The village known today as Ain Karem is located in the mountainous region of Jerusalem, eight kilometers from the old town.
It was here that Our Lady came to visit her cousin Elizabeth after receiving from the Angel the announcement that she would be the Savior's mother ....
Br. JOSÉ CLEMENTE MULLER, ofm
Guardian Sanctuary of St. John the Baptist
"Here, on these mountains, in these valleys, David retrieved from the Philistines the Ark of the Covenant that had been stolen; he left it in the mountains, back there, for three months. Likewise, Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months. David came singing with joy and this joy echoed in Mary's visit to Elizabeth, when Elizabeth heard Mary's voice and the child leapt in her womb ... "
The Feast began with mass presided by the Custos of the Holy Land, Father Francesco Patton, celebrated in the Church of the Visitation, a sanctuary that for centuries indicates the exact place where this biblical episode occurred!
In the celebration that commemorates the one who set out to serve God, some Franciscan young people received the Ministry of acolyte and lector.
"A service that requires a commitment to be performed with joy. Mary came joyfully to visit Elizabeth and we, must joyfully proclaim the Word of God! "
In his homily, Father Francesco Patton highlighted three aspects.
First, the path: Mary ran toward the mountainous region. When God calls us, we cannot take it easy!
The other aspect is the greeting. The greeting of Mary, a greeting of peace, that brings the full realization of God's designs in the history of humanity and the greeting of Elizabeth, which says "Blessed" to the one who believed in the realization of the Word of God.
The third point is exultation ... the Exultation of John the Baptist, the rejoicing of Elizabeth and especially the joy of Mary, who responds with the song of the Magnificat.
Fr. FRANCESCO PATTON, ofm
Custos of the Holy Land
"Mary teaches us that we must have the right attitude, because we often have a pessimistic inclination, conditioned by the news of unfortunate events; Mary teaches us to have an approach of faith and hope, so that, even in the most difficult contexts, we will be able to see God fulfilling His promise of salvation, God changing the world, God transforming the hearts of people.”
At the end of mass, the Franciscans and the faithful walked in procession to the Basilica crypt, where the reading of the Gospel of Mary's encounter with Elizabeth took place: "My soul magnifies the Lord, my Spirit exults in God My Savior!”