Visitation of the Virgin Mary

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Giotto di Bondone : Visitation of the Virgin Mary, around 1305
The Visitation in Ulm Minster , Peter Hemmel von Andlau , around 1480

The Feast of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary ( Latin : Visitatio Mariae ) commemorates the visit of the Virgin Mary to her cousin Elisabeth . This event is commemorated by both the Roman Catholic and Old Catholic Churches as well as parts of the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Churches.

Bible text

The episode, which is only narrated by the evangelist Luke ( Lk 1.39-40  EU ) following the annunciation scene , is as follows: The pregnant Mary sets out to visit her relative Elizabeth (hence "Visitation") and share the joy with her. Elizabeth , herself six months pregnant with John the Baptist , greets her with the words: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your body. Who am I, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? ”Mary answers with her famous hymn of praise, the Magnificat ( Lk 1,46-55  EU ). Elizabeth's greeting also found its way into the wording of the Ave Maria and indirectly into other prayers such as the Angelus or the Rosary .


The original date of this festival is July 2nd. The festival was instituted for the Order in 1263 by Johannes Bonaventure , Minister General of the Franciscans . Due to the rapid growth of the Franciscan Order, it quickly spread throughout the Western Church.

Under Pope Pius V , the feast day on July 2nd was included in the general calendar of Rome . Since July 2nd was the day after the octave of the birth feast of John the Baptist , the liturgical reform as a result of the Second Vatican Council moved the feast in the general Roman calendar to May 31st (until then the feast of Mary Queen ). In this way, the feast of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary was also the end of the traditional month of Mary . In the regional calendar for the German-speaking area , it remained on July 2nd. The festival is also celebrated on July 2nd in the Old Catholic and Lutheran Churches.


  • Salesian Sisters, Order of the Visitation of Mary (Ordo Visitatio Mariae, OVM)


Church music

Often sung as an Advent choir piece, Übers Gebirg Maria goes by Johann Eccard is originally a celebratory chant for the Visitation of the Virgin Mary.

Johann Sebastian Bach composed two cantatas for this festival , 1723 Heart and Mouth and Tat and Life , BWV 147, with the well-known chorale arrangement Jesus remains my joy , and 1724 Meine Seel rhein den Herren , BWV 10. Another setting of the theme by Bach is his Latin Magnificat .

In the first half of the 19th century (perhaps also much earlier), the sacred folk song Maria durch ein 'Dornwald went probably in Eichsfeld , which connects the biblical story of Maria's journey to Elisabeth with the legendary motif of the thorn forest, which had died seven years and when Mary comes with the divine Child in her womb begins to blossom. The song became one of the most popular Advent songs of the 20th century.

Farmer rules

  • "If et op Maria Eendrooep räjend, become m'r vereerzig Dag jesäejend" - "If it rains on the Visitation of Mary, we will be blessed for forty days [with rain]" (from Krefeld ).
  • Maria Sief is the name for the Visitation of the Virgin Mary in the Cologne - Aachen area, because it should rain for another 40 days if it rains that day.

Web links

Commons : Visitation  - collection of images, videos and audio files
  • Luke EU The first chapter of the Gospel of Luke
  • song

Individual evidence

  1. Heinz Webers: Morje es vandag al jister! Krefeld 2015.
  2. Kölsch dictionary, accessed on July 3, 2016
  3. ^ The Aachen dialect: Idiotikon and a poetic appendix, accessed on July 3, 2016