Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
"Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled."
CONOCE A NUESTRA FAMILIA EXTENDIDA:
meet our extended family
St. Natalia of Nicodemia (Feast Day December 1)
Adrian and Natalia lived in Nicodemia (modern-day Turkey). She was a Christian, but Adrian was a non-Christian imperial officer. They were married for one year prior to their martyrdom and lived in Nicomedia during the time of Emperor Maximian in the early fourth century. The emperor promised a reward to informants who would bring Christians to trial. The denunciations then began, and twenty-three Christians were captured in a cave near Nicomedia.
They were tortured, urged to worship idols, and then brought before the Praetor, in order to record their names and responses. Adrian, the head of the praetorium, watched as these people suffered with such courage for their faith. Seeing how firmly and fearlessly they confessed Christ, he asked: "What rewards do you expect from your God for your suffering?" The martyrs replied: "Such rewards as we are not able to describe, nor can your mind comprehend." Natalia’s husband was so impressed by the witness of the Christian martyrs that he declared himself a Christian, although he had never been baptized.
The scribes reported this to the emperor, who summoned St. Adrian and tried to persuade him to sacrifice to the gods and ask for forgiveness. Adrian refused, and Maximian then ordered Adrian to be thrown into prison. His wife, Natalia, hastened to the prison and encouraged her husband. St. Adrian was cruelly tortured and killed. After Adrian’s death, an army commander asked the emperor's approval to wed St. Natalia, who was both young and rich. But she hid herself away in Byzantium because she was fearful the Emperor would force her to marry. St. Adrian appeared to her in a dream and said that she would soon be at rest in the Lord. She died on the 1st of December, which is now her feast day. Although she died of natural causes, she is considered a martyr and was buried among other Christian martyrs in Argyropolis.
TOMA TIEMPO PARA COMPARTIR
Take time to chat
- When Mary came to visit her cousin Elizabeth, she was pregnant. Who was the child in her womb? What role does Elizabeth’s child play in the Christmas story?
- When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, she was filled with the Holy Spirit. Share a time when you were filled with the Holy Spirit.
- What does it mean when Elizabeth says to Mary, “Blessed are you among women,
- and blessed is the fruit of your womb”?
- What inspires you about St. Natalia and her husband Adrian?