Luke 1: 39-45
And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spoke out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
From The Gospel as Revealed to Me by Maria Valtorta (Chapter 21.5-6 22.10-13):
[…] Instead of Sarah, a fairly old woman appears at the top of the staircase on one side of the house. Her face is all wrinkles and her hair is very grey. It must have been very black at one time because her eyelashes and eyebrows are still very dark and also from the colour of her face one can tell that she was swarthy. Her present, very obvious pregnant condition, is a strange contradiction to her clear old age, notwithstanding her wide and loose dress. She looks down shading her eyes with her hand. As soon as she recognises Mary she raises her arms to the sky and utters an «Oh!» of joy and surprise. She then rushes, as fast as she can, towards Mary. Also Mary, who always moves very quietly, now runs, as swift as a little deer, and reaches the foot of the staircase at the same time as Elizabeth. And She embraces with great affection Her cousin who is crying with joy at seeing Her.
They remain embraced for an instant and then Elizabeth detaches herself exclaiming: «Ah!», an exclamation of mingled joy and sorrow and she places her hands on her enlarged abdomen. She bows her face and turns red and pale alternately. Mary and the servant hold out their hands to support her because she staggers, as if she were unwell.
But Elizabeth, after a moment of concentration, lifts her face which is now so bright that she looks much younger. She then looks at Mary with evident veneration as if she sees an angel, she bows in a deep salutation exclaiming: «You are blessed amongst all women! Blessed is the Fruit of Your womb! (She says exactly that: two clearly separate sentences). How did I deserve that the Mother of my Lord should come to me, Your servant? There, at the sound of Your voice, the child leaped out of joy in my womb and when I embraced You, the Spirit of the Lord whispered deepest truths to my heart. You are blessed, because You believed that it was possible for God even what does not appear possible to the human mind! You are blessed, because by Your faith You will accomplish the things the Lord predicted to You and the Prophets foretold for our times! You are blessed for the Salvation You have brought to the house of Jacob! You are blessed for the Holiness You have brought to my son, whom I feel leaping with joy, like a happy little kid, in my womb, because he feels free from the burden of guilt, and is called to be the Predecessor, sanctified before Redemption by the Holy One Who is growing within You!»
Mary, with two tears that run down like two pearls from Her sparkling eyes to Her smiling lips, with Her face raised to heaven and also Her arms raised up, in the position that Her Jesus will often take on, exclaims1: «My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord» and She continues the canticle as it has been handed down to us. At the end, at the verse: «He has come to the help of Israel his servant etc.», she puts Her hands on Her breast, kneels down stooping to the ground, adoring God.
The servant, who quite wisely had disappeared when he realised that Elizabeth was not really physically unwell, on the contrary, she was confiding her thoughts to Mary, is now coming back from the orchard with a solemn old man, whose hair and beard are completely white, and who greets Mary from a distance with great gestures and loud guttural sounds.
«Zacharias is arriving,» says Elizabeth, touching the shoulder of Mary, engrossed in prayer. «My Zacharias is dumb. God has punished him because he did not believe. I will tell You later. But now I hope that God will forgive him, because You have come. You, full of Grace.»
Mary rises and goes to meet Zacharias. She stoops to the ground in front of him, kissing the hem of his white robe that reaches down to the ground. It is a very wide robe, held tight to the waist by a large embroidered braid.
Zacharias welcomes Mary by gestures and they both move towards Elizabeth. They all enter a room on the ground floor. It is a wide room, tastefully arranged, where they make Mary sit down and they offer Her some new milk — there is still froth it — and some small pieces of bread.
Elizabeth gives some orders to the maid servant, who has appeared at last, her hands still covered with flour and her hair whiter than usual because of the flour dust on it. Perhaps she was baking bread. She gives orders also to the male servant, whose name I hear is Samuel, and tells him to take Mary’s trunk to a room which she indicates to him. She thus fulfils her duties of a landlady towards her guest.
In the meantime Mary is replying to the questions Zacharias is asking Her, writing them on a wax tablet with a style. From Her answers I understand that he is asking Her about Joseph and Her married life with him. I also understand that Zacharias has been denied all supernatural light about Mary’s state and Her condition of Mother of the Messiah. Elizabeth goes near her husband and laying her hand on his shoulder, in a loving attitude, as if she were caressing him chastely, she says to him: “Also Mary is a mother. Rejoice over Her happiness.” But she does not say anything else. She looks at Mary. And Mary looks at her but does not encourage her to say more and Elizabeth stays silent.
[…] Mary says:
«The first charity towards our neighbours is to be exerted towards our neighbours. This must not seem a pun to you. There is charity towards God and charity towards our neighbours. Charity towards our neighbours comprises also charity towards ourselves. But if we love ourselves more than our neighbours, we are no longer charitable, we are selfish. Also in lawful matters, we must be so holy as to always give priority to the needs of our neighbour. Be sure, My children, that God provides for the generous by means of His power and His bounty.
It was this certainty that led Me to Hebron to assist My relative in her condition. And to My eagerness for human help, God, giving beyond measure as He is wont, added an unforeseen gift of supernatural assistance. I went to give material help and God sanctified My good intention by sanctifying, through it, the fruit of Elizabeth’s womb, and by means of that sanctification, by which the Baptist was presanctified, He relieved the physical pain of the elderly daughter of Eve, who had conceived at an unusual age.
Elizabeth, a woman of fearless faith and confident submission to God’s will, deserved to understand the mystery that was enclosed within Me. The Spirit spoke to her through the bouncing in her womb. The Baptist pronounced his first speech, as the Announcer of the Word, through the veils and the diaphgrams of veins and flesh that separated and united him at the same time to his holy mother.
Neither did I deny My prerogative of being the Mother of the Lord, because she was worthy of the information and the Light had revealed Itself to her. To deny it would have meant denying God the praise that it was just should be given to Him, the praise that I bore in Me, and which, since I could not tell anyone, I repeated to the grass, to the flowers, to the stars, to the sun, to the singing birds and the patient sheep, to the warbling waters, to the golden light that kissed Me descending from Heaven. But it is sweeter to pray together rather than say our prayers by ourselves. I would have liked all the world to know of My destiny, not for My own sake, but that they might join Me in praising My Lord.
Prudence forbade me to reveal the truth to Zacharias. That would have implied going beyond the work of God. And if I was His Spouse and Mother, I was still His servant, and I could not take the liberty of substituting Him and exceeding Him in a decree, simply because He had loved Me beyond measure.
Elizabeth in her holiness understood, and was silent. Because a holy person is always submissive and humble.
The gift of God must increase our goodness. The more we receive from Him, the more we must give. Because the more we receive, the more obvious it is that He is with us and within us. And the more He is with us and within us, the more we must endeavour to reach His perfection.
That is why I worked for Elizabeth, postponing My own work. I was not afraid that I would not have time. God is the master of time. He provides for those who hope in Him, also in normal things. Selfishness does not speed matters up, it delays them. Charity does not delay, it speeds up. Always bear that in mind.
How much peace there was in Elizabeth’s house! If I had not been worried about Joseph and… and my Child, Who was the Redeemer of the world, I would have been happy. But the cross was already casting its shadow on My life and I heard the voices of the Prophets like a knell…
My name was Mary. Bitterness was always mingled with the sweetness that God poured into My heart. And it increased more and more until the death of My Son. But when God calls us, Mary, to the destiny of victims for His glory, oh! it is sweet to be ground like corn in the millstone, to convert our pain into a bread that can strengthen the weak and make them capable of reaching Heaven!
Now, it is enough. You are tired and happy. Rest now with My blessing.»