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"Mary set out in haste"

Mary, my mother, today is both one of your feasts and one of the feasts of Jesus: like the Purification, which is above all the Presentation of Jesus, the Visitation is one of your own sweetest feasts but, still more, one of the feasts of Our Lord since it is he who acts in you and through you.

The Visitation is «the love of Christ impelling you» (2Cor 5,14); it is Jesus who, no sooner has he entered within you, thirsts to make yet more saints and holy ones. In the Annunciation he made himself known and gave himself to you, he wonderfully sanctified you. But that was not enough for him: in his love for us he immediately wants to make himself known and give himself to others through you, he wants to make others holy, and so he has himself carried by you to the home of John the Baptist...

What the blessed Virgin will do in the Visitation is not visit her cousin so that they may console and edify each other with the story of God's marvellous deeds in them; still less is it a visit to provide material charity to help her cousin during the final months of her pregnancy and in childbirth. It is far more than that! She sets out to sanctify Saint John, to announce the good news..., not by her words but by silently carrying Jesus to him...

This is what religious men and women dedicated to contemplation do in mission countries... O my mother, make us faithful to our mission, our most beautiful mission, that we may faithfully bear our divine Jesus amongst these poor souls who are immersed in «the shadow of death» (Lk 1,79).

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Blessed Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916), hermit and missionary in the Sahara

Visitation by El Greco

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