This is day 19 of our 54 day spiritual crusade. Please join us in prayer for the protection of unborn children in Ireland and in your own country. This is the first day of the third of our six novenas of rosaries and fasting.
Intention: to obtain from God, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that Ireland may be entirely delivered from the evil of abortion and that the bishops may be granted the grace to preach the gospel fearlessly and to defend unborn children with all their strength.
Prayer: Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary
A reflection on the Second Joyful Mystery – The Visitation
“All generations have called her blessed. The Angel began the salutation; he said, ‘Hail, thou that art highly favoured; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.’ Again he said, ‘Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God; and, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest.’ Her cousin Elizabeth was the next to greet her with her appropriate title. Though she was filled with the Holy Ghost at the time she spake, yet, far from thinking herself by such a gift equalled to Mary, she was thereby moved to use the lowlier and more reverent language. ‘She spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?’ Then she repeated, ‘Blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.’ Then it was that Mary gave utterance to her feelings in the Hymn [of the Magnificat]… In her was now to be fulfilled that promise which the world had been looking out for during thousands of years. The Seed of the woman, announced to guilty Eve, after long delay, was at length appearing upon earth, and was to be born of her. In her the destinies of the world were to be reversed, and the serpent’s head bruised. On her was bestowed the greatest honour ever put upon any individual of our fallen race. God was taking upon Him her flesh, and humbling Himself to be called her offspring;—such is the deep mystery! She of course would feel her own inexpressible unworthiness; and again, her humble lot, her ignorance, her weakness in the eyes of the world. And she had moreover… that purity and innocence of heart, that bright vision of faith, that confiding trust in her God, which raised all these feelings to an intensity which we, ordinary mortals, cannot understand. We cannot understand them; we repeat her hymn day after day,—yet consider for an instant in how different a mode we say it from that in which she at first uttered it. We even hurry it over, and do not think of the meaning of those words which came from the most highly favoured, awfully gifted of the children of men. ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For He hath regarded the low estate of His hand-maiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His name. And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation.'”
– Bl. John Henry Newman, “The Reverence Due to the Virgin Mary”, Plain and Parochial Sermons, (Vol II).