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Contemplation of the Visitation of Our Lady to Elizabeth

Mysteries of Our Lord from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in Week Two (M 263)

Preparatory Prayer: Ask God our Lord for grace that all my intentions, actions, and operations may be directed purely to the praise and service of His Divine Majesty. (SE 46)

Desire: I pray for the following grace ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Lectio: St. Luke 1, 39–56

Mary Visits Elizabeth.

During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah,

where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

The Canticle of Mary.

And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.

He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

The Visitation by Jakob and/or Hans Strüb Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

3 Points from St. Ignatius

First Point:

· When our Lady visited Elizabeth, St. John the Baptist in his mother’s womb knew the visit of our Lady. And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe in her womb leapt and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she lifted up her voice with a loud cry and said, ‘Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.’

Second Point:

· Our Lady chants the Magnificat, saying, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.”

Third Point:

· “Mary stayed with her about three months, and returned to her own home.”

Colloquy: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


The colloquy is made by speaking exactly as one friend speaks to another, or as a servant speaks to a master. At the end of the prayer, (one) should turn to the person to whom the prayer is directed, and in a few words ask for the virtues or graces which (one) needs most (SE 257).


With an Our Father




Copy content take from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius: based upon Studies in the Language of the Autograph by Louis J. Puh, S.J., Loyola Press 1951.

Artworks are in the public domain.

Prayer Period Notes From the Text

73. The purpose of these directions is to help one to go through the exercises better and find more readily what (one) desires.

Morning of the Exercise

73. 1. After retiring, just before falling asleep, for the space of a Hail Mary, I will think of the hour when I have to rise, and why I am rising, and briefly sum up the exercise I have to go through.

74. 2. When I wake up, I will not permit my thoughts to roam at random, but will turn my mind at once to the subject I am about to contemplate ..... .... As I dress, I will think over these thoughts or others in keeping with the subject matter of the meditation.

Before I begin the Prayer Period

75. 3. I will stand for the space of an Our Father, a step or two before the place where I am to meditate or contemplate, and with my mind raised on high, consider that God our Lord beholds me, etc. Then I will make an act of reverence or humility.

76. 4. I will enter upon the meditation, now kneeling, now prostrate upon the ground, now lying face upwards, now seated, now standing, always being intent on seeking what I desire. Hence, two things should be noted:

1. If I find what I desire while kneeling, I will not seek to change my position: if prostrate, I will observe the same direction, etc.

2. I will remain quietly meditating upon the point in which I have found what I desire, without any eagerness to go on till I have been satisfied.

After the Prayer Period

77. 5. After an exercise is finished, either sitting or walking, I will consider for the space of a quarter of an hour how I succeeded in the meditation or contemplation. If poorly, I will seek the cause of the failure; and after I have found it, I will be sorry, so that I may do better in the future. If I have succeeded, I will give thanks to God our Lord, and the next time try to follow the same method.

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