“And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?” (NRSV, Luke 1:43)
The Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a summer festival and it shares in all the beauty which we associate with summer – the bright and multi-coloured flowers, the leafy trees and the singing birds.
And as joy is the song of Nature now, so too is joy the song of the Visitation. For this Festival is the birthday of the Magnificat, the first Christian song, whose note like that of most Christian songs, is joy. “My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour” (King James Bible, Luke 1:46,47, our emphasis).
Only a short time before Mary had been told by the Archangel Gabriel that at last the ancient prophecy of Isaiah was to be fulfilled, “…a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” – God with us (King James Bible, Isaiah 7:14). As Gabriel said, “…the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God” (NRSV, Luke 1:35).