The Visitation: Model for the New Evangelization

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth. In this great story, we find a model for evangelization: fresh from her encounter with God, Mary swings into action (she went “in haste”), joyfully carrying (literally) the Word of God to others and being of service to someone in need.

Mary’s visit to Elizabeth was not to brag about her new-found status as the Mother of the Savior. Mary did not go there to make an announcement and then turn around and go home. She no doubt went to be of service to her older cousin who was entering her third trimester and in need of support: Mary was performing a Corporal Work of Mercy, an essential element in evangelization.

When Elizabeth draws attention to Mary’s blessed condition, Mary deflects the attention to God.

In this story, we see a model for the New Evangelization:

  1. Open yourself to God’s call
  2. Internalize God’s Word
  3. Swing into action, joyfully bringing God’s mercy to those in need (beginning with those in your own family and community)
  4. Give the glory to God

Have a great weekend!

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at


  1. I really like your summary of the lessons we can draw from the Visitation. Thanks, Joe!

    I sometimes find #4 a challenge. I feel it’s important to *let* people thank you/me, to complete the cycle of blessing, so to speak. And I don’t want to make someone feel that they didn’t do a good-enough or “holy”-enough job of giving thanks to God’s instrument. What have you found works well here?

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