Today, as is my custom, I was praying through my prayer app and one of my subscriptions is to the collect of the day from the Anglican Church. It was titled “The visit of the blessed virgin Mary to Elizabeth”, telling of the Bible story that I mentioned in my last post.
It was an amazing moment as I realized that the litugical Church calendar celebrates this day on May 31st. Mary’s birthday!! The very story that was the catalyst for us naming her “Mary Elizabeth” is celebrated all over the world on Mary’s birthday.
I did the spiritual thing and googled this to make sure it was not “fake news” and sure enough May 31st has been Mary Elizabeth’s day for a very long time.
In the Biblical narrative Mary responds with what is known as Mary’s song or the Magnificat, a part of every Sunday service that I attended while I was a choirboy at Saint Peter’s Church in Brighton.
“And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”