiritual Sickness manifested itself with the intense Lust for Power, money, fame.
    The City of London the square Mile once had 100 church’s under the wing of St Paul (Apostle of the Gentiles). But these were replaced with The Old Lady Of Threadneedle Street (Toad lives there) and her siblings.
    Toad bawdy is simply a symptom of the Luxuria.
    All the talk of England Conversion is just like the Rich young man who approached our Lord.
    1 Timothy 6:9
    For they that will become rich, fall into temptation, and into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition.
    Apocalypse (Revelation) 3:17
    Because thou sayest: I am rich, and made wealthy, and have need of nothing: and knowest not, that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.

    James 3:11
    Doth a fountain send forth, out of the same hole, sweet and bitter water?

    Now Toad Piety is the sweet water but bawdy the bitter water.
    Bawdy is the “bitter water”

    Englands Great Spiritual sickness is Luxuria
    Matthew 19:23
    Then Jesus said to his disciples: Amen, I say to you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    So will it be sweet water or bitter water? In the Day of Visitation


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