The Virgin Mary's charity gesture can have had actually a much different ending.

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St. Luke narrates in his Gospel exactly how the Virgin Mary, after ~ receiving news about her cousin’s impressive conception in her old age, “arose and went through haste into the hill country, come a city the Judah, and she gone into the home of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth” (Luke 1:39-40).

It is traditionally thought that Mary obtained the post of Elizabeth’s pregnancy while residing at her home in Nazareth. Elizabeth was living in Ein Karem in ~ the time, and the distance in between the two villages is roughly 100 miles.

Ein Karem is top top the outskirts of Jerusalem and also is around 2,474 feet over sea level, when Nazareth is in ~ 1,138 feet. This means Mary had actually to trek uphill almost 1,336 feet in elevation!

Besides the physics toll the must have actually taken top top the freshly pregnant Virgin Mary, the route she take it had countless hidden dangers.

The dirt course that wound with the mountainous region is believed to have been a well-known place for bandits, that would surprise unsuspecting travelers.

The good news is that the Virgin mar was most likely not alone. If the Gospel just mentions Mary, it renders sense that Joseph would have ensured the security of his betrothed.

According to writer J. A. Loarte, “Most likely it to be Joseph that arranged the trip, in search of a caravan in which the Blessed Virgin can travel safely. He self may have actually accompanied her, at least as far as Jerusalem; some commentators also think that went through Mary right to Ain Karim, i beg your pardon is only 5 miles from the capital. If so, that would have actually needed come return instantly to his workshop in Nazareth.”

With this in mind, it’s no surprised that mar went “in haste” come visit Elizabeth, hoping the their caravan wouldn’t be overrun by those who lurked in the shadows and also caves that the mountains.

The Visitation presented countless risks to Mary, yet she trusted that God would safeguard her and permit her to assist her aging cousin. The is a beautiful mystery, one that just deepens when you learn about the geography and also the obstacles Mary had to overcome to visit Elizabeth.

Read more:Bible location lesson: Where space Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem?

Read more:A closer look in ~ “The Visitation” by Piero di Cosimo

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