The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Thoughts from Fr. Willy Doyle

From Remembering Fr William Doyle SJ

visitationTo Mary’s feet in heaven today the angels come in never-ending stream to lay before her the offerings of her loving earthly children. To their Queen they bear fair wreaths of lovely roses. In many a lonely cottage or amid the bustle of the great city have these crowns been formed. Little ones and old folk, the pious nun and holy priest, the sinner too and many a wandering soul, have added to the glory of the Queen of Heaven; and from every corner of this earth to-day has risen the joyous praise of her who is Queen of the Holy Rosary. On earth she was the lowly handmaid of the Lord, and now all generations proclaim the greatness of her name.

COMMENT: Today is the feast of the Visitation in which we commemorate the visit of Mary to Elizabeth. In this scene we find Mary being an instrument of grace, bringing Jesus to Elizabeth and the unborn John the Baptist. We see Mary’s humility and concern for others in her travel in “haste” to assist Elizabeth. And it is from today’s feast that we derive some of the most beautiful Marian prayers.

Fr Doyle tells us that from all around the world prayers rise to Mary in her honour. There is a beautiful tradition in Rome – the Pope leads a rosary procession around the Vatican Gardens with members of the public on the evening of this feast every year.

We shall conclude today with these words from St Bernard, Doctor of the Church.

O Mary,

St. Bernard

St. Bernard

how great is your humility when you hasten to serve others. If it is true that he who humbles himself will be exalted, who will be more exalted than you who have humbled yourself so much?

When Elizabeth caught sight of you she was astonished and exclaimed: “Whence is this to me that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?” But I am still more astonished to see that you, as well as your Son, came not to be served, but to serve…Humility did not make you fainthearted, magnanimity did not make you proud, but these two virtues were perfectly combined in you! O Mary, you cannot give me a share in your great privileges as Mother of God; these belong to you alone! But you want me to share in your virtues, giving me examples of them in yourself. If, then, sincere humility, magnanimous faith, and delicate sympathetic charity are lacking in me, how can I excuse myself? O Mary, O Mother of mercy, you who are full of grace, nourish us, your poor little ones, with your virtues!

 

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3 Responses to The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Thoughts from Fr. Willy Doyle

  1. ginnyfree says:

    Yeah, I was a little sad this feast fell on a Sunday and got forgotten. Thanks for the article. God bless. Ginnyfree.

  2. ginnyfree says:

    Oh visit me dear Mother this day and all my days. Come to my home and my heart and stir me to be as quick and sure of my charities as you were of yours. God bless everyone. Ginnyfree.

  3. For many people there is surely great joy in knowing that behind and beyond the thoughts of Father Doyle and St. Bernard – no matter how those thoughts are expressed – there is a tremendous reality, one that we cannot begin to comprehend or appreciate, not, at least, until we encounter that reality directly in another life.

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