“During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah”
She traveled in haste, meaning she left very quickly after the Angel Gabriel revealed to her, what would be. The above photo is from the Church of the Visitation in Ein Kerem, Jerusalem. The site where our Blessed Mother recited her song of praise, the Magnificat. The site where St. John the Baptist leaped in St. Elizabeth’s womb. Where our Holy Mother stayed with her cousin to attend to her in her time of need, waiting on her, helping her, as she herself was carrying our Lord in her womb.
While we wait for the descent of the Holy Spirit to come upon us, may we, in haste, pull closer to our beautiful Mother, whom the Holy Spirit has already descended upon, and deeply reflect on her perfect humility, love and dedication to the Holy Trinity, in mind, spirit and body.
- 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 remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.
- Magnificat anima mea Dominum,
- Et exultavit spiritus meus in Deo salvatore meo,
- Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes,
- Quia fecit mihi magna, qui potens est: et sanctum nomen eius,
- Et misericordia eius in progenies et progenies timentibus eum.
- Fecit potentiam in brachio suo: dispersit superbos mente cordis sui;
- Deposuit potentes de sede et exaltavit humiles
- Esurientes implevit bonis: et divites dimisit inanes.
- Suscepit Israel puerum suum: recordatus misericordiae suae,
- Sicut locutus est ad patres nostros: Abraham et semini eius in saecula
When I think of our Holy Mother Mary, setting out alone on the journey to her cousin Elizabeth’s house, to help her in her time of need, I am awe struck at the Blessed Virgins own humility. Elizabeth’s home is about eighty miles or four or five days travel. Not only was the trip long and treacherous, but she herself was expecting. Setting out on a journey to help Elizabeth deliver John the Baptist, she would need supply’s not only for the journey to her home, but also for the time spent with her blessed cousin.
As I am praying the Rosary, I often ponder the “Unseen Army of God” that accompanied her on her journey. What she ate and how she kept warm and how tiring the trip must have been for her seeing as she was carrying with her the most precious cargo known to man. She never worried on the trip as her own pregnancy kept her spirits high and she knew God was with her. For she had been told. “Hail Mary full of grace, the LORD is with thee”.
Upon arriving at Elizabeth’s, she was greeted with jubilation and the sentiment was returned! Even after a grueling four to five day trip on a pack animal, with no water for bathing, but what she had packed or what God had given her on the road for this trip. The trip back home, our Holy Mother was three months further along in her pregnancy with Our Lord and that trip was just as hard if not harder due to the uncomfortable situations. But she did it anyway! Through her humility we can see how she loved not only her cousin, but God and all of mankind.
Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’
And Mary said:
‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit exults in God my saviour;
because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.
Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name,
and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.
He has shown the power of his arm,
he has routed the proud of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy
– according to the promise he made to our ancestors –
of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’
Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home.