Elizabeth visits Mary, Ark of the Covenant

Photo: 2008© dimitre.com
As we meditate both on the great Sacrament of the Eucharist as well as the Feast of the Visitation, let us remember that Mary is the New Ark of the Covenant where literally God dwelt within her womb.

A beautiful exterior manifestation of this sublime mystery can be seen at the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Chicago. There resides a large monstrance made in the image of Mary, Ark of the Covenant.

Here is a brief history:

The iconic monstrance, Our Lady of the Sign – Ark of Mercy, was unveiled and blessed by Cardinal Francis George, May 31, 2008, on the Feast of the Visitation. The idea of the iconic monstrance was conceived nine years prior to its unveiling. At that time a call was heard which resulted in the entrustment and consecration of the parish of St. Stanislaus Kostka to the Blessed Virgin Mary. A discernment led by Fr. Anthony Bus C.R. inspired a parish wide response to establish in the heart of Chicago, a Sanctuary to The Divine Mercy. The doors of the parish were opened and eyes were turned to Mary, Holy Queen and Mother of Mercy, that the “cacophony of the world not shout into silence the voice of the living God.” It was accepted that the Blessed Virgin Mary had asked for and created space for sacred silence that the voice of her Son would be heard anew and that He would be adored in the Blessed Sacrament. At the request of Fr. Anthony, Stefan Niedorezo was commissioned to sculpt the image of the iconic monstrance according to the design conveyed in the Book of Revelation. Malgorzata Sawczuk was commissioned to apply the paint and gold gilding to the iconic monstrance. (Sanctuary of Divine Mercy)

It is by no mistake that this monstrance was unveiled on the Feast of the Visitation for as "Blessed John Paul II in his encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, chapter 6, [says of the] “Woman of the Eucharist”:

Mary anticipated, in the mystery of the Incarnation, the Church’s Eucharistic faith. When, at the Visitation, she bore in her womb the Word made Flesh, she became in some way a ‘tabernacle’ – the first ‘tabernacle’ in history – in which the Son of God, still invisible to our human gaze, allowed Himself to be adored by Elizabeth, radiating His light as it were through the eyes and voice of Mary.(Sanctuary of Divine Mercy)
 O what beautiful a Sacrament!