May 31.  Visitation.  Bertha, who was a mom and a catechist began “Mary and her cousin Elizabeth both had unusual circumstances around their pregnancy and carried special children with a special mission in life.”  “But you always say all children are special,” Junior piped up. “And so they are, you especially, all six of you,” and his mom hugged him.  “Each of you is a special gift from God.  We always wanted a big family unlike most people today and at first, like Elizabeth we didn’t think that would happen, but once we had made the break-through by carefully studying my fertility cycle, there was no stopping us.”  “Yes mom, we know,” Jane said. “We do love you and dad and all these siblings, but next time you are pregnant please don’t come and parade at my school.  It’s embarrassing!” “And an example to the teenage girls and boys too I think!” her brother added. “But let’s get serious,” Bertha continued. “John became known as ‘The Baptist’ and was the forerunner of Jesus, the Messiah.”    

Elizabeth welcomed Mary and cried, “Behold when the voice of your greeting came to my ears the child in my womb leaped for joy.” Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoice in God my Saviour for he that is mighty has done great things for me..” Read Luke 1:39-56.   

Pope Francis:  The family is the setting in which a new life is not only born but also welcomed as a gift of God.  Each new life allows us to appreciate the utterly gratuitous dimension of love.  It is the beauty of being loved first: children are loved even before they arrive. This is the primacy of the love of God.   AL166.    Mary, Queen of every growing family, pray for us.