The Mother Of Christ by Father Vassall-Phillips Part 110.

Origen writes as follows :

"There should be a reason, both for all that is said and all the events recorded, that is worthy of the Holy Ghost and of the Faith of Christ to which, as believers, we are called. Therefore we must now seek the reason why Mary, after the conception of Christ, went to Elisabeth and remained with her three months, and also why Luke, in writing the Gospel History, records that fact that Mary remained with Elisabeth three months, and afterwards returned to her own house. There must certainly be some special reason for this. Whether the Lord has opened our hearts to understand it, this present discourse will show.

" Now if, from the mere fact of Mary's visit and salutation to Elisabeth, the infant exulted with joy, and Elisabeth, full of the Holy Ghost, uttered, by the spirit of prophecy, what is written in the Gospel, and in one single hour derived so great profit, we are only left to conjecture what progress John made during the three months that Mary was assisting Elisabeth. For it is quite unreasonable to suppose that in one single moment the infant should exult, and, so to say, revel with joy, and Elisabeth be filled with the Holy Ghost, and that during three months, neither John nor Elisabeth should in the House of Elisabeth have further profited from the nearness of the Lord's Mother, and the presence of the Saviour Himself. We must therefore conclude that during the three months, John was being trained and exercised, so to speak, in the art of an athlete by the Holy Mother, and so prepared in his own mother's womb, that being born, as he was, in a marvellous manner, he might be still more marvellously nurtured." (Luke i. 80. Hom. II., p. 1822. a Expos, in Luc., in loc. 3 Dom. I. in Quadrages., Serm. X., a. i., c. 3.)