Today in the year of Our Lord 2016, is the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Petronilla
The Visitation is the visit of Mary with Elizabeth as recorded in the Gospel of Luke, Luke 1:39–56 this is celebrated on 31 May in the West (2 July in calendars of the 1263–1969 period, and in the modern regional calendar of Germany) and 30 March among Eastern Christians.
Mary visits her relative Elizabeth; they are both pregnant. Mary is pregnant with Jesus and Elizabeth is pregnant with John the Baptist. Mary left Nazareth immediately after the Annunciation and went “into the hill country…into a city of Judah” (Luke 1:39) to attend to her cousin Elizabeth. There are several possibilities as to exactly which city this was, including Hebron, south of Jerusalem, and Ein Karem. The journey from Nazareth to Hebron is about 130km or 80 miles in a direct line, probably up to half as far again by road, depending on the route taken. Elizabeth was in the sixth month before Mary came (Luke 1:36). Mary stayed three months, and most scholars hold she stayed for the birth of John. Given the prevailing cultural traditions and needs for security etc., it is probable that Joseph accompanied Mary to Judah then returned to Nazareth, and came again after three months to take his wife home. The apparition of the angel, mentioned in Matthew 1:19-25, may have taken place then to end the tormenting doubts of Joseph regarding Mary’s maternity
In the Gospel of Luke, the author’s accounts of the Annunciation and Visitation are constructed using eight points of literary parallelism to compare Mary to the Ark of the Covenant.
It is held that the purpose of this visit was to bring divine grace to both Elizabeth and her unborn child. Even though he was still in his mother’s womb, John became aware of the presence of Christ, and leapt for joy as he was cleansed from original sin and filled with divine grace. Elizabeth also responded and recognised the presence of Jesus, thus Mary exercised her function as mediatrix between God and man for the first time.
In the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the Visitation is the second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary.
The theme of the Feast of the Visitation centers on Mary responding to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to set out on a mission of charity.
This feast is of medieval origin. It was kept by the Order of Friars Minor before 1263 when Saint Bonaventure recommended it and the Franciscan chapter adopted it, and the Franciscan Breviary spread it to many churches. In 1389 Pope Urban VI, hoping thereby to obtain an end to the Great Western Schism, inserted it in the Roman Calendar, for celebration on 2 July. In the Tridentine Calendar, it was a Double. When that Missal of Saint Pope Pius V was replaced by that of Pope Clement VIII in 1604, the Visitation became a Double of the Second Class. It remained so until Pope John XXIII reclassified it as a Second-Class Feast in 1962. It continued to be assigned to 2 July, the day after the end of the octave following the feast of the birth of John the Baptist, who was still in his mother’s womb at the time of the Visitation.
The 1969 revision of the calendar moved it to 31 May, “between the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord (25 March) and that of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (24 June), so that it would harmonize better with the Gospel story.”
The Catholic Church in Germany (together with the Lutheran) has, with the consent of the Holy See, kept the 2 July date as a national variation of the General Roman Calendar. July 2 is observed also by Traditionalist Catholics who use a pre-1970 calendar, and by Anglicans who use the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (in some Anglican traditions it is merely a commemoration rather than a feast day).
Petronilla is traditionally identified as the daughter of Saint Peter, though this may stem simply from the similarity of names. It is believed she may have been a convert of the saint (and thus a “spiritual daughter”), or a follower or servant. It is said that Saint Peter cured her of palsy.
Stories associated with her include those that relate that she was so beautiful that Saint Peter had locked her up in a tower to keep her from eligible men; that a pagan king named Flaccus, wishing to marry her, led Petronilla to go on a hunger strike, from which she died.
In an effort to include all Catholics, those who go to the Latin Mass and those who attend the Vernacular, you may notice some Saints not mentioned in your Missal or Liturgical Calendar – this is because we are including all Saints from both Calendars. Because of this some Feast days will be repeated throughout the year.
Also today in Catholic History
Is there a noteworthy historical date that isn’t mentioned, leave a comment and let us know.
Mass Readings according to the Pope John XXIII edition of the Roman Missal in 1962 through the Douay-Rheims Bible
(Except the Responsorial Psalm and Alleluia)
According to the USCCB -The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the ICBC The Irish Conference of Catholic Bishops and the CBCEW The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
Reading 1 : Zephaniah 3 : 14 – 18A
 Give praise, O daughter of Sion: shout, O Israel: be glad, and rejoice with all thy heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.  The Lord hath taken away thy judgment, he hath turned away thy enemies: the king of Israel the Lord is in the midst of thee, thou shalt fear evil no more.
 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Fear not: to Sion: Let not thy hands be weakened. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty, he will save: he will rejoice over thee with gladness, he will be silent in his love, he will be joyful over thee in praise.  The triflers that were departed from the law, I will gather together, because they were of thee: that thou mayest no more suffer reproach for them.
Reading 1 : Romans 12 : 9 – 16
 In carefulness not slothful. In spirit fervent. Serving the Lord.  Rejoicing in hope. Patient in tribulation. Instant in prayer.  Communicating to the necessities of the saints. Pursuing hospitality.  Bless them that persecute you: bless, and curse not.  Rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep.
 Being of one mind one towards another. Not minding high things, but consenting to the humble. Be not wise in your own conceits.
Responsorial Psalm : ISAIAH 12 : 2 – 3, 4BCD, 5 – 6
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!
R. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
Alleluia : Luke 1 : 45
Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary, who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel : Luke 1 : 39 – 56
 And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:  And she cried 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 behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.  And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.
 And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord.  And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.  Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.  Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name.  And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.
 Shall call me blessed: These words are a prediction of that honour which the church in all ages should pay to the Blessed Virgin. Let Protestants examine whether they are any way concerned in this prophecy.
 He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.  He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.  He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy:  As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.
 And Mary abode with her about three months; and she returned to her own house.
Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel by Pope Leo XIII
O Glorious Prince of the heavenly host, Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle and fearful warfare that we are waging against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the evil spirits. Come thou to the assistance of men, whom Almighty God created immortal, making them in His own image and likeness and redeeming them at a great price from the tyranny of Satan. Fight this day the battle of the Lord with thy legions of holy Angels, even as of old thou didst fight against Lucifer, the leader of the proud spirits and all his rebel angels, who were powerless to stand against thee, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast forth, the ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduces the whole world; and he was cast forth upon Earth, and his angels were sent with him.
But behold! the ancient enemy of mankind and a murderer from the beginning has been fiercely aroused. Changing himself into an angel of light, he goes about with the whole multitude of the wicked spirits to invade the earth and blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to plunder, to slay, and to consign to eternal damnation the souls that have been destined for a crown of everlasting life. This wicked serpent, like an unclean torrent, pours into men of depraved minds and corrupt hearts the poison of his malice, the spirit of lying, impiety and blasphemy, and the deadly breath of impurity and every form of vice and iniquity.
Be favorable to Thy Church, the Bride of the Lamb without spot, whose enemies have filled to overflowing with gall and inebriated with wormwood. They have laid profane hands upon Her most sacred treasures. Where the See of the most blessed Peter and the Chair of Truth has been constituted as a light to the nations, there they have placed a throne of their abomination and impiety; so that with the Pastor struck, they may prevail to disperse the flock
Therefore, most invincible Leader, be with the people of God against this spiritual wickedness and bring about victory. Thou art venerated by Holy Church as Her guard and patron; Thou art glorified as our defender against the impious powers of earth and of hell. Unto thee the Lord hath handed over the souls of the redeemed to be placed in happiness above. Entreat the God of peace, to obliterate satan beneath our feet, lest he prevail further to hold men captive, and to injure the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that the mercy of the Lord may swiftly overtake us, and apprehend the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and satan, and send him bound into the abyss, so that he may seduce the nations no more. Henceforth having been confided to thy escort and protection, we sacred ministers by our authority [if recited by a layman, or cleric who has not yet taken up the order of exorcist, say instead, “by the authority of Holy Mother Church ], do undertake to repel the infestations of diabolical deceit in the Name of Jesus Christ, Our God and Lord.
V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, depart from us, our adversaries.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, root of David, has conquered.
V. Let Thy mercy be upon us Lord.
R. As much as we hope in Thee.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
If recited by at least a deacon add the following
V. The Lord be with you all.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray
O God, and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we invoke Thy Holy Name, and we humbly implore Thy clemency so that, through the intercession of Mary, the Immaculate ever-Virgin Mother of God, of blessed Michael the Archangel, of blessed Joseph, the Spouse of the same blessed Virgin, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the Saints, Thou may deign to offer us aid against satan, and all the other unclean spirits, who wander through the world to injure the human race and to destroy souls. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Alia Oratio ad Sanctum Michael
Princeps gloriosissime caelestis militiae, sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio et colluctatione, quae nobis adversus principes et potestates, adversus mundi rectores tenebrarum harum, contra spiritualia nequitiae, in caelestibus. Veni in auxilium hominum, quos Deus creavit inexterminabiles, et ad imaginem similitudinis suae fecit, et a tyrannide diaboli emit pretio magno. Proeliare hodie cum beatorum Angelorum exercitu proelia Domini, sicut pugnasti contra ducem superbiae luciferum, et angelos eius apostaticos: et non valuerunt, neque locus inventus est eorum amplius in caelo. Sed proiectus est draco ille magnus, serpens antiquus, qui vocatur diabolus et satanas, qui seducit universum orbem; et proiectus est in terram, et angeli eius cum illo missi sunt.
En antiquus inimicus et homicida vehementer erectus est. Transfiguratus in angelum lucis, cum tota malignorum spirituum caterva late circuit et invadit terram, ut in ea deleat nomen Dei et Christi eius, animasque ad aeternae gloriae coronam destinatas furetur, mactet ac perdat in sempiternum interitum. Virus nequitiae suae, tamquam flumen immundissimum, draco maleficus transfundit in homines depravatos mente et corruptos corde; spiritum mendacii, impietatis et blasphemiae; halitumque mortiferum luxuriae, vitiorum omnium et iniquitatum.
Ecclesiam, Agni immaculati sponsam, vaferrimi hostes repleverunt amaritudinibus, inebriarunt absinthio; ad omnia desiderabilia eius impias miserunt manus. Ubi sedes beatissimi Petri et Cathedra veritatis ad lucem gentium constituta est, ibi thronum posuerunt abominationis et impietatis suae; ut percusso Pastore, et gregem disperdere valeant.
Adesto itaque, Dux invictissime, populo Dei contra irrumpentes spirituales nequitias, et fac victoriam. Te custodem et patronum sancta veneratur Ecclesia; te gloriatur defensore adversus terrestrium et infernorum nefarias potestates; tibi tradidit Dominus animas redemptorum in superna felicitate locandas. Deprecare Deum pacis, ut conterat satanam sub pedibus nostris, ne ultra valeat captivos tenere homines, et Ecclesiae nocere. Offer nostras preces in conspectu Altissimi, ut cito anticipent nos misericordiae Domini, et apprehendas draconem, serpentem antiquum, qui est diabolus et satanas, ac ligatum mittas in abyssum, ut non seducat amplius gentes. Hinc tuo confisi praesidio ac tutela, sacri ministerii nostri auctoritate [si fuerit laicus, vel clericus qui ordinem exorcistatus nondum suscepit, dicat: sacra sanctae Matris Ecclesiae auctoritate], ad infestationes diabolicae fraudis repellendas in nomine Iesu Christi Dei et Domini nostri fidentes et securi aggredimur.
V. Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae.
R. Vicit Leo de tribu Iuda, radix David.
V. Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos.
R. Quemadmodum speravimus in te
V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam.
R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.
Si fuerit saltem diaconus subiungat
V. Dominus vobiscum
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Deus, et Pater Domini nostri Iesu Christi, invocamus nomen sanctum tuum, et clementiam tuam supplices exposcimus ut, per intercessionem immaculatae semper Virginis Dei Genetricis Mariae, beati Michaelis Archangeli, beati Ioseph eiusdem beatae Virginis Sponsi, beatorum Apostolorum Petri et Pauli et omnium Sanctorum, adversus satanam, omnesque alios immundos spiritus, qui ad nocendum humano generi animasque perdendas pervagantur in mundo, nobis auxilium praestare digneris. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.