The scene is beautiful: As Mary greets her cousin, the baby, John the Baptist, leaps in Elizabeth’s womb, and Elizabeth cries out in the words that make up the second sentence of the Hail Mary: “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!” Mary, overflowing with joy herself, responds with the Magnificat, a wondrous biblical hymn extolling the greatness of God and thanking Him for the favor He has shown her.

The Magnificat
My soul doth magnify the Lord:
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour
Because He hath regarded the lowliness of His handmaid: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He that is mighty hath done great things to me: and holy is His Name.
And His mercy is from generation until generations, to them that fear Him.
He hath showed might with His arm: He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the lowly.
He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy:
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.

Picture above is Statue of the Visitation in Ein Kerem, Israel, at Church of the Visitation.

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