Meeting with Elizabeth

Meeting with Elizabeth

The Annunciation. Visit to Elisabeth. Magnificat.

(The Gospel History, Section 5)

And Mary arose in these days and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah; and entered into the house of Zacharias and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost; 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. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come unto me? For behold, when the voice of thy salutation came into mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a fulfilment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord. And Mary said,

My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath looked upon the low estate of his handmaiden:
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 unto generations and generations
On them that fear him.
He hath shewed strength with his arm;
He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their heart.
He hath put down princes from their thrones,
And hath exalted them of low degree.
The hungry he hath filled with good things;
And the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath holpen Israel his servant,
That he might remember mercy
(As he spake unto our fathers)
Toward Abraham and his seed for ever.

And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned unto her house.

Meeting with Elizabeth

(The Saviour of the World, Vol I Book I Poem VIII)

The Visitation by “Master of the Life of the Virgin”

Much troubled was the Maid—full of high hope
And diffident fear: nor might she tell her mind
To kin or neighbour, least of all, to him,
Her betrothed husband: so, with bold resolve,
She would go forth to seek among the hills
Of southward Judah for Elizabeth:
The friendly seraph, sure, had meant that she
Might ease her bosom in her kinswoman’s arms!

Little she recked of distance, lonely ways,
Of days of travel, footsore and distressed,
And nights of little ease: Mary made slow way
To the hill-city, Hebron, where she dwelt
To reach whom all this travail. Entering the house
Of Zacharias, with sisterly salute,
Elizabeth she greeted.

At her word,

Tumult of welcome whelmèd the poor Maid,
Lonely and travel-worn: when Elizabeth heard
Her cousin’s salutation, in her womb
Up-leaped the babe: and, full of the Holy Ghost,
With a loud cry she lifted up her voice:—
“Thou blessèd amongst women, whence is this,
That the Mother of my Lord should come to me?
No sooner had the babe I bear thy voice
Heard, me saluting, than he leaped for joy!”
Then, fill’d with the Spirit of God, she blessed the Maid:—
“To her who could believe, shall be fulfilled
The whole of God’s high counsels.” And Mary said:—

“My soul rejoiceth in the Lord,
My spirit triumphs in His word;
He looked upon my low estate,
And, looking, made His handmaid great:
To God, my Saviour, be the praise,
Who lowliest men doth highest raise!

“Henceforth the generations shall
Name me for Blessèd, one and all;
He that is mighty hath to me
Done great things, low though my degree:
His mercy is for ever sure
While tribes and nations shall endure!

“Holy His name, and full of grace
To them that fear, and seek His face:
His arm with ready strength is found
To cast the high ones to the ground,
Scatter the proud, the meek upraise,
And nourish all their sheltered days:

“The rich go empty, and the poor,
Filled with good things, shall leave His door;
Princes from thrones He putteth down,
To raise those meek who be His own:
To His servant Israel brought He aid,
The promise He of old hath made;—

“That mercy should remembered be,
That Abraham his race should see
Countless as sand on the seashore,
Blessed by their God for evermore!
The promise that hath been of old
To Abraham and his sons foretold,
To kings and prophets dimly shown—
His secret—now, He maketh known:
The promised Seed is come, and I,
Poor Maid, by God, am set on high!”

St. Luke i. 39-56