Frans Francken (1581-1642), “The Visitation,” St. Paul’s Church, Antwerp, Belgium (photo: Renata Sedmakova / Shutterstock)
ADVENT RETREAT: The Visitation of Elizabeth by Mary is a powerful prolife witness
By John Grondelski, EWTN News, December 5, 2022
John M. Grondelski (Ph.D., Fordham) is former associate dean of the School of Theology, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey. He is especially interested in moral theology and the thought of John Paul II. [Note: All views expressed in his National Catholic Register contributions are exclusively the author’s.]
As we continue to travel toward Christmas to Jesus through Mary — Ad Jesum per Mariam — the Church takes us on a slight detour this week. On Dec. 8, we observe the holy day of obligation, the Immaculate Conception.
Though we spent last week talking about the conception of Jesus — which we celebrate on the Solemnity of the Annunciation on March 25 — the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception affirms that Mary, though conceived of human parents (traditionally named Joachim and Anna) was free of sin and attachment to sin from the first moment of her existence, her conception. Sin and its drag effects had no effect on her life.
Last week, as we journeyed toward Christmas, we spoke about how it all began, when Mary conceived. The Gospels are relatively sparing about what they tell us about Jesus’ post-natal life. One thing we do know is that Mary went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth: hence, the Visitation. …