Visitation: why this name?
The name was chosen by François de Sales in reference to the joyful mystery of the life of Mary in his Gospel (Lk 1, 39-56). This “visit” is placed under the sign of the meeting, charity and hospitality.
Meeting of Elizabeth with her cousin who recognizes her as “blessed among women”, and meeting of two children hidden in the bellies of their mothers: John the Baptist and Jesus.
Charity of Mary, who “went with haste” to her cousin Elizabeth’s home and who invites her to live with her for three months.
Beyond the episode, the text symbolizes the welcome that God reserves for life and humanity “who leap for joy in the womb of his Mother” (Luke Lk 1:41). But also the welcome of God by man represented by one whom Jesus will say: ” Among them that are born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11).
The event invites you to discover the order of the Visitation. This religious order was also born of the meeting of two outstanding individuals that the Church has canonized: François de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, and Jeanne de Chantal Fremyot, young widowed mother, and religious.
By this name, François de Sales expressed his desire that the sisters could visit the poor and sick, a few hours a day and turns. However spirits were not yet ready, outside the diocese of Annecy, to accept that nuns were not cloistered.
In 1615, when a monastery of the Visitation has been created in Lyon, he had to be cooped up on the request of the archbishop of this city, Denis de Marquemont. Therefore, the whole order of the Visitation remained behind the fence.
From that moment, the hidden nature of the childhood of Jesus, whose public life has begun only during the wedding at Cana, became one of the foundations of the life of nuns of the Visitation.