The Visitation. Mary visits her relative Elizabeth; they are both pregnant. Mary is pregnant with Jesus and Elizabeth is pregnant with John the Baptist. Elizabeth was in the sixth month before Mary came. Mary stayed three months, and most scholars hold she stayed for the birth of John. The apparition of the angel, mentioned in Matthew, may have taken place then to end the tormenting doubts of Joseph regarding Mary’s maternity.
In Catholicism, 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, and thus Mary exercised her function as mediatrix between God and man for the first time. More on The Visitation
Simon de Vos (20 October 1603 in Antwerp – 15 October 1676 in Antwerp) was a Flemish painter, draughtsman and art collector. He started his career making small-format cabinet pictures of genre scenes, in particular of Caravaggesque merry companies. Later he switched to history painting, working on larger formats in a Flemish Baroque style which was influenced by Rubens and van Dyck. Simon de Vos
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