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Joy Filled Visitation

Joy Filled Visitation by Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS

Artwork Narrative:

Joy, Mercy, Strength,
Just as God Promised
Lift up the Lowly
Fill the Hungry with Good Things. 

Feast day is May 31.

McGrath collection: 
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While devotion to God was always Jane’s and Francis’ primary goal, they also recognized the necessity of working in the real world with real and fallible people. Therefore, they continually advised that devotion to God should look pleasant and appealing to others. They had little patience with a harsh asceticism that only served to put people off.

The spirit of the Visitation Order is one of joyful devotion in the service of others. Mary went in haste–often interpreted as going joyfully–into the hill country to minister to her cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s child leaped with joy when he heard the sound of Mary’s greeting. In her direction of the Sisters of the Visitation, Jane followed the lead of Francis who at all times told her to make devotion lovable. It was his special gift and the following letter to a married woman outlines his teachings on the subject:

You should not only be devout and love devotion, but you should make it pleasing to others. And you will make it pleasing if you make it useful and acceptable. The sick will like your devotion if it enables them to be consoled; your family, if they find you are more attentive to their own particular needs, more sympathetic towards events that take place, less reproving, and so on; your husband, if he sees that as your devotion increases you become more kindly with him and sweeter in the affection you bear him. In short, you must make devotion as attractive as possible.
"Prayerful Moments" booklet, Salesian Spirituality, St. Jane de Chantal by Sister Susan Marie