Happy Feast of the Visitation of Mary. Today, marks the titular Feast of the Roman Province, of the Order of Mercy. It is particularly a beautiful feast for the friars as it embodies the quintessential Marian dimension to "visiting" the captive Christians. Truly, Our Blessed Mother -- the first monstrance, carrying the Body and Blood of Jesus -- visited her kinswoman, Elizabeth, who came to sure belief in the Redeemer and in the "Mother of my Lord."
Truly, the charism of the Order of Mercy is a above-all a charism of true caritas - that selfless love of our brethren to the point of death, if necessary. This same caritas impelled the Blessed Mother to go "in haste" to see her cousin, bringing the Gospel to her. By her very being, full of grace, she is the first evangelist and missionary, whose actions bespeak of an interiority like no other and yet an interiority to which we are called to emulate. Mary did not simply 'visit' her cousin in the common sense we know -- namely, stop in for a brief period of chatting and catching up on old times. Rather, she stayed for an extended period of time, working and giving of herself in service to one who was in need.
Mary, model of perfect charity, and VISITOR to the captive, pray for us!