In the place that marks the meeting between the Madonna and her cousin Elizabeth, pilgrims participate in the Holy Mass presided over by the Custos of the Holy Land.
About ten kilometers from the Old City of Jerusalem, there is Ain Karem ….
It is in this mountainous region where Our Lady visited her cousin St. Elizabeth and exulted with joy! Retracing this path, just on the day when the Church celebrates this meeting, is exciting!
Community of Saint John XXIII
“First of all it is important to me because I am a woman of faith. Mary was a woman of faith and the meeting with her relative, her cousin Elizabeth represents for me the meeting between two women of hope.Women of hope who kept this great treasure in their hearts: Mary from her side the Savior of the world while Elizabeth, John, who was the precursor of Jesus. I believe that today it is very important for us to live our faith with joy, strength and witness to it at every moment of our life.
“This is a very enchanting place, a holy place, calm, which transmits peace … but it is also an important place for Christians because it marks the meeting between the New Testament with Jesus and the Old Testament with the prophet John the Baptist . It is very important, especially in the Gospel, because this is the place where the Virgin Mary proclaimed the Magnificat!”
In the Church of the Visitation, Fr Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land, presided at Mass and, in the homily, he highlighted three words: joy, love and faith.
Br Francesco Patton, OFM
Custos of the Holy Land
“Here in Ain Karem Mary rejoices when she sings the Magnificat and recognizes the great work of God in human history but also her personal history. This is a great teaching for us. Often we are a bit pessimistic and we only get the negative side of things. Mary who lived in a more difficult time than us is able to see the work and the action of God, she feels His vicinity, carries it within herself and therefore rejoices. Then we see Charity, which means gratuitous love, a personal love, an oblative love that knows how to give oneself and a love that is also very concrete (…) And lastly faith that is fundamental in the experience of Mary and in that of each one of us “.
After the mass, all those present went in procession to the cave where, according to tradition, Elisabetta and Mary met!
In the Shrine, everyone had the opportunity to pray like her: ” My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior , because he has looked at the humility of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed. “