The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary| SS. Processus and Martinian of Rome, Martyrs| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
This is a fairly late feast, going back only to the 13th or 14th century. It was established widely throughout the Church to pray for unity. The present date of celebration was set in 1969 in order to follow the Annunciation of the Lord (March 25) and precede the Nativity of John the Baptist (June 24).
Like most feasts of Mary, it is closely connected with Jesus and his saving work. The more visible actors in the visitation drama (see Luke 1:39-45) are Mary and Elizabeth. However, Jesus and John the Baptist steal the scene in a hidden way. Jesus makes John leap with joy—the joy of messianic salvation. Elizabeth, in turn, is filled with the Holy Spirit and addresses words of praise to Mary—words that echo down through the ages.
It is helpful to recall that we do not have a journalist’s account of this meeting. Rather, Luke, speaking for the Church, gives a prayerful poet’s rendition of the scene. Elizabeth’s praise of Mary as “the mother of my Lord” can be viewed as the earliest Church’s devotion to Mary. As with all authentic devotion to Mary, Elizabeth’s (the Church’s) words first praise God for what God has done to Mary. Only secondly does she praise Mary for trusting God’s words.
Then comes the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). Here Mary herself (like the Church) traces all her greatness to God.
One of the invocations in Mary’s litany is “Ark of the Covenant.” Like the Ark of the Covenant of old, Mary brings God’s presence into the lives of other people. As David danced before the Ark, John the Baptist leaps for joy. As the Ark helped to unite the 12 tribes of Israel by being placed in David’s capital, so Mary has the power to unite all Christians in her Son. At times, devotion to Mary may have occasioned some divisiveness, but we can hope that authentic devotion will lead all to Christ and therefore to one another.
“Moved by charity, therefore, Mary goes to the house of her kinswoman.... While every word of Elizabeth’s is filled with meaning, her final words would seem to have a fundamental importance: ‘And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her from the Lord’ (Luke 1:45). These words can be linked with the title ‘full of grace’ of the angel’s greeting. Both of these texts reveal an essential Mariological content, namely the truth about Mary, who has become really present in the mystery of Christ precisely because she ‘has believed.’ The fullness of grace announced by the angel means the gift of God himself. Mary’s faith, proclaimed by Elizabeth at the visitation, indicates how the Virgin of Nazareth responded to this gift” (Blessed John Paul II,The Mother of the Redeemer, 12).
Also today in the Latin Calendar we commemorate SS Processus and Martinian, Martyrs.
The Holy Martyrs Processus and Martinian were pagans and they served as guards at the Mamertine prison in Rome.
State criminals were held in this prison, among them some Christians. Watching the Christian prisoners and listening to their preaching, Processus and Martinian gradually came to the knowledge of the Savior. When the holy Apostle Peter was locked up at the Mamertine prison, Processus and Martinian came to believe in Christ. They accepted holy Baptism from the apostle and released him from prison.
The jailer Paulinus learned about this, and he demanded that Saints Processus and Martinian renounce Christ. But they fearlessly confessed Christ, and they spat at the golden statue of Jupiter. Paulinus ordered that they be slapped on the face, and then seeing the resolute stance of the holy martyrs, he subjected them to torture. The martyrs were beaten with iron rods, scorched with fire, and finally, thrown into prison.
A certain illustrious and pious woman by the name of Lucina visited them in prison and gave them help and encouragement. The torturer Paulinus was soon punished by God. He fell blind and died three days later. The son of Paulinus went to the city ruler demanding that the martyrs be put to death. Saints Processus and Martinian were beheaded by the sword (+ ca. 67).
Lucina buried the bodies of the martyrs. Today their tomb is in the south transept of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Using Time Wisely:
We fritter away time every day on silly internet games, trashy novels, insipid television shows, and the like. And while we all need to relax, we must be jealous of the hours we have been given on earth to do God's work.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
It is better to do the divine will on earth than to enjoy paradise.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Two: 112-188
We now enter into Notebook Two of the six notebooks that make up the Diary of Saint Faustina. The reason for having more than one notebook is simply that when one notebook was filled by Saint Faustina she began with a new one. Therefore, there is nothing particularly different from one notebook to the other. However, for the purpose of this current book of daily reflections, each reflection will begin to be lengthened, starting here with Notebook Two, so as to help you, the reader, enter more deeply into the beautiful mysteries of faith and our shared spiritual life that have been revealed in these writings of Saint Faustina.
You are invited once again to take one reflection each day and to ponder it throughout the day. Try to pray the prayer for each reflection each morning, noon and evening. Allow each mystery reflected upon to become a source of wisdom and understanding for you.
Reflection 183: Attentiveness to the Value of Suffering
When we suffer, we look for a way out. We seek relief. But from Heaven, we will be able to look back and see the immense power of freely chosen and embraced suffering. It’s not that suffering is good in and of itself; rather, it’s that suffering has been redeemed and endowed with a spiritual power by God as a result of the sufferings of Christ. Therefore, if you trust in the Lord, let Him reveal to you, here and now, the great value of your suffering freely embraced. By embracing every hardship that comes your way, you will be making an offering to God that can only be understood by grace. This will not make sense to the world, but it will become a powerful weapon of Mercy through which the Lord will do great things to you and through you, He will flood the world with His grace. Do not wait until Heaven to become aware of this sacred gift of the redemption of your inner suffering offered in confident prayer to God (See Diary #963).
Are you aware of the power of your suffering when you freely unite it to the sufferings of Christ? Does this make sense to you? This realization is only possible by grace and is only embraced by that same grace. Reflect, today, upon what you do suffer interiorly and do not shy away from it. Face it, embrace it and love it. For in that holy embrace, God will work wondrously in and through your life.
Lord, make me attentive to the value of all I suffer in my soul. Help me to see this as a gift of Your Divine Mercy. I recognize the fact that I do not recognize the power in this holy gift. Give me Your eyes to see my suffering as You see it, and Your Will to embrace it with a holy embrace. I make this offering to You, this day, dear Lord. Jesus, I trust in You.