Day 4 - Mary, blessed among women

(December 3)

Introductory Prayer

Lord, our God,
Savior of the human family,
you brought salvation and joy 
to the house of Elizabeth
through the visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the Ark of the new Covenant.

We ask that, in obedience
to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
we too may bring Christ to others
and magnify your name by the praise of our lips
and the holiness of our lives.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Reading: Lk 1:39-44

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy."


"Immediately after the narration of the Annunciation, the evangelist Luke guides us in the footsteps of the Virgin of Nazareth towards ‘a city of Judah' (Lk 1:39). According to scholars, this city would be the modern Ain Karim, situated in the mountains, not far from Jerusalem. Mary arrived there ‘in haste,' to visit Elizabeth her kinswoman. . . .

"Moved by charity, therefore, Mary goes to the house of her kinswoman. When Mary enters, Elizabeth replies to her greeting and feels the child leap in her womb, and, being ‘filled with the Holy Spirit,' she greets Mary with a loud cry: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!' Elizabeth's exclamation or acclamation was subsequently to become part of the Hail Mary, as a continuation of the angel's greeting, thus becoming one of the Church's most frequently used prayers. But still more significant are the words of Elizabeth in the question that follows: ‘And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?' (Lk 1:43). Elizabeth bears witness to Mary: she recognizes and proclaims that before her stands the mother of the Lord, the mother of the Messiah. The son whom Elizabeth is carrying in her womb also shares in this witness: ‘The babe in my womb leaped for joy' (Lk 1:44). This child is the future John the Baptist, who at the Jordan will point out Jesus as the Messiah." 41

The Holy Rosary may be prayed.

Concluding Prayer

Lord God,
you prepared a worthy dwelling place for your
Son by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin;
grant, we pray, that, as you preserved her from all stain of sin
in your foreknowledge of his death,
so we, by her intercession,
may come to you with pure hearts.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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