Today’s Reading & The Visitation by Albertenelli

Today’s Reading & The Visitation by Albertenelli

An online friend reminded me that today’s Gospel reading is the story of The Visitation, where John the Baptist leaps in St. Elizabeth’s womb at Mary’s greeting.

I have a special connection with St. Elizabeth, as she is my Confirmation Saint. Little did I know that, at the tender age of 14, I hadn’t really chosen St. Elizabeth, but that she had chosen me. I had honestly wondered, over the years, why I had actually chosen St. Elizabeth. Singing the customized versions of the Liturgy of the Saints for the RCIA Candidates at the Easter Vigil over the years and hearing all the wonderful saints’ names actually filled me with some regret that I didn’t really put much thought into selecting my own Confirmation Saint. Elizabeth is my Aunt’s name, and she was my Confirmation Sponsor, so I just picked “Elizabeth” for my Saint. Frankly, in my apathy and ignorance, I didn’t really want to do the research involved in selecting a Confirmation Saint, nor did I think it important. Silly me – God was still at work.

It wasn’t until this year, while contemplating how I could uplift and encourage women and further the pro-life message, that it finally started to dawn on me. I first saw the masterpiece “The Visitation” by Italian painter Albertenelli, below, at the local Catholic bookstore. The painting, with its sheer emotion and beauty, stopped me cold in my tracks and actually moved me to tears. Right there in the bookstore. Finally, I thought. This is what a loving relationship between sisters in Christ should look like! It was in no small part because of this painting that I was motivated to coordinate the  pro-life Tea  at church this past April.

In addition, I don’t think it is a fluke that my son was born on the Feast of St. John the Baptist. He declares Christ’s love and saving power to me in his own way each and every day. And my Confirmation Saint is St. John the Baptist’s Mom. God is so awesome. In case you needed to be reminded. 🙂

So,  St. Elizabeth really *is* my Confirmation Saint, even if it took me 20 years to figure out why. And it is with her guidance that I see how the Holy Spirit is at work in my life.

God works in mysterious ways … through the brush strokes of a long-passed master artist, through the underdeveloped selections of an ignorant teen-aged girl, and through  Sts. John & Elizabeth, the first pro-life heralds (John, by action & St. Elizabeth, by proclamation). Deo Gratias!

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3 thoughts on “Today’s Reading & The Visitation by Albertenelli

  1. Enjoyed the post! I had a similar experience, but not with my Confirmation name (which is also Elizabeth, but for the Thuringian princess–I was confirmed at age 9). Instead, when I made my first vows, my superiors assigned me the name “Joan” in honor of a dearly beloved sister who had died during my novitiate. Since the original Sister Joan Mary had taken St. John the Evangelist as her name saint, I followed her example. For twenty-five years. And then a flash of insight told me that the “second” twenty-five years, should God grant me that many, would be under the patronage of St. John the Baptist. Not one who followed the Lord, but one who went before the Lord to prepare his way.
    It seems to actually be rather common that the saints themselves choose us!

    1. Wow – thank you, Sr. Anne Joan, for the beautiful insight. It is so awesome to experience our wonderful “Communion of Saints” in such a palpable way. Thank God for this provision and unseen support! Blessings upon you and your ministry, as well as your community.

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