"Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the childe leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed in a loud cry, "Blessed are among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. For as soon as I heard the sound of our greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed the there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord."

Luke 1: 39-45 (NRSV)

Even in her own confusion and uncertainty, the news of the pregnancy of Elizabeth sends Mary to do what she can to help. In the encounter between the two women, we catch a glimpse of love and support: a young woman coming to care for her elderly relative – the older woman recognising the dignity of the pregnancy of the younger one and affirming her in it.

The support of others is crucial in coping with trials and sickness. Companionship, as we come to terms with what is happening to us, can be a source of deep comfort, even if few words are spoken.

Pray for those who offer companionship, love and support to people facing serious illness or other trial.

     Mary, Lady of the Visitation,
     your companionship eased the last few months of Elizabeth’s pregnancy
     and she affirmed the greatness of your own.
     Pray for those who offer loving company to those who are suffering;
     may your kindness and care be a model for their own.

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