Friday, 14 May 2010

The Visitation

This image of the Visitation is found in the Lady Chapel; the event is celebrated on 31st May each year. After having heard that she was to be the Mother of Emmanuel, God-with-us, Mary hears that her cousin is also with child: since nothing is impossible to God. Mary hurries to visit Elizabth; Elizabeth's son (John the Baptist) would prepare the way for Mary's son. On this first meeting, the baby in Elizabeth's womb and recognises the presence of the hidden God, as the poem below describes it, and jumps for joy. From this meeting of Mary and Elizabeth we have recorded in Sacred Scripture Mary's great hymn of joy and thbnaksgiving the Magnificat.


There is a wall of flesh before the eyes

Of John, who yet perceives and hails his King.

It is Our Lady’s painful bliss to bring

Before mankind the Glory of the skies.

Her cousin feels her womb’s sweet burden rise

And leap with joy, and she comes forth to sing,

With trembling mouth, her words of welcoming.

She knows her hidden God, and prophesies

Saint John, pray for us, weary souls that tarry

Where life is withered by sin’s deadly breath.

Pray for us, whom the dogs of Satan harry,

Saint John, Saint Anne, and Saint Elizabeth.

And, Mother Mary, give us Christ to carry

Within our hearts, that we may conquer death.

By American poet Joyce Kilmer (1886–1918)