The Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary commemorates the three-month visit of Mary with her elderly cousin Elizabeth during Mary's pregnancy with Jesus and Elizabeth's with John the Baptist.
The story appears in the first chapter of Luke's Gospel (1:39-56). It recounts Elizabeth's Spirit-filled greeting, acknowledging Mary as "the mother of my Lord," and Mary's beautiful response, the Magnificat, which begins, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord." Introduced by the Franciscans in 1263, the feast became universal in the 16th century.
Elizabeth's visitation to cousin Mary has been depicted by many artists over the centuries. An especially tender "Visitation," painted by Mariotto Albertinelli and considered his masterpiece, is on display at the Uffizi in Florence, Italy.
The feast is celebrated on May 31
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