The Joyful Mysteries: The Visitation and Stirring Up Life

Visitation - Detail from "The Fifteen Mysteries and the Virgin of the Rosary" by Netherlandish Painter (possibly Goswijn van der Weyden, active by 1491, died after 1538), ca. 1515–20, public domain via The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary lead us up to and through the birth of Jesus Christ and his childhood. For that reason, they make for wonderful reflections during the seasons of Advent and Christmas. With that in mind, join me as we reflect on the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. Today, we look at the Second Joyful Mystery: The Visitation.

Mary had just received the biggest news of her life: she was with child (mysteriously, since she had no relations with a man), and this child was destined to be the long-awaited Messiah. No one would blame her if she went into seclusion, wrapped up in herself to deal with this profound and overwhelmingly stressful reality.

But what did Mary do?

She set her own needs aside and immediately set off on a strenuous journey to care for her older cousin, Elizabeth, who was dealing with a surprising pregnancy of her own. Mary went to Elizabeth literally carrying a message of joy and hope and, in doing so, stirred up life within Elizabeth, who was no doubt deeply concerned about her own condition and circumstances.

Mary exemplified the selfless love that her son, Jesus, would embody and bring to perfection when he lay down his life for all of us on the Cross.

Each of us is called to recognize the life of Christ within us and to set our own needs aside to bring a message of joy and hope to those who are troubled, overwhelmed, or in despair. Advent is a time for us to spring into action as Mary did and to embody an uplifting message of God’s mercy that the world so desperately needs to hear and receive.

May our efforts stir up life within those we encounter!

Image: Detail from “The Fifteen Mysteries and the Virgin of the Rosary” by Netherlandish Painter (possibly Goswijn van der Weyden, active by 1491, died after 1538), ca. 1515–20, public domain via The Metropolitan Museum of Art.


With the hands-on Praying the Rosary kit, children use manipulatives to learn to pray the Rosary.

About Joe Paprocki 2646 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 www.catechistsjourney.com.

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